5 Excellent Free Graphic Design Programs
Whoever wants to embark on the world of graphic design, digital illustration or photo retouching, has before him a wide range of possibilities and programs to choose from to do a job. The Adobe suite, for example, represents without a doubt an excellent choice for a professional job. Whether for Photoshop – for photo retouching or digital design – or for Illustrator – for vector graphics – or Lightroom – for post production – Adobe package is one of the most used payment options for graphic designers, illustrators and photographers.
But not everyone can afford to pay a monthly subscription to one or more Adobe Creative Cloud programs, especially if you are just starting out or if you want to start a new career in designing and practicing, or simply if you need a free tool to make some specific projects. On the Internet there is a wide range of free graphic design programs available, but it is undeniable that it is necessary to select free resources well. Otherwise, you risk losing your time and take it away from the learning and practice phase, which is fundamental if you are serious.
So we propose a selection of 5 free graphic design programs, useful to carry out a job …
1) Gravit Designer
Platforms: Online (browser), Windows PC, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS
Formerly known as Gravit, Gravit Designer is a suite of vector design very complete and suitable for different types of jobs, from the design of icons to presentations, illustrations and animations. As soon as you enter the program, you can decide the measurements of the work area, in addition to standard formats such as Blog Cover, Facebook Cover or graphic designs designed to perfectly fill the screen of the iPhone X, so the program is clearly up to date.
The interface is very simple and intuitive and offers an interesting set of tools to create complex vector images with non-destructive changes, including diagrams. Among the tools it offers, is, for example, the pen, the clipping tool and the selection tool. You can also create simple shapes and there is a system that completes them automatically, but it also offers composite vector shapes joining different objects.
It is one of the most versatile online graphic design programs in circulation, suitable for those who are just starting out and for the most expert designers. The files can be exported to PDF, SVG or bitmap and there is also a Gravit Cloud service that allows you to access all your work from anywhere.
Platforms: Windows PC, Linux, Mac
Inkscape always appears in the lists of vector graphic design programs and is very versatile and powerful. In fact, it is one of the best free and open source solutions that can be used as an alternative to Illustrator. It focuses on the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) formats, but allows importing and exporting many other formats. Inkscape offers maximum compatibility with several proprietary formats (especially AI, EPS, PDF, JPEG, GIF and PNG).
Even if you do not have the infinity of Illustrator functions -such as “plug-ins” or external plug-ins and filters-Inkscape does its job: from the basics, such as creating and modifying complex shapes in layers, editing texts and importing images raster, to create animations Gif. The same developers, in addition to the large Inkscape community, have included several tutorials to make it easier to become familiar with the program.
The real limit of Inkscape is the fact that it does not allow to work in CMYK (fundamental to create jobs for printing), but only in RGB (generally used for works destined to Internet). Probably, the option compatible with the CMYK color mode will arrive with the next updates. Meanwhile, you can finish designing a creation in Inkscape and import it into Scribus – another free program compatible with CMYK – following this tutorial. A bit convoluted, but it is the price you have to pay to have it all for free.
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux
It is a truly versatile digital design program, in development since 1999 and designed by artists from the field of conceptual art, texture painting and matte painting, and illustrators and cartoonists. It already comes with a series of brushes suitable for different types of work and styles, but there are also many add-ons available to insert advanced filters and advanced guides in order to make life easier for artists.
The possibilities offered by this program go further, such as, for example, the brush stabilizer, which allows you to design soft lines even for those with poor pulse, easily create patterns, textures and a pop-up color palette to quickly choose the most suitable for the design in which you are working. Yes, Krita supports CMYK color mode (in addition to, obviously, RGB), but it also has advanced features that are hard to find in other free online graphic design programs, such as HDR design.
Platforms: Android, iOS
It is a photo retouching application for both Android smartphones and iPhone. The application is free (but includes advertising) and has more than 600 filters to apply to images or pictures just taken. On the other hand, you can add borders, stickers, create “collages” of photos to share later and, in addition, use the filters in real time in the images taken by the smartphone’s camera. Its use is very simple: once started, you can decide whether to take a photograph (to edit later), edit an existing photograph or make a “collage”. It is not exactly an advanced graphic design program, but a useful tool to edit photographs and images from your mobile.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
When talking about free graphic design programs, we cannot leave out the GIMP program (GNU Image Manipulation Program), an alternative to Photoshop that, at first, premiered on UNIX platforms. The GIMP interface is different from Photoshop for several reasons, although there is a version that reproduces the appearance of the Adobe program. It offers a long series of tools to draw, color and improve photographs and images, supports several formats without problems and also includes a file manager similar to Adobe Bridge, always very useful.
Design programs ñ or gr to online fico: other free alternatives certainly, there are five programs not only free Internet graphics design: sometimes depends on taste. Being all free, it is worth trying them to find the one that comes closest to what each one needs. On the Internet you can find other well developed programs, such as Vectr and SVG Edit vector graphic design programs, to obtain fundamentally free vector images. To edit images, there is also Photo Pos Pro, while to edit photos on the mobile is VSCO.