There are a lot of free or cheap websites and software to start a good design in hand. Let's take a look at some of them: 

Edit Your Pictures with Free Software 

Irfan View is only available for Windows. It is perfect for cropping photos or changing the size or color (e.g., for a black and white effect). The great thing about it: The program can open almost any file format and then save the file in any compression level (high quality or small file size) in another format. This also works for several photos at the same time (for example, if you want to send birthday photos to everyone without placing too many gigabytes on your friends). 

Gimp can do a little more than Irfan View. In addition to pure image editing (cropping, changing the file size, or the file format), it also has some Photoshop-like functions. The program is available free of charge for Windows and Mac. 

Lightroom is a tool for photographers and photo enthusiasts. It improves your photos (contrasts, brightness, colors) and is very simple and quite extensive. There is a fee for Windows and Mac, but there is an excellent app for Android and iOS that is free and offers many features. 

Inkscape is an open-source program that works like a scaled-down version of Adobe Illustrator. The vector graphics program is available free of charge for Windows and Mac and is particularly suitable for editing and creating logos and illustrations. Alternatives include SVG-Edit, the Gravit Designer, and Vectr. 

Remove.bg is the website of the hour if you have to go very quickly and you need an isolated image (e.g., for a scheme). Disadvantage: the image quality suffers in the free version. 

Graphic Design Websites to Use 

Canva provides you with many great templates to edit as you wish (change colors, change photos, change the font). Great for posters, flyers, or postcards. And also great for social media because you can preset the perfect aspect ratios there. Canva is available as a program or in a browser. 

Pageflow makes multimedia storytelling easy. The application was developed with the WDR for digital journalism and enabled the easy creation of full-screen web reports. Pageflow is open source software and, therefore, free of charge. 

Headliner is your program to subtitle a video or create a video from audio and a few pictures. It's quick and easy with Headliner. 

PowerPoint is easily underestimated as a graphics program and can do more than meets the eye. You can create your format templates with Powerpoint, export them to different file formats (.pdf, .png, .jpg) and - very important - work well in a team because you can send the file and open it somewhere else. This doesn't work so well with many other programs. Powerpoint is not free, but it is often already installed. Alternatives are Google Slides or, for Mac users, Keynote. 

Scribus: If Adobe Indesign is too expensive for you, you can use Scribus. The open-source program runs on Mac and Windows and is not as extensive as the Adobe product, but it can do more than most other (freeware) programs. 

Note: We selected all links to the best of our knowledge and belief. We are not commercially endorsed for  recommending them here.