Top 30 Free Software for Graphic Designers

The graphic interface design has always been an important part of the digital world. Almost all major brands and companies use graphic design – nowadays you can’t do without high-quality design. Graphics are also widely used in the movie industry. Graphic designers can create entire worlds with the help of a computer and various programs, which help in the realization of an idea. Nevertheless, despite a lot of useful software, designers are always on the lookout for new tools that will help simplify their work.

It is commonly believed that a quality working tool must be expensive. Sometimes they are, but there is also a wide choice of free software with a lot of functions, which are more than just competitive.

Whether a designer is a professional or an amateur, if he wants to develop and improve his skills, he should constantly monitor the emergence of new tools and services. It is desirable that such tools are free, or at least not too expensive. And today we offer our top 30 lists of free software, useful for any graphic designer.

Canva

Canva

Platform: Android, iOS, Browser

Canva is a very popular and convenient online service. This extensive and functional software is pretty easy to use, however, you need to register or authorize using your Google account. Collages are only a small part of Canva’s capabilities. Here you can create almost anything – from postcards to magazine and book covers. Projects can be supplemented with graphics, text, and even charts and diagrams, which will be useful for presentations. The finished work can be saved in PDF, PNG, or JPG format. Perhaps the only serious disadvantage of the service is the impossibility to choose the final resolution of the file. Otherwise, it is one of the best options, available on the web today.

GIMP

GIMP

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux

What designer doesn’t know about GIMP! This free, lightweight, and powerful bitmap graphics editor is based on the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) and has grown into a complete and competitive solution for image optimization and processing. Originally developed for GNU / Linux, the program now runs on all common Windows and macOS systems.

GIMP is used by thousands of designers and photographers around the world. GIMP has everything you need for raster graphics, including a very handy color management tool. This functionality allows you to create files with guaranteed rendering that look equally good on computer and mobile displays, as well as on physical media.

The program allows you to perform basic photo processing, supports brushes, filters, layers, and masks. Of course, it is inferior to Photoshop, but it is enough for amateurs. Besides, GIMP supports Photoshop brushes and plugins, and it has its extensions.

Inkscape

Inkscape

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Inkscape is a free open-source vector graphics editor, which is very similar to such professional programs as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, and Xara X. What makes Inkscape different is that it uses Scalable Vector Graphic, or SVG, as its default format.

This powerful editor offers many tools and features that are often unavailable in other similar programs. Among them are alpha blending, object cloning, and markers. The full support for various color models makes Inkscape a very convenient alternative for Adobe Illustrator for both web design and printing. With all the simplicity of the interface, you can create incredibly complex works in this program. Worthy of special attention are the possibilities of converting bitmap images to vector, the creation of variable width outlines, and the support for Illustrator files.

Designers who are familiar with vector graphics can easily master this program. Projects of any complexity can be created in the program. The finished work can be published on the web or printed on physical media. Inkscape is a cross-platform editor and can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux computers.

Gravit

Gravit

Platforms: Browser, Windows, macOS, Linux

Gravit Designer is a full-featured vector editor. It is suitable for any task: from interface design and icons to work with presentations, illustrations, and animation.

The neat and intuitive interface of Gravit Designer can be customized. The editor contains a lot of tools for creating beautifully detailed vector images. Among them are non-destructive (their action can be undone) Boolean functions, the Knife and Path Graph tools plus many fill and blend modes, and a powerful text engine.

If you need to access your work on the go, the Gravit Cloud service lets you return to your project on any device.

Gravit is one of the most advanced free design tools for professional and amateur designers. With Gravit, you can easily create beautiful logos, business cards, websites, and social media covers. The powerful functionality of Gravit will allow you to create great designs without much effort.

Krita

Krita

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Krita is a free open-source raster-based graphical editor. Originally this editor was developed with comics artists in mind, so there is a great toolkit for working with halftones and processing ready-made templates. However, over time Krita has added other features so that the editor is suitable for all genres. At first, the functionality of Krita might seem a little confusing, but you can find a lot of instructions and tutorial videos on the web.

Krita has been around since 1998 and is constantly being improved to meet the needs of concept artists, illustrators, visual effects specialists, and texture specialists.

