Edited by Nataly Bogorad
September 16, 2019
Best Free Graphic Design Software
When you are just starting with graphic design, investing a fortune in advanced professional programs may not seem the most rational move to make – particularly for those who do not see digital art as a source of income or students who are looking to make their first steps in this business. However, you’d be surprised how much you can actually do with little or no money spent on software. In fact, most tasks can easily be performed on free graphic designing programs.
We’ve compiled this list of best free graphic design software for Mac, Windows, and Linux based on their array of functions and tools, user-friendly interface and free availability. Some of them offer more opportunities to produce drawings and paintings from scratch, others are primarily aimed at editing photographs or producing creative presentations and infographics.
Top 8 Free Graphic Designing Programs
It is never easy to rate programs of a similar profile, as preferences regarding the interface and the toolset may be very subjective. Therefore we suggest trying each of these 7 solutions as all of them can be tested for free. Once you find the best free graphic design software that caters for all of your needs, it may be worth to consider investing in a Pro subscription or a license to take advantage of its full potential.
Although the full version of the program will cost you a license fee, a month-long trial version is free. Movavi Photo Editor offers its users a comprehensive selection of tools for editing photographs, which involves adding textual content as well as applying filters and effects. Speaking of the latter ones, their number is impressive – there are 13 categories with quite a few options included in each. The software supports most popular graphic formats, which makes it a universal solution for producing content aimed at different platforms.
This is one of the best free graphic design software for producing vector art. There is so much you can do with it that it can easily compete with Adobe Illustrator – particularly considering that the latter one requires a costly subscription fee. Complex path operations, bitmap tracing, node editing, and other advanced instruments are all available, although occasionally the program may seem a bit slow. This freeware is available for Windows 7 and others as well as Mac OS and Linux. As a bonus, you get to join their friendly online community.
The kind of program you can use for pretty much anything design-related. Whether you need to design apps and icons or presentations and illustrations, you’ll find all the necessary tools in Gravit. Mind that a full set of Pro features is only available throughout the trial period: once it’s gone, the software will offer you far less advanced options – but still enough to get most tasks done. A bonus point is that you get to access their in-built Gravit Cloud service so you can keep your masterpieces there – and work on them from wherever you are.
This open-source software is often considered a sound alternative to Adobe Lightroom. It offers a good selection of picture editing tools to process RAW photographs. Among the most useful options are deep exposure color correction, bar graph matching, HDR tone mapping and many more. Therefore, the program is adored by amateur and professional photographers. The software is available for macOS and Windows. The only objective drawback that has been reported is that in some previous versions RawTherapee used to crash unpredictably, but that seems to have been fixed.
This software is mostly dedicated to editing photographs. Its creators made a heavy emphasis on its interface so you will most likely find it perfectly logical and easy to use. All the basic correction instruments are included, and there are plenty of effects available on top. More advanced adjustments can be done by digging into layers and curves. Some options for working with textual content are available, too. As it was originally designed as a replacement to Microsoft Paint, you can download it for Windows 7 and later versions of the system.
As opposed to its solely Windows-based rival program paint.NET, GIMP is available for any computer with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is indeed a very powerful instrument for logos, editing images, drawing and producing graphic visuals. Its interface is quite similar to Adobe Photoshop. The default saving option is in GIMP’s own XCF format, other formats are available for exporting. The software also comes with a great support community which will ensure your smooth accustomization to GIMP. Whatever questions you may have, there is likely to be a tutorial with a thorough answer.
Krita was created by concept artists and illustrators, and you could tell that by the number of various brushes, textures, patterns and many more instruments that only true creators can make use of. Krita is the most comprehensive digital tool for drawing and painting. There are halftones and pre-made templates, smooth shapes and layer masks, wrap-around modes and pop-up palettes. This massive number of features may actually be a bit overwhelming, so don’t forget to check out their free tutorials to avoid getting lost.
Movavi Photo Editor
The easiest way to turn any snapshot into an eye candy
- Improve quality and retouch blemishes
- Add effects and filters
- Crop, straighten, and flip pictures
- Change image backgrounds and remove objects