Studio 747 - A Lifestyle Blog for Creative Minds: My Favorite Graphic Design and Photo Editing Tools/Apps

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

My Favorite Graphic Design and Photo Editing Tools/Apps

Digital design quote

Visually stunning photos is a must if you want to get noticed on Instagram and Pinterest or capture a blog reader’s interest. People have asked me what photo editing and graphic design apps I’ve been using for Instagram and my blogs, so I thought I’d share my favorite tools.


I use Canva on my computer to create the majority of graphics for this blog (like the one above) and my clients’ blogs or social media posts. Canva offers tons of templates (many are free) to easily create eye catching and professional looking graphics in less than a few minutes. If you fancy yourself a creative type, you could create graphics from scratch using stock photos and many design elements. Plus, every graphic you create is saved in your account.

Canva dashboard

Snapseed  (iOS and Android)

If you love posting on Instagram but want more control over editing your photos, then you should check out Snapseed. Snapseed is a highly dynamic photo editing app with so many different tools and filters. Some of them I haven’t even played around with yet. One of my favorite features of Snapseed is the ability to add text to photos.

Snapseed features

Here is a flower photo I edited using Snapseed. I used the HDR Scape filter with the Perspective and Tuning tools.

VSCO (iOS and Android) 

This is another powerful photo editing app with that has some of the same features as Snapseed. However, VSCO has the ability to add grain or shadow and highlight tints for a vintage look. There are also a variety of filters, but not as many as Snapseed or Instagram. If you do want more, you’ll have to purchase them.

VSCO features


If I need to edit photos taken with my DSLR camera, I use Picmonkey on my computer. You can add filters, graphic overlays, text, frames, and more to your pictures. You can also put together fun photo collages. If you want to unlock even more tools and templates with an ad-free dashboard, you can upgrade to “Royale” status for $7.99 a month or $3.99 a month if you pay for the annual plan. Picmonkey does have a mobile app that I haven’t tried out yet, but I’ve read that it isn’t as good as the computer version.

Picmonkey dashboard

Pixlr Editor

If you're looking for a free online photo editing tool that is similar to Photoshop, I recommend the Pixlr web app. I don't use it as often as I used to because I take most photos on my phone now. Pixlr does offer a mobile app, which I haven't tried out yet. 

Pixlr online photo editor

Do you use any of these graphic design or photo editing tools? Which one is your a favorite?