Download free graphic design software right now – all the top applications get you started in graphic design.
We have compiled this list of the very best free graphic design software available to download or use in your browser right now.
Not everyone has the spare cash to spend kitting themselves out with the most expensive graphic design software, particularly when starting a new business or embarking on a new career in design. Fortunately, there is a whole heap of great free graphic design software out there to get creatives started.
To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve compiled this list and divided it into five sections: vector art, image editing, 3D, infographics, and other useful tools. Thinking about getting a subscription with Adobe instead? Find out all about Creative Cloud here. But here follows the free applications!
- Platform: Linux, Windows, Mac
Open-source free graphic design software that debuted on Unix-based platforms, GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. Today it’s available in versions for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
GIMP’s interface differs somewhat from Photoshop, but a version of GIMP is available that mimics Adobe’s look and feel, making it easier to migrate over if you’re ditching Photoshop. The full suite of tools is available here – everything you’re accustomed to is within easy reach, including painting tools, colour correction, cloning, selection, and enhancement.
The team that oversees development has worked hard to ensure compatibility too, so you’ll be able to work with all the popular file formats without any trouble at all. You’ll also find a very capable file manager built in, along similar lines to Adobe’s Bridge.
Platform: Web BrowserIf you’re looking to quickly output SVG, or edit an existing SVG file, there are a few online editors that will do the job just as well as Adobe Illustrator. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open format that allows you to reproduce your Vector drawings programmatically, and one of the nicest projects is SVG-Edit.
The standard, albeit basic, toolset of every vector-image editor is here, and although it’s limited to the SVG format it’s surprisingly capable.
Platform: Windows/Linux (Mac possible if you’re technically minded)
As with many of the free options available, Inkscape focuses on the SVG format as its primary file format. This highly capable editor has a very good SVG integration, supporting many of the more advanced features that aren’t always available in other apps – such as alpha blending, cloned objects, and markers.
Full support for different colour modes means this is a viable alternative to Illustrator for both print and web design, and although the interface is somewhat simpler than Illustrator, it’s still possible to achieve extremely sophisticated artwork. Of particular note is the ability to trace bitmap images, support for variable width strokes and native import of Illustrator files.
There are source binaries available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and compiled versions currently offered for Windows and Linux.