A woman adjusts a flower arrangement in a glass vase on a table. In the foreground, out of focus, a smartphone on a tripod is pointed at the woman; another smartphone on a shorter tripod sits on the table, pointed directly at the vase. The woman wears a mustard yellow sweater under a gray apron. The flower arrangement is made up succulents with long dark green leaves, blue plants with small fuzzy buds, and a cluster of small, bright red flowers. Extra plants lay on the table, along with a couple of pairs of pruning shears and some cut-off stems. In the background, various potted plants stand on a side table and a dresser.
If you take your own photographs, look for a graphic design software that includes tools for editing, enhancing, and adding to your photos to create unique images for your website. — Getty Images/d3sign

Your website is the gateway to your brand and often the first impression your company makes to your target audience. Therefore, your website must provide a great user experience. Using high-quality pictures and graphics can help enhance your website; however, hiring a graphic designer or purchasing stock photo licenses can be expensive.

As an alternative, developing your own graphics can keep your costs low. Here are eight free tools and programs to create outstanding graphics for your website.

Lunacy

Lunacy is a free (no ads, subscription-only features, or watermarks) graphic design software available for Mac, PC, and Linux. It specializes in vector graphic editing and has capabilities perfect for UI/UX designers, including advanced features typically locked behind paywalls.

Some of the software’s most valuable features are the UI kit, which includes an eyedropper tool, a placeholder text generator, a pen, and more. Users can layer design elements — including illustrations, photos, and icons — onto an existing template. Lunacy also allows document sharing with up to 100 collaborators.

[Read more: 8 Small Business Tech Tools You Don’t Need to Pay For]

Canva

Canva is compatible with Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android devices and offers customizable templates to help non-designers create professional-grade graphics. Keep in mind this is a “freemium” program. So, while there are plenty of free templates and design options, access to the more sophisticated design and collaboration features, including fonts, icons, and stock photos requires a subscription.

[Read more: 6 User-Friendly Business Presentation Tools for Small Businesses]

Krita

Krita is a free, open-source Mac, Windows, and Linux painting tool. Krita is ideal for illustrators and artists looking to develop concept art, graphic illustrations, and digital paintings from scratch or to further hone their digital design skills. It offers a variety of brushes for precise, detailed line work and an entire library of resources to help users explore new digital mediums.

Figma

Figma is a browser-based web design freemium program that offers a suite of tools, a customizable interface, and a library of resources for developing graphics. It is a collaborative platform, making it simple for companies to solicit and compile internal and external client feedback. In addition, Figma allows UI/UX designers to test live prototypes of all the platform’s features and functions, including widgets and plugins, being built into a website while easily sharing progress updates with stakeholders.

While the program has a library of customizable templates, the analytics feature is one of Genially’s most unique offerings.

GIMP

GIMP, a free graphic design tool for Mac, Windows, and Linux, is an excellent program for aspiring visual artists and designers. GIMP is one of the original open-source photo-editing software programs on the market, and its customizable interface and array of brushes are similar to those used in Photoshop. The platform supports CMYK colors for printing and RAW for digital designs, so users can complete projects across both mediums.

PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector, a freemium program available for Mac and Windows devices, is one of the most comprehensive free design tools available for users of all skill levels. Its features include a photo editing suite and AI-powered tools to manipulate photos and add layered design elements. PhotoDirector is a one-stop shop for all your digital design needs — including marketing, branding, typography, animation, and more — with templates, design element packs, and guided tools to help novice designers churn out sophisticated graphics.

Vectr

Vectr is a free, browser-based design software specializing in creating vector graphics. Along with the pen and pencil feature for drawing vector paths, the program has a library of design elements and a watermark tool for print and digital projects.

However, its collaboration capabilities set Vectr apart from other programs on the market. For example, users can share a link to their project, complete with a chat feature allowing designers to send and receive feedback while working.

Genially

Genially is a free, browser-based software that creates designs and interactive content — such as games, social media posts, quizzes, and more — to help build brand awareness. While the program has a library of customizable templates, the analytics feature is one of Genially’s most unique offerings. It tracks content engagement and views through audio, buttons, links, and pop-ups.

However, keep in mind that Genially keeps many of its most attractive features —including the collaboration and chat features, brand personalization tools, and the ability to view your projects offline — behind a paywall.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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