Free or discounted tools to support the creative community during the Covid-19 crisis

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Earlier this year, as the UK went into a national lockdown for the first time, we saw so many tools and apps pull their socks up and generously give back to the creative community in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

They recognised that many of us were struggling, worried about cash flow or trying to survive and they offered discounts on their products and services. In some cases, they extended free trials, too. It was humbling, to say the least. And their kindness will never be forgotten.

But here we are again, in the run-up to Christmas on the eve of Black Friday, facing more restrictions, potentially until next spring. So we've asked you again, what offers are out there now? Free or discounted, to help creatives get through the next few months? We'd love to know – drop us a line.

Please note, this article was originally published on 25 March 2020 and has since been refreshed for Black Friday. Find more deals via Blackfriday.design.

Administration tools for running your business

Xero

We've teamed up with online accounting software Xero to offer 50% off its Starter plan (normally £10 per month) for four months*. That means for your first four months, you'll pay only £5 per month, and after four months it'll be just £10 per month. There's also a 30-day free trial if you want to try it out first.

1Password

The folks at 1Password removed the 30-day trial period on its 1Password Business so companies could "start keeping their teams secure without getting finance involved". In fact, they offered the first six months free, but that is no longer the case. However, if you drop them a line, they'll see what they can do to help.

Dropbox

One of our favourite cloud storage providers is giving special access to non-profits, NGOs, and educators impacted by Covid-19 with a free three-month subscription.

Google for Small Business

Earlier this year, Google launched a helpful resource for small businesses, listing all the tools and insights you need to stay productive during the pandemic. Even just having easy access to government announcements helps.

Marketing tools and resources

HubSpot

To support small businesses through the events of 2020, HubSpot has reduced the first-year cost of its Starter Growth Suite from $112.50 USD/month to $50 USD/month. This offer is available for purchase until further notice. All existing and new Starter Growth Suite customers can access the software bundle at the reduced price for 12 months from the time of purchase.

Hootsuite

Although Hootsuite's initial extended free access to its Professional plan to help small businesses and nonprofits stay connected to their customers has now ended, you can still get access to its 30-day trial.

UpForCollab by EyeEm

A new initiative titled #UpForCollab is a powerful, free-to-use platform open to the creative industry around the world to showcase the work and profiles of creators economically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It's a new dedicated resource for creatives available for work to connect with brands and agencies in the advertising, creative and media industry. All courtesy of EyeEm, the global marketplace for premium stock photography and professional photo & video productions, which has partnered with Geometry, WPP's end-to-end Creative Commerce agency.

Tools for communication and managing teams

Sigma

Earlier this year, Sigma introduced Workplace Express, a platform designed to meet all of your work-related needs here and now. Giving you a digital workplace hub, it's somewhere you can connect and collaborate with other freelancers or clients, making the new virtual world a breeze. As far as we can tell, Sigma continues to waive the licence fee for your first three months.

Slack

Nonprofits and educational facilities get paid Slack plans with incredibly generous discounts. The Slack for Education programme offers an 85% discount on our Standard or Plus paid subscriptions.

Tools and software for creative work

Adobe Creative Cloud

Some great discounts from Adobe today with between 25% and 75% off all apps in its Creative Cloud suite.

Affinity

Back in the early days of the coronavirus, Affinity was one of the first to step up and support the creative community. Today, you can enjoy 30% off everything for Black Friday. It's definitely worth a look: Affinity Designer, for example, is now £33.99.

RightFont

This professional font manager app for Mac helps designers preview, install, sync and manage their font files. For Black Friday, it's offering 30% off any of its plans.

Proto.io

Get 30% off on new annual plans or monthly to annual upgrades using code BFCM20 at checkout with Proto.io, the app that lets you create fully-interactive high-fidelity prototypes that look and work exactly as your app should. No coding required.

Online creative courses

Skillshare

Skillshare is giving us two months of free access to its Premium Membership for students. If you sign up today, you can unlock full access to over 24,000 classes taught by creators from around the world. No commitments. Cancel anytime.

Learn Squared

Learn Squared is another one to embrace Black Friday: Save 40% on all courses and bundles through to 30 November 2020.

SuperHi

SuperHi is becoming quite a force in the industry for creative education. It's offering various discounts on its courses. But one that caught our eye was a completely free course which was designed to help creatives launch their own portfolios to help them get jobs, too.

Udemy

More Black Friday discounts with courses at Udemy starting from £9.99 until 27 November 2020. Quickly grab a few before the offer ends. From business strategy, branding and search engine optimisation to social media and marketing, there are many courses that will help you boost your skills and business.

LinkedIn

Optimise working remotely in this set of online courses by LinkedIn. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments. Free to access for the first month.

Templates, stock imagery and assets

Creative Market

Explore hundreds of essential creative elements with up to 75% off during Creative Market's Black Friday sale. That's illustrations, social media templates, Procreate brushes and more discounted until 30 November.

MyFonts

For all you graphic designers out there now is the time to download those fonts you've had your eye on. MyFonts is offering between 20 and 80% on selected fonts.

Mockplus

Deeming itself the most robust all-in-one product design platform for prototyping, collaboration and design systems, Mockplus is offering 50% off all of its plans from now until 10 December 2020.

The Brand Identity

Our friends over at The Brand Identity have launched a free set of templates on their site, giving you access to gorgeous settings to showcase your graphic design projects.

iStock

Part of Getty Images, iStock is still offering loads of free images as a response to the pandemic. Covering various themes such as business, education and science, these high-quality stock images will serve you well on various projects. It doesn't look like there's any date when these will stop being available, either. But get them downloaded and added to your folders.

Briefbox

Briefbox is slashing its prices by 35% on everything including mentoring, courses, brief sets and templates. If you're looking to freshen up your portfolio or learn some new skills then now is the time. Use code BBNOV35 when checking out.

Elegant Themes

Elegant is offering free prizes, free bonus gifts, and exclusive discounts and perks from its partners in its Black Friday 2020 sale.

Iconscout

Iconscout is offering 50% off its annual subscription this Black Friday, which means you get access to all of its premium icons, illustrations and assets for half the price.


*Xero's offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. This offer is available until 31 March 2021 for new Xero Starter subscriptions in the UK and is subject to Xero's Offer Details. Your discounted Xero subscription commences on the date you sign up for the offer and ends at midnight, four calendar months after your sign up date. You will automatically be billed the full price for your Xero subscription after the offer period ends.