10 Free Graphic Design Tools
Looking for free graphic design tools? Don’t you just hate hearing the stereotype about starving artists? Thankfully, being an artist and being poor don’t have to go hand in hand. We’re thankful for advancements in our tech-savvy age that make education, distribution and earning a whiz for designers. Our favorite in particular? Free graphic design tools. It isn’t necessary to invest in expensive suites like PhotoShop and Adobe anymore. Free graphic design tools from the web make it easy to experiment and create without a huge cost commitment. We’ve gathered our 10 favorites for you here in case you’re in the mood to experiment. If you don’t see your personal favorite on the list, just tell us in the comments!
These 10 free graphic design tools are also the perfect way for hobbyists and beginners to experiment with their craft. Perhaps you design commercial graphics, illustrations or social media icons. Maybe you’re interested in game design or 3-D effects! Whatever your design passion is, there is a free tool on this list that can help you create it!
Canva, The Social Media Template Platform
Canva is an awesome web platform for new and experienced designers alike. The site specializes in templates created and uploaded by designers. These templates include social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also find bigger files for presentations, invites, and posters. Canva also has a library of illustrations and photographs that you can use for free! Even cooler is the option to subscribe for business and get ready access to your own brand fonts, color palettes and more to pull up with every new template. Experienced designers upload their own designs for free use or for a licensing fee, making Canva an opensource design option.
Photo POS Pro, A User-Friendly Photo Editor
Photo POS Pro is a free photo editor for PC that aims to make editing a breeze. It doesn’t have the hefty price tag of PhotoShop or as many complex options. Instead, Photo POS Pro makes photo-editing basics as friendly to the user as possible. More advanced skills are available for the adventurous as well! Using this software makes the editing process quick and easy. The results are beautiful, high-quality images that speak for themselves!
Krita, The Digital Artists’ Paint Set
Krita is a concept that has been in development since 1999. It’s geared heavily towards advanced digital painting techniques. Concept artists, illustrators, and lovers of texture will find a great toolset here. Like many programs on this list, it is opensource and created by artists who wanted to provide a paint set for everyone. Unlike several editors available, Krita runs on PC, Mac, and Linux.
Paint.NET, The Love Child of Paint and Photoshop
There’s not much not to love about Paint.NET, except some difficulty exporting files with high DPI. It’s similar to the beloved Paint app on Windows, but on steroids. In Paint.NET, you can toggle lighting, hues, saturation, and layers. Multiple gradient shapes and effects are also available! What makes this editor a true gem is the ease and simplicity of use. Generally, its geared towards photo editing rather than difficult artistic design. However, the ease of its’ functions and the free price tag are sure to charm you.
GIMP, A Creative Image Editor
GIMP is a much-loved tool by many graphic designers. It’s a complex photo editor with many functions, and since its’ opensource plug-ins and tweaks are available. Users and third parties build apps and plugins for this advanced editor frequently. All are available at your fingertips to design a quality project. GIMP is particularly focused on compatibility, so all file export options are top-notch. While it has many of the functions of Photoshop, it’s structured differently. Because of the difference, there is a version structured like Photoshop for those emigrating from the Adobe suite.
Inkscape, the Flexible Vector Editor
We recently lauded Inkscape as the best free graphic design tool we know of. The suite offers an incredible amount of functions. Furthermore, the designers and creators behind Inkscape take pride in bug fixes and new functions. Images are edited and created in this vector image editor. Besides offering the usual tools in editing programs, Inkscape also offers more advanced functions. Alpha blending, cloned objects, and markers are available in this program. It also supports a full range of color modes, bringing it close to Adobe Illustrator functions. The complete versions are available for PC and Linux, but there are abbreviated options available for Mac as well. This program should remain near the top of the list for free graphic design tools with its amazing capabilities.
Blender, The Free 3D Animation Suite
If you’ve ever had a curiosity about designing for 3D animation, you need to check out Blender. This is another opensource program that is proud of both its’ range and free status. The list of contributors to the program is staggering, as is the list of its’ capabilities. Blender supports modeling, rigging, animation, and simulation. The list doesn’t stop there either, as rendering, compositing and motion tracking are also possible. If you’ve ever thought about video game creation, know that you can accomplish that on Blender too!
Easel.ly, The Boardrooms Best Friend
Easel.ly is a web design studio that specializes in quick templates for business purpose. You can whip up everything from resumes, reports to charts and infographics. Your boss, co-workers, and audiences will be impressed, and you’ll have wasted the bare minimum of time to make your presentation pop. There are thousands of templates available, and you can even provide your own in the community! In particularly, Easel.ly’s easy-to-read and visually appealing infographics are the reason to use this web editor according to most designers. Basically, it’s an easy way to pop out a project for a client with minimal fuss.
Klex, Gravit’s Answer to Canva
Klex has a remarkably similar purpose and style as Canva. It’s run off the same powerful engine as Gravit Designer (more on that in a moment) but is geared towards giving anyone the opportunity to design. Tasteful and artistic graphics are prevalent here, and Klex is a great way to whip up stylish elements for branding. Furthermore, many templates and designs can be used to give a cohesive look to social media. Klexi is one of the best free graphic design tools for this reason. Its products are quick, easy to customize and stylish for any user.
Gravit Designer, the Complete Suite of Graphic Design
Gravit Designer is the one-stop shop for a lot of graphic design functions. The program can host an impressive number of purposes in its’ attractive appearance. It allows vector design of screens and icons, as well as animation, photo-editing, and presentations. Besides all its’ impressive capabilities, Gravit Designer exports multiple types of files. You won’t lose quality exporting to different formats, and you can access your projects anywhere with the program’s cloud service.
Our Favorite Free Graphic Design Tools
These ten tools have made the lives of many graphic designers easier. Whether impressing with their wide list of functions or the clean-cut simplicity of use, each has something important to bring to the table. Hobbyists, as well as experienced designers alike, can benefit from each tool on the list to use professionally. Graphic designers aren’t the only ones using these programs either! Social media managers and influencers can create graphics to grow their audiences. Photographers can also edit their images with several programs listed here.
Interestingly, the opensource format of all of these impressive tools seeks to turn the idea of a starving poor artist on its’ ear. Furthermore, they don’t buy into the high price-tags of popular design suites! They believe in making art and creation accessible to everyone. Because creating and maintaining programs like this isn’t cheap, we always encourage users to donate in support of their favorite programs whenever they can.
Interested in a high-quality way to display your work for a prospective client? Consider printing your best projects into a sleek booklet to hand out!