There are lots of excellent graphic design programs available in the market, but not all of them are free. Thanks to some free graphic design software, you no longer need to burn your pocket for paying premium designing software cost.
With the millions of graphics being designed and visuals being created now and then, it becomes quite important to have the best graphic design software to compete in highly artistic design sphere. Though Adobe Photoshop is a powerful designing software program that makes the work of designers incredibly comfortable as well as advanced. It is not the only way to go.
Many free design software programs and image editing tools might also be considered as Photoshop alternatives. I have compiled best graphic design software list to help you in creating stunning visuals. Some of these are free design software online while others are available for free download on your PC – [Windows, Mac, Linux] as well as smartphone and mobile devices – [Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc.].
31+ Best Free Graphic Design Software to Create Stunning Graphic Visuals
No matter whether you want to get started in graphic design or want to take your designing skill to advanced level – you’ll surely enjoy it. I have categorized the big list of graphic programs in various sections like vector art, image editor[pixel art], 3D and animations, infographics and other graphic design programs.
Vector Drawing Art
1. SVG-Edit – Vector Graphics Design in Browser
If you want to reproduce your drawing or vector art programmatically then, Scalable Vector Graphics [also known as SVG] is the format to do it. And the name of scalable vector graphics design software is SVG-Edit.
Though modern browsers come with capabilities to display PNG, GIF, JPEG, etc. files but if you are having trouble in viewing SVG files, you may fix it by installing Adobe SVG Viewer. Visit this SVG Tutorial page to learn more about various SVG element examples.
2. DrawPlus Starter Edition from Serif – Free Graphic Design Software for Windows
The starter edition of DrawPlus is amazingly 100% free graphic design software from Serif. It is a 2D vector graphics editor that lets you draw, design, edit and creates a perfect professional looking design.
DrawPlus has some outstanding features that let you make object 3D via extrusion, apply a broad range of 3D styles with a vast collection of brushes.
You may easily create bespoke designs, logos, technical drawings, animations and so much more with DrawPlus. There are various pre-defined templates and beginners tutorials also available to help you get started quickly.
3. Inkscape – Vector Graphics Editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
Looking for a perfect alternative to Adobe Illustrator or CoreIDraw, then InkScape is the editing tool to go with. InkScape is an open source vector graphics editor with many powerful features.
It also has good SVG integration with advanced features for print as well as web design. It is a professional graphic editor with straightforward and easy to use user-interface.
There are also various tutorials and previously created work galleries as well as tons of information to help you get started.
4. Skencil – A Vector Drawing Program for Unix/Linux OS
Skencil is free software interactive drawing program which is known for vector designing on Linux/Unix OS. It is a flexible and powerful tool for illustrations, diagrams and other purposes.
5. Ultimate Paint – Image Manipulation Tool for Windows
Ultimate Paint is a full featured 32-bit Windows graphic program for image creation, viewing and manipulation. The latest version comes with all basic functionality which you may use without any limitation.
It has a flexible brush handling method which encourages creative drawing. It supports PEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PCX, AVI (reading only), TGA, WMF/EMF, ICO (reading only), IFF/LBM and WAP BMP image formats and Twain compatible scanners.
6. SmoothDraw NX – Free Handheld Drawing Tool for Tablet Users
SmoothDraw is an easy, natural painting and digital free-hand drawing software that you may use to produce high-quality pictures. It supports many kinds of brushes (pen, pencil, dry media, airbrush, bristle brush, image hose, etc.), retouch tools, layers, etc.
7. Fat Paint – Best Page Creator Draw Program
Fat Paint is known as web’s best graphic design software, paint and logo maker. It is free to use image editing software that lets you create pages, vector illustrations, logos, edit photos and design products online.
8. My Paint – Open Source Graphic Design Application for Windows and GNU/Linux
If technical programs make you scared, then My Paint is a powerful digital graphic application that lets you focus on art rather than technical programs of software management so that you may concentrate on canvas without distractions.
It is a fast and easy to use open-source graphic design applications for digital painters and is available for Windows and Linux Users also.
Image Editing Tools [Pixel Art]
9. Paint.net – Free Image Editing Software for Windows
Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software for PCs that runs on Windows OS. Paint.NET is a perfect alternative to Windows inbuilt Microsoft Paint. It is simple to use image editing tool with some basic as well as advanced features.
