Credits: InVideo, You can create several static and dynamic graphics and dip into a range of templates to personalise your promos, Instagram post or invitation using certain tech apps.

Pocket-friendly apps to tap the creative artist you never knew you were

You needn’t be a qualified designer or an audio or video editor in order to create top-class content across media. All you need is some savvy technology apps to help you do the job

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

A Zumba instructor uses Canva to design attractive flyers about her dance events, while a jewellery designer creates enticing visual content of her latest rose gold collection using Snappa. Somewhere else, a restaurateur uses Easil to rustle up a brand new Covid-compliant food menu and a teacher uses Adobe Photoshop to cull out video excerpts of her classes as her personal branding tool. Oh yes, even a housewife launches her cookery show using an app called Desygner to make her logo.

None of these people is a qualified designer, or audio or video editor, but all were still able to create top-class content across various media in a professional manner, using some of technology apps such as Canva, Snappa, Luminar 4, Easil, Adobe Photoshop, DesignBold and Desygner, Invideo, Corel Draw 19, Filmora, FI Studio and Lightworks. These apps allow a user to merge videos and photos, cut and split pictures, and even do animation and add movement into still images, topping it all up with royalty free music.

Art meets functionality

Conventional technology is somewhat complicated and can intimidate a first-time user. You will be paying for functions you will never use. Event manager Abhishek Srivastava finds tech apps a quick and convenient way to create, track, and manage designs for any and every purpose. His go-to app is Canva, which allows him to create professional posts at budget-friendly prices.

Since everything is being done remotely during the pandemic and physical activities have taken a backseat, the world is now accessible at the touch of a button. Strong visual communication and engaging interactions are the key to communicate with the audience via marketing collateral, brand identity work and digital media updates.

From the food you order to the clothes you buy, to the online webinars you attend, or masterclasses you choose, or explore a bedsheet for your bedroom, you will find a large element of design, audio and video in every activity. On the personal front, if you were to host a birthday party or make an online film on a milestone anniversary, you will still need help from these apps. So whether it is personal work, professional branding, or creating a social media profile, these apps help fill in the gap for designers by providing professionally pre-designed templates, including posts for social media, flyers, posters, letterheads and a lot more.

Tips and tricks

Just relying on technology is only half the work done. Creativity, a vivid imagination and a keen eye for detail are just as crucial.

Don’t expect your first creation to be a masterpiece. You will invariably churn out something mediocre in the beginning, but the output will start improving as you go along. Your first few poems or paintings may not be very good, but don’t lose heart. Use the initial design and editing mistakes as learning tools.

Do not get overwhelmed by the ocean of templates. Stop at what innately appeals to you while bearing in mind the target audience and their demographics.

Pay attention to small things like fonts. Says handwriting expert Surya Kashyap: “Choose a font or a typeface that sings the song of your content. Typefaces with rounded edges are usually a friendlier note but hard-edged geometric fonts (sans serifs) are solid and strong; while serifs convey an elegant and sophisticated look.”

Choose a colour scheme that has 1-3 primary hues and an additional 1-3 secondary ones that contrast and complement each other. Use different tones of the same colour for consistency by adjusting brightness for contrast. For instance bright aqua can be offset against a forest-green background.

Says Mumbai-based graphic designer Paritosh Sen: “When selecting a font for headings, subtitles and body text, use easy-to-read fonts for simple and effective graphic design. The eye finds it hard to scan multiple typefaces, so stick to a simple collection of fonts. Also, highlight some over others and you can blow the heading in size. Don’t be afraid of scale and apply scale to features that need emphasis. Use letter spacing but be careful not to reduce letter spacing so much it can’t be read, or increase it so much the letters become detached from one another.”

Finally keep your designs simple and make sure every element has a reason to be in the design and keep the number of fonts, colours, shapes and frames to a minimum.

Usability and users

A number of freelancers or consultants use these apps frequently. Says Sanket Shah, CEO at InVideo, a video editing app: “Small businesses are usually our biggest users. We have large businesses as well but 75 per cent are small–be it independent music creators, freelance writers, gamers, students and teachers. Usually only 15 per cent of our users are advanced video creators. The remaining 85 per cent are basic and intermediate video creators who don’t use professional video tools. We want to make the art more accessible to regular people, and empower everyone with the ability to create high quality content.”

Many takers are from the education sector. Teachers and students use these tech apps frequently. Says Neha Arora, a music teacher at GD Goenka Public School, Dwarka, New Delhi: “Since the rise of pandemic in 2020, DIY video production has exploded in various fields. Working as a music teacher I am required to edit, crop and publish my student’s videos. With so many apps vying my attention, I have curated the best app for video editing i.e. Videoshow. This wonderful app lets me add transitions and effects onto a maximum of 200 photos and video clips from my photo library.”

Arora says she pays Rs 999 a year to use all the functions of the Videoshow app, which not only allows her to trim, zoom and rotate photos and video clips, but also choose from 26 different themes and a range of fonts, filters and graphics.

“You can create HD 1080p or 720p videos in cinema, square or portrait formatting for social sharing and even save your draft projects for up to seven days,” she says.

