Saving on graphic design doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Small businesses can keep their marketing costs down with the help of fantastic online resources from stock imagery sites through to handy design tools. 

Get great-looking design during these tougher months without emptying your pockets – so you can focus on supporting and growing your business. All aboard for our 5 tips to create winning design without the stress. 

1. Take advantage of free stock images

When you’ve got a tight marketing budget but need some beautiful imagery to compliment your design, free stock imagery sites should be your go-to. With a huge library of images of people, landscapes, patterns and more you can help yourself to unlimited downloads for free. Unsplash and StockSnap are two easy-to-use sites where you’ll find anything from a macro shot of a bunch of tomatoes through to a picture of a man doing yoga on the beach. 

2. Customise and create your own illustrations

If you’re looking for something more personalised that’s still user friendly, Humaaans has a free library of illustrations you can use to build a character from the bottom up. Easily fashion character outfits, hairstyles and position to suit your design needs. Checkout Freepik for millions of free design assets such as icons, PSD files such as fonts, vector images and more. 

3. An icon speaks a thousand words

Whether you’re creating a website or content for social media, icons are key to clear and attention-grabbing design.  The Noun Project, a community of icon designers from around the world, offers over 2 million royalty-free icons for instant download. If you’re looking to really engage your customers whilst saving a truck load, free GIFs are available from Animaticons. Using GIFs creates movement and energy to really bring a brand to life and drive that emotional connection with customers. 

4. Retouch and edit the easy way

If you’ve got your ‘DIY design hat’ on but don’t have time to master Photoshop (or pay for it!), avoid licensing fees with the free photographic editing program called GIMP. It’s built to make your life much easier with customisable toolbars to efficiently retouch, edit and perfect your photos and digital banners in no time.

5. Flyers, brochures and posters, oh my!

If you’re mainly working with marketing banners for print and don’t want to pay monthly InDesign fees, Lucidpress is your answer to effortlessly manage multiple text-heavy assets. The hundreds of available print templates help you whip up eBooks, newsletters, magazines and more for no cost at all. The tool even lets you collaborate in the cloud so your creative team can stay connected, focused and productive. 

We hope you enjoyed these hot tips to help you save money on design and continue to anchor your brand in the minds of your customers. 


55 KNOTS is an Australian graphic design subscription service that creates beautiful, engaging and compelling visuals to help businesses make an impact in their industry.

To support small businesses while times are tough, 55 KNOTS is offering a 15% discount across all design plans until 30th April. If you’ve had a crack at DIY design but would like some creative tips and digital marketing support, the team would love to help. Use code TOURISM at checkout and save big on design.

Benjamin is also offering 1:1 Adobe Photoshop Classes that’ll let you take advantage of the 5 tips above.


Written By – Benjamin Williams – Creative Director, 55 KNOTS

When Benjamin isn’t crafting creative masterpieces with his clients, you’ll find him enjoying Australia’s beautiful harbours and inlets by sail with a tall glass of Gin & Tonic in hand.

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