The program includes a wide variety of brushes and supports many plug-ins: from advanced filters to perspective auxiliary tools. Among the most interesting features are brush-stabilizers that smooth outlines, a looping mode for creating seamless patterns and textures, and a pop-up palette for quick color selection.

Paint.NET

PainNet

Platform: Windows

Paint.NET is a free bitmap editor, which is an alternative to the Paint program built into all versions of Windows. The basic structure of the application is Microsoft.NET, installed by default. Since the platform works only in the Windows environment, Paint.NET is not available for other platforms.

With this editor, you can not only work on multiple levels but also change several projects in parallel, which are conveniently opened using tabs. Each tab shows a small preview of the image: a feature that is handy for quickly opening the projects you want. You’ll also find basic optimization tools for adjusting brightness, saturation, contrast, and hue, as well as a curve gradation for color tone correction or a tool for removing red-eye effects.

The development team focuses on ease of use and improves Paint.NET’s photo editing features rather than its graphic design capabilities. Nevertheless, Paint.NET allows you to control perspective, manipulate pixels on the canvas, clone highlights, and much more.

SVG—Edit

SVG-Edit

Platforms: Browser

SVG-edit is one of the oldest browser-based SVG editors, with the first version released in February 2009. The good thing about this editor is that it’s completely free. SVG-edit is a fast JavaScript-based SVG graphics editor that works in any modern browser.

If you need to quickly create or edit a simple SVG file, several online editors are as good as Adobe Illustrator for this task. Among the best of them is SVG-Edit.

This editor is all in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript and doesn’t use servers to process data. The code for SVG-Edit is open-source. So if you want you can download it and modify it to create your version of the editor.

SVG-Edit has all the basic tools of a vector editor. But it only supports SVG format.

Vectr

Vectr

Platforms: Browser, Windows, macOS, Linux

Vectr is a free design application for creating a wide variety of graphic projects, from fashion prints to full-fledged graphics for websites. Vectr has a simple and intuitive interface and allows you to export created files in real-time. The tool also has functionality that allows you to exchange information between different devices, making it a handy tool for team design.

Vectr offers all the features you could ever need to create vector graphics, plus plenty of options for using filters, shadows, and fonts. That’s enough to handle most everyday design tasks. Especially useful are the collaborative editing and synchronization features that allow you to work whenever and wherever you want in tandem with others.

Pixlr

Pixlr

Platforms: Browser, iOS, Android

This web application can be used for free without registration in all common browsers. However, you need to install Adobe Flash Player, as the program contains various Flash elements. Pixlr Express is a smaller version for simple image editing.

Pixlr offers over 600 effects, overlays, and frames. In this service you can do everything you should expect from a photo editor: resize images, crop them, remove the red-eye effect, whiten your teeth, and much more. If you are familiar with Photoshop, you will very quickly master the web version of Pixlr. The interfaces of these editors are very similar.

Pixlr Editor is the best proof that even a free online image editing program can keep up with the industry’s most famous giants. The look and typical layout of the controls make the user forget that this is a web application that runs in a browser, especially when using full-screen mode.

Vecteezy

Vecteezy

Platform: Browser

Vecteezy Editor is another browser-based vector editor that works in conjunction with Vecteezy vector graphics. The tool allows you to edit and customize vectors based on Vecteezy’s free vector graphics database or import your SVG files to make basic adjustments.

While Vecteezy Editor is an easy-to-use tool for making common changes and adjustments to your SVG files without having to download or install any other software. Vecteezy comes with a very limited range of tools, but it does have a set of basic editing and design customization tools. It’s mostly suitable for quick changes and last-minute adjustments.

Blender

Blender

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Blender is an advanced free and open-source 3D graphics editor available for all major platforms. The developers are constantly improving Blender. It supports all possible 3D graphics operations: it allows modeling, texturing, animating, rendering, and linking.

Blender is a powerful program for working with three-dimensional graphics. The editor is not only free for personal use, but also commercial use, so it is willingly used by game studios, animators, and famous designers from around the world. The program is incredibly flexible. Like GIMP, it is full of plugins and tools. Alas, it is pretty difficult to learn how to use Blender, but you are unlikely to find a simple professional 3D editor anywhere.

RAWTherapee

RAWTherapee

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

This image editing software is not only free but also open source, so you can use and modify it without restrictions. RAWTherapee is designed primarily for professional and amateur photographers who want to get the most out of their photos. The software is also compatible with JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.