Even big brands are using some of these apps for the cost effectiveness and convenience they offer. FMCG brand Bikano extensively uses Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw 19, Illustrator and Shutterstock for creatives such as packages, posters, banners, and logos.

Says Dawinder Pal, Head of Marketing at Bikano: “Based on an over-all cost-benefit assessment, we invest in tools and resources that drive return on investment and help us accomplish key business objectives. Needless to say, the use of these apps has helped us refine and strengthen our messaging to the customer. We all know that communicating the right message to customers is a principal goal of any organization. As such, the creation of top-class and meaningful creatives by way of quick drawing, shaping designing, editing, colouring and countless such functionalities has been a huge asset to our communications team.”

While creating social media content, sound plays an important role. “The purpose of the app is to help you “Capture your life in Audio”, says Sudha K Varadarajan Co-Founder and CEO, Swell, a social audio app.

Each post can be at the most five minutes long, but if you want to speak longer, you can have multiple posts one after the other.

Says Varadarajan, “Swell allows your audio posts to turn into social conversations by sharing them with the world and letting others reply to you and join you in discussing topics that are of interest to you.

In Swell, you can also follow interesting speakers, talk privately in groups or direct messages, attach photos and links along with your voice posts, get a web version of your audio posts on the free website and many more features. This app offers good quality without any filters or modifications, to preserve your authentic voice.”

Almost all these apps have content for both, the average user or layperson and the professional. The fastest growing audience is global youth in the 18-28 age range for the free category, but these apps are finding favour with many working professionals too. They do not exclude professional creators and usually there is a monetisation model for premium content creators.

The idea of Paper Date Co is not to replace graphic designers, say Meenakshi and Shruti, founders, Paper Date Co, a curated gifting, online invitation, and greeting card platform. “In fact, Paper Date is a new avenue for graphic designers to display their work without the hassle of dealing directly with the client. Our customers are both the regular ones and the professional designers. We also make it a point to celebrate the unique style of all designers on our portal by providing them with their own page with a small introduction about their design aesthetic and style, thereby opening new opportunities for them,” they add.

Finally, these tech apps make branding images as simple as a drag and drop. Whether you choose to use your logo, social media handles, or a hashtag, what was once a time-consuming task takes only a few minutes now. The simple, user-friendly experience allows you to make every day a celebration and every event memorable.

Table: Some DIY designing and editing apps apps


Subscription plan


1. Canva Pro

a. One member: Rs 741.66 per month

b. Five member: Rs 3,708.33 per month

c. Ten member: Rs 7,416.66 per month

d. Fifteen member: Rs 11,125 per month

2. Canva Enterprise

a. One member: Rs 2,200 per month

b. Five member: Rs 11,000 per month

c. Ten member: Rs 22,000 per month

d. Fifteen member: Rs 22,000 per month


a) (Pro) One user: Rs 1,112 per month

b) (Team) Five User: Rs 2,224 per month

Luminar 4

a) Luminar Basic: Rs 2,432 per year

b) Luminar Pro: Rs 5,899 per year


a) Easil Basic: Free

b) Easil Plus: Rs 556 per member per month

c) Easil Edge: Rs 4,374 per member per month

Adobe Photoshop

a) Annual plan, paid monthly: Rs 1,675/month Inclusive of GST

b) Annual plan, prepaid: Rs 19,158 per year Inclusive of GST

c) Monthly plan: Rs 2,514 per month Inclusive of GST


1) Membership plan: Rs 740 a month

2) On Demand Coins

a) 40 coins: Rs 2,891

b) 90 Coins: Rs 6,079

c) 200 coins: Rs 13,345

d) 400 coins: Rs 26,172

e) 600 coins: Rs 38,962


a) Pro Plus: Rs 737 per month

b) Business: Rs 1,479 per month

Adobe After Effects

1. Annual Plan, Paid Monthly: Rs 1,675 per month inclusive of GST

2. Annual Plan, Prepaid: Rs 19,158 per year inclusive of GST

3. Monthly Plan: Rs 2,514 per month inclusive of GST

Corel Draw 19

NEWCorel DRAW Graphics Suite 2021

1. Annual Plan, Paid Monthly: Rs 3,030 per month

2. Annual Plan: Rs 31,525 per year

3. One-Time Purchase: Rs 75,500


1. Business: Rs 1,111 per month

2. Unlimited: Rs 2,223 per month

Fl studio

1. FL Studio Fruity Edition: Rs 7,336

2. FL Studio Producer Edition: Rs 14,747

3. FL Studio Signature Bundle: Rs 22,158

4. FL Studio All Plugins Edition: Rs 36,979

Wondershare Filmora


a) Perceptual Plan: Rs 5,186

b) Subscription Plan: Rs 2,963

c) Monthly Plan: Rs 585


1. Lightsworkspro

a) Month License: Rs 1,851

b) Year License: Rs 12,968

c) Outright License: Rs 32,458

2. Avid DNxHD: Rs 4,816

3. QScan ONE: Rs 1,111 per month

Abode Audition

1. Annual Plan, Paid Monthly: Rs 1,675 per month inclusive of GST

2. Annual Plan, Prepaid: Rs 19,158 per year inclusive of GST

3. Monthly Plan: Rs 2,514 per month inclusive of GST

Source: TechSci Research

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