Signals #8 – No-Design Tools


  • Solopreneurs and small business owners can’t afford professional designers when starting out.


  • Use no-design tools to bootstrap your brand.

Get Started

  • Understand that in the long run no-design tools cannot replace a professional graphic designer. You need both skill and experience to create credible brands.
  • Learn enough of design basics to be dangerous and beat 95% of the competition.
  • Build a basic set of visuals for your company:



  • Save money when you don’t have inbound cash flow yet. Most listed tools are free to use or freemium.
  • Save time and spin up quick designs for fast-paced content marketing: ads, blogs, newsletters, social media.
  • Save effort: Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign are great tools but can have a steep learning curve.


  • There is actual design involved. Even if you use pre-made libraries and blocks, you can’t escape from basic laws of design.
  • Putting it together still requires work. Time investment is greater than 0. But the quality is probably a lot better than when a non-designer starts from scratch.
  • Designs converge to similarity when everyone’s using the same basic blocks. Same happened with Bootstrap and web development.



  • No-design tools are part of the bigger emerging creator economy trend. It’s easier than ever to get started. But more difficult than ever to stand out from the masses.



  • No-design tools can be a fast and a cost-efficient way to bootstrap a brand. In the long run, you should start using professionals at least to create the core items.
  • Learn enough of design basics yourself to get the big things right.
  • Expect some similarities with the visuals of other businesses if you use a lot of templates and pre-built blocks.