RAWTherapee is undoubtedly one of the best image processing programs for RAW files on the free software market. Users are provided with everything they need for simple photo processing. With the ability to save editable profiles, you can optimize multiple images with the same settings. However, the open-source tool is less suitable for larger and more creative adjustment tasks because of the small number of effects and the lack of tools for precision work.

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint

Platforms: Browser

The free bitmap editor, Sumo Paint, is fast on the web and handles tasks as well as desktop editors. But you need Adobe Flash Player to run it. So Sumo Paint is not suitable for iOS devices.

Sumo Paint’s arsenal of settings and features includes pencils, brushes, text, gradients, clones, shapes, and more. All of this is always within view in a floating panel like the one you might have seen in Photoshop.

Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro

Platforms: Windows

If you work on Windows and don’t need as many tools as GIMP has, your perfect design software might be Photo Pos Pro. It is designed with image editing in mind and does a great job with typical tasks like adjusting contrast, lighting, and saturation. But Photo Pos Pro is also suitable for more complex manipulations.

This program boasts a very user-friendly interface and detailed tutorials to help newcomers understand it. If you want to make Photo Pos Pro even more functional, there are many extensions and plugins available on the web at your disposal.

Houdini Apprentice

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Houdini is a 3D animation and visual effects tool that is often used when working on movies, TV shows, and other media content.

The full version of the editor is very costly, but the program’s developers, Side Effects Software, let you use the Houdini Apprentice version for free. It gives you access to all the features of the full version and allows you to hone your skills on personal projects. Houdini Apprentice is intended solely for non-commercial and educational purposes.

Daz Studio

Daz Studio

Platforms: Windows, macOS

With Daz Studio you can customize, move, and animate a variety of 3D-objects such as people, animals, furniture, etc. You can create unique characters, worlds, various design elements, and more. But Daz Studio lacks the modeling and texturing capabilities available in paid alternatives.

DAZ Studio is designed as an alternative to expensive and complex 3D animation programs. The program allows you to create detailed 3D models and scenes by inserting ready-to-use models. You can purchase models through the DAZ 3D Store and insert them into your scene. Once inserted, you can customize the appearance of virtual people, props, animals, accessories, environments, and vehicles. You can choose different poses for your models and give them unique animations. The program also allows you to choose different lighting options and camera angles to view your 3D creations. Plugins are available to add advanced functionality to the program.

Hexagon

Hexagon

Platforms: Windows, macOS

Hexagon is a free tool for 3D modeling. It has everything you may need to create detailed models ready for final rendering.

Among the tools and features, you will find the ability to quickly import from Daz Studio, blanks for different objects, brushes for manual modeling, UV-rotation (laying flat textures on three-dimensional objects), and much more.

The peculiarity of this editor is the ability to work directly with the model, without having to open numerous dialog windows and search through them for the parameters you need. All the most necessary tools, of which there are about 10, are placed in a handy panel. Of course, it is possible to customize the interface for specific tasks.

SketchUp

SketchUp

Platforms: Browser

SketchUp combines simplicity and functionality, with a user-friendly and clear interface, making it the ideal program for 3D model development and provisioning.

SketchUp is free and has all the tools you need for 3D modeling. Suitable for professional use by architects, designers, and engineers.

SketchUp Free can be called the perfect entry point into the world of 3D graphics. This editor introduces the beginner in a friendly way and forgives any mistakes made. You can start by simply drawing lines and shapes and then transform them into 3D objects.

Sculptris

Sculptris

Platforms: Windows, macOS

Sculptris is a virtual sculpting tool based on the concept of clay molding. It is a fantastic program designed for creating figurines. For example, you can make a bust of your favorite video game or comic book character. Sculptris is completely free and positions itself as a gateway to more complex and expensive tools like ZBrush (Sculptris is based on the ZBrush editor, which is also developed by Pixologic, the most popular app for digital sculpting).

Fontstruct

Fontstruct

Platform: Browser

With the Fontstruct tool, you can very easily create your fonts based on geometric shapes. The process of font creation takes place in the FontStructor editor. When the design is done, the tool will create a TrueType font, ready to use in any application. You can use the new font for personal projects but the creators of the service recommend sharing your creations with other Fontstruct community members.

