By Lindsey Simpson, Marketing Intern
As a Creative Agency in the famous Silicon Valley, we are often asked what design tools we use for our creative work. So, I asked our designers what free (who doesn’t love that?!) tools they commonly use to build sophisticated websites, enticing ads, and creative marketing campaigns. From branding to video animation, our designers selected some of their favorite free tools that make life easier and designing faster. Let’s dig into their favs.
Moat: Find display ads by brand name in an instant.
Moat is a “real time, multi-platform, and actionable marketing analytics” tool that measures data over 33 billion times per day. It has capabilities ranging from measuring mobile videos to tracking which audiences your ads reach. Moat is also trusted by Facebook, Vice, and Kelloggs. If you’re in advertising, this is great tool to discover ads running across the internet.
Coolors: Quickly generate color schemes online.
Not only does Coolors allow you to generate color schemes, but you can also save and share them for free. It also offers a mobile app and installations for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Coolors offers 918 ready-made color schemes, over 640,000 pallets, and is used by Shopify and Designmodo. Coolors is said to be one of the smartest color scheme generators and is perfect for designers and photographers.
YouTube Audio Library: Use free music and sound effects.
I know, I know, you’ve all heard of YouTube. But did you know they also offer a page just for audio and sound effects? YouTube Audio Library offers over 170 genres and 30,000 tracks that can be downloaded or shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch. No copyright claim either! While this tool is great for anyone, it is superb for video animators, producers, and filmmakers.
Canva: Web-based design tool.
I wouldn’t call myself a Designer (yet – who knows), but even I have plenty of experience with Canva. I was first introduced to Canva in college when trying to create graphics for my marketing association’s events. Canva offers thousands of pre-made templates, fonts, illustrations, graphs, and photos. Did I mention it also saves all of your designs and allows you to save them without a watermark? Loved by students, small businesses, and large corporations like Yelp, Canva is great for any level of design.
Ezgif.com: Resize a video or convert a video to a gif.
Ezgif makes it easy to create gifs by simply uploading an image or video. Within the gif creator, you can resize, crop, optimize, and add special effects. Along with creating gifs, Ezgif also allows users to convert from pdf, mp4, jpg, and gif in just minutes. Ezgif is user friendly and great for anyone looking to create or transform a gif.
Smallpdf: Downsize a PDF with minimal loss of definition.
Smallpdf delivers exactly what it advertises – “We make PDF easy.” Smallpdf is focused on providing PDF tasks with as little hassle as possible. The tool can quickly compress, merge, split, rotate, unlock, eSign, edit, and convert PPT, JPG, Excel, and Word files to and from a PDF. I mean what can Smallpdf not do? Used by over 200 million individuals and offered in 20 languages, Smallpdf is a cost-efficient solution for all (literally everything) of your PDF problems.
Tinypng: Compress a png or jpg file without losing quality.
Tinypng is excellent because unlike many compressors, it can store partially transparent images and uses significantly less bandwidth – meaning faster loading for you. Tinypng uses “quantization” to combine similar colors within the document, thus requiring fewer bytes and compressing the image. It can also compress animated stickers and is used by Airbnb, Lego, and Walmart.
Freesound: Find free sound effects.
While it doesn’t have the sleekest webpage, Freesound offers free downloadable high quality sound effects. It also has an active rating system so you can view which sounds are the most popular. Freesound is great for film creators, freelancers, and everyday use when looking for ringtones or funky sounds.
SimilarWeb: Get a free traffic report on any website.
Similar Web is an online competitive intelligence tool that provides strategy and traffic insights for marketers. It also has an impressive list of users including Google, Microsoft, and Deloitte. SimilarWeb allows you to discover new opportunities and trends as they are created. Likewise, it allows users to benchmark against their competition, view competitors analytics, and better understand the consumer’s intent.
To stay updated on all our favorite tools check out timelapsesf.com/tools.