The Best Free Graphic Design Tools

The Best Free Graphic Design Tools

Best Free Graphic Design Tools

Ready for our list of The Best Free Graphic Design Tools?  Although many software tools for graphic designers offer everything you need, the price point isn’t always ideal. For fledgling graphic designers, costly design suites aren’t easy to acquire. Thankfully there is a free graphic design tool available! This free graphic design tool stands out far above the rest.

Inkscape is a vector graphics opensource project and by far one of the best graphic design tools on the market. Authors and contributors constantly improve the editor through fixes, creating a program able to produce really high-quality images. According to many users, the features are comparable to Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and Xara Extreme! Inkscape is the perfect choice for your graphic design, and why it can help anyone from professionals to hobbyists.

A freehand Ferrari by a user of this free graphic design tool.

What Do I Need to Get Inkscape?

Getting Inkscape on your devices is not hard. The program is compatible with both MAC OS and Windows, as well as Linux. The Inkscape website has a free download link that makes it incredibly easy to obtain the software and jump right in! The site offers several manuals from basic to advanced on each feature and a large User Community for additional help. In fact, the helpful user community is one of the main reasons to download this free graphic design tool.

Does This Free Graphic Design Tool Have Publishing Options?

One of the bigger frustrations of free graphic design tools is the exporting options for projects. Often they aren’t compatible or limited to one or two formats that don’t offer much versatility. Thankfully Inkscape offers multiple publishing options, from web publishing to professional printing quality. You won’t worry about export options after designing your projects with Inkscape.

An Inkscape user uses the free graphic design tool to blur an image.

Features of Inkscape

A community of graphic designers creates and updates Inkscape. Opensource creators have a practical knowledge of what to look for, and so as they aim to build it. Some of the features of Inkscape include:

  • Object Creation Tools – these include drawing, shape and text tools. The program also offers embedded bitmap and cloning options. There is a comprehensive selection of writing utensils, such as pencil, pen, and calligraphy.
  • Object Manipulation Tools – Inkscape allows you to manipulate images either numerically or by click and drag. The platform also offers several object manipulation tools. These are Image transformation, Z-order operations, Grouping options, and layer manipulations.
  • Fill and Stroke Options – The program also offers typical fill and stroke options. Color selector tools, color picker tools, copy/ paste, gradient tools pattern fills and path markers.
  • Operations on Paths – The program offers a complete list of operations which compare to more advanced (and pricier!) software. Inkscape allows node editing, alignment, and distribution. You can convert to a path, perform Boolean Operations, path simplification, insetting, out setting and bitmap tracing.
  • Text Support – Inkscape hosts a variety of text support to offer more options to its designers. Multi-line text and installed font files are two offerings. In addition, Inkscape allows for kerning, letter spacing and line spacing. Text on path and text in shape are also possible!
  • Rendering – Rendering is incredibly convenient for Inkscape. Fully anti-aliased display, alpha transparency support and interactive “as you drag” are some of the features of this tool.
  • File Formats – SVG file forming and editing is possible on the platform. You can also export design files into PNG, OpenDocument, PDF and more with ease!

A User Community Worth Knowing

The users behind Inkscape are what makes this tool one of the best around. However, it features guides made by average users, video tutorials, and forums. Tutorial groupings cover all levels of skill, such as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skills. There’s even a forum for designers who use Inkscape for cartoon and game art. Or perhaps your niche is designing for cutting machines. The Inkscape community has thought of it all, and are eager to share tips and tricks.

The community doesn’t stop at the site, either. The Inkscape Twitter retweets users creations with the hashtag, #MadeWithInkscape. Periodically, Inkscape developers meet for Hackfest, which is an accelerated series of meetings to rewrite code and improve the application. The community drives development and constant tweaking to make a better product

a user demonstrates multipath on this free graphic design tool.

Supporting This Free Graphic Design Tool

If you’re able to offer support for this amazing tool, you really should. It costs a great deal to make and maintain a free product. That is especially true of such a high-quality one! There are plenty of easy ways to support Inkscape and everything they stand for.

The traditional method for supporting Inkscape is a donation to the Inkscape Fund. When users donate, this helps the group pay fees. Also, the funds help developers attend meetings and conferences. This is particularly important to keep developers aware of new developments and so as sharing research with other companies. Because of funding, Inkscape is able to collaborate with other companies to better products across the market.

You can also donate to support Hackfest, which are intensive sessions for Inkscape developers. With donated funds, developers are able to attend the meetings. At the multi-day events, users work on improvements. The meetings often result in bug fixes and new developments. Because of Hackfest, all users are able to benefit from product advances.

Funded Development is also an option to fund specific advances, bugs or other fixes for users. Developments in specific areas or focuses on content are also able to proceed with this option. When users donate to funded development, they are able to have a direct impact on a portion of the tool that they use the most.

All of these funding and donation options are also available with more information on the Inkscape website.

Inkscape, a Better Way to Design

Inkscape is the ideal graphic design tool because actual users build it which makes it one of the best graphic design tools.  Developers passionate about their product work on it daily and improve it, so as cheering on every fix and tweak. Larger companies and more professional software often miss that homegrown success of a opensource software.

Making some fantastic designs using Inkscape? Our printing capabilities here at Nonstop Sign can really showcase your artwork. From vinyl stickers, portfolios, banners and more, we can print your creation with the highest quality materials around.

 

Did you like our article on The Best Free Graphic Design Tools?  Here are a few more articles that graphic designers love!

Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
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