Easel.ly

Easel ly

Platform: Browser

Easel.ly is a free online service for creating vibrant infographics. If you need a scheme for your presentation, you can try to create it from scratch with a vector editor like Inkscape, or you can use Easel.ly, a simpler and more intuitive “constructor”. The service offers a large selection of free templates and elements. You can save your designs in PDF or JPG format, but most importantly, unlike other free infographic editors, Easel.ly doesn’t try to put a watermark on your work.

Behance

Behance

Platform: Browser, iOS, Android

Behance was launched in 2006 and is the largest community and source of inspiration for people in the creative professions. In 2012, Behance was acquired by Adobe, which integrated the platform with its Creative Cloud service.

Through Behance, millions of designers, illustrators, and photographers showcase their work, share their experiences, receive rave reviews, and comment on the work of their colleagues. Work cannot be evaluated negatively. You can either support the author by clicking “Appreciate this” or leave the work unchanged.

Dribbble

Dribbble

Platform: Browser, Android, iOS

Dribbble is a web portal established for designers and other creative professionals. It was created by Dan Cederholm, the founder of the American design studio Simple Bits.

Dribbble is a Twitter for graphical content, where you can share small screenshots of your designs and samples. The size of the images should not exceed 120 thousand square pixels. If the uploaded picture is larger, the site will cut it off.

Lipsum

LIpsum

Platform: Browser

The first and most popular Loren Ipsum Generator. This tool got into the list of useful tools for graphic designers not only because it offers various options for creating demo text. You choose the number of paragraphs and characters in them, and the portal does everything for you.

Klex

Klex

Platform: Browser, iOS, Windows, Android, Chrome

From the creators of Gravit Designer, Klex is a simplified illustration tool that helps you quickly and easily create stunning images for social sharing, business, or personal use. With access to thousands of high-quality resources, effects, fonts and styles, and professionally designed templates to get you started, Klex offers a quick and easy way to create beautiful images.

Google Fonts

Google Fonts

Platform: Browser

Fonts play a huge role in the quality of presentation and ease of perception of information. Webmasters take their nuances into account because the choice of fonts has an impact on on-site visitors.

Google Fonts is the best free font catalog with about 1,000 font families in more than 135 languages. We have made a selection of 10 of the most interesting variants, suitable for installation on the site and PC.

Google Charts

Google Charts

Platform: Browser

Another useful tool from Google is Google Charts. It is a cloud-based web service that allows you to visualize data and helps present statistics in the form of pie charts, graphs, icons, etc.

Google Charts is a pure JavaScript-based chart library designed to improve web applications by adding interactive charting capabilities. It supports a wide range of charts. Charts are created using SVG in standard browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer.

CheckMyColors

CheckMyColors

Platform: Browser

CheckMyColors is a free online service for analyzing the color scheme of a website. If the color scheme is unsuccessful, the service will point out errors. Beginning web designers often do not pay attention to a harmonious combination of background and basic design elements, so to insure, it is worth using the tool CheckMyColors, which uses the algorithms of the W3C consortium. With this service, you can determine whether the elements contrast well with each other. If you find that the color of an element does not match the background, the service will flag the error.

Infogram

Infogram

Platform: Browser

Infogram is a service developed for creating and sharing diagrams, infographics, online maps, and interactive diagrams. The platform includes various options, including collaborations with restricted access rights and privacy settings. The system works in the cloud, so it can be accessed from both PC and smartphones.

The software is designed for professionals and teams working in media, marketing, education, and sales segments, so anyone who needs to communicate an array of data in a visually memorable way.

The Data Editor lets you add icons, styles, and colors, set display options, and adjust slides with Drag & Drop. The service provides over 35 interactive chart templates and over 500 maps to help visualize data, including pie charts, bar charts, column tables, and word clouds.

Vizualize.me

Vizualize me

Platform: Browser

Another infographic creating service in our list is Vizualize.me. All tools and functions of the system are available for free. The project performs the task based on the information in social networks (access to the account is required).

Vizualize.me features will be necessary for everyone who is searching for a job or wants to design his site for finding an employer. It allows you to visualize information about yourself so that anyone could more easily and better read the offer. The service collects all experiences from previous jobs from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare profiles.