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Updated by Austin Miller on Jul 18, 2017
Headline for 5 Incredible (and FREE) Design Tools
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5 Incredible (and FREE) Design Tools

These are the top 5 creative online tools and software that will help you create impressive designs and visuals. Many of these have utility for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups.

1

Design 3D SE

Design 3D SE

Design 3D SE is the free "lite" version of Strata's flagship 3D modeling software Design 3D CX. Strata has been creating software for over 20 years and for a free piece of software, D3D SE packs a solid amount of power and features. The UI is similar to Photoshop or Illustrator, so if you're an Adobe fanboy(girl), you'll find yourself right at home with their toolset.

D3D SE is available for both Mac and PC.

2

Canva

Canva

Canva is an easy to learn, drag and drop online-editor (*phew--sorry for that mouthful). No, it does not have a million functions, filters, and affects like your Adobe Photoshop will. However, it takes care of all your basic graphic design needs with an elegant and easy to learn UI. This is the perfect choice for brands or marketers who need to make a high volume of social media graphics.

3

Coolors

Coolors

Coolors is an awesome way to create color palettes. This is essential for UI/UX design, artists, marketers, and other creatives. Once you create your perfect palette, download it and distribute it with others on the team, or keep it on your desktop and refer to it often as you continue to create more branding materials. This will help you always stay on brand.

4

inStudio VR

inStudio VR

Another Strata product, inStudio VR. inStudio VR is a creative 3D VR app that allows you to import 3D models and manipulate them in virtual reality. It comes preloaded with different environments like a retail store where you can place your designs on shelf and see how they look next to others, in different lightings, and at different sizes. This VR app is ideal for those wanting to make an impressive funding pitch, demo a new design, those in the packaging design industry, those interested in prototyping, and creatives who want to get up close and personal with their designs. inStudio VR is available on both the Strata and Steam store free for a limited time.

5

Magic Mockups

Magic Mockups

Magic Mockups is the perfect name for this web-based tool that lets you save tons of time and hassle with Photoshop by allowing you to simply drag and drop pictures into various scenarios. Granted, you won't be able to actual create anything from the ground up like you would with an Adobe or Strata product--but if you're just wanting to quickly produce a few snazzy shots of your latest app or software.