Due to its powerful features, it is often compared to other digital photo editing packages like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Photo Editor and the GIMP.
10. GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program for Linux, Windows and Mac OS
GIMP is another powerful image manipulation program which is widely used for photo retouching, image manipulation, image authoring and image composition, etc.
It is an open source free graphic design software that is popularly known as a Photoshop alternative. Though GIMP was debuted on Unix based operating systems now, it is available for other OS like Windows, Mac OS X, etc. also.
11. Pixlr – Photo Editor for iPhones, iPad, Mac OS and Android
Autodesk Pixlr also known as Pixlr is a powerful image editing app for iOS and Android users. You may get it for free from App Store or Google Play Store. It is a fun and powerful photo editor that lets you quickly crop, rotate, and fine-tune any picture.
With Pixlr, you may choose over 2 millions combinations of free effects, overlays, and borders to further personalise your image. It is so easy to use that you may perform fantastic photo editing even if you have never edited the photo before.
12. Sumo Paint – Free Graphic Design Software Online [Browser]
If you want to start Photoshopping in your browser – Sumo Paint is there to help you. It is a free online image editor that you may either use online for photo editing or download to access all its app in offline. However, it is worth noting that you need to pay a subscription cost to access offline.
Using Sumo Paint, you may edit photos right through your web browser without the need of installing anything. Though having Adobe Flash is required to use it.
13. Image Magick – Bitmap Image Converter for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS and Android
Image Magick is a powerful tool to convert images from one version to another. For e.g. convert .Jpeg into .Png. It is a free bitmap image editor that lets you create, compose, edit and convert bitmap images to other versions.
Useful features like shearing, rotating and transforming images into flip or mirror, etc. makes it even more handy for graphic designers.
2D/3D and Animations
14. Daz Studio – 3D Models, 3D Animations, 3D Software for Windows, Mac
If you want to start learning 3D animation design, don’t look further and just visit Daz Studio now. Here you’ll get enough tutorials that would make you a 3D animation ninja – no matter, whatever your skill level is.
With Daz Studio, you may create your custom 3D characters, avatar, graphic design elements or create your virtual world with virtual moving animals, places, buildings, people and much more.
Create your artwork for short films & animations, illustrations for books and magazines, etc. This free 3D Animation software is very helpful in developing your 3D skill.
15. Sculptris – 3D Sculpting Design Software for Windows, Mac
If you want to unleash the power of 3D Sculpting, 3D Painting and move in an exciting World of 3D, then Pixologic has brought a powerful 3D sculpting tool for you.
It is a powerful 3D sculpting software with some robust features that lets you enter in a world of digital world without barriers. Whether you are new to 3D sculpting and 3D painting, or you want to take your sculpting skills to next level, Sculptris is the best place to start with.
16. Blender – Free and Open Source 3D Creation Software for Windows, Mac, Linux
Blender is one of the best 3D graphics program available for 3D art creation. It is an open source software which is available for free download on various platforms including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.
Blender has a bunch of 3D artwork tutorials and previous creations available on the website to learn 3D graphics design. There is also a very helpful community who are willing to answer your queries and help you succeed in 3D design.
17. Google SketchUp – 3D for Everyone Windows & Mac
3D SketchUp is so far the easiest way to draw in 3D. It is a powerful 3D modelling software that allows you to build 3D models quickly. The 3D graphic design program is quite simple to use. You can create almost anything with your imagination.
No matter whether you want to learn 3D drawing for educational purposes, use it for personal projects or professional 3D work – various versions of Google SketchUp is available for your needs.
18. 3D Canvas – 3D Crafter, 3D Modelling Software for Windows
3D Crafter (also known as 3D Canvas) is an intuitive 3D modelling software which comes with real-time 3D modelling and animation tool. It provides you with an easy control over 3D scenes with its drag-and-drop approach for 3D modelling.
It is a powerful graphic design software developed by Amabilis Software. It comes in three versions – 3D Crafter, 3D Crafter Plus and 3D Crafter Pro. The basic version is free while Pro and Plus costs money. Though advanced version provides you with an edge but still basic 3D Crafter has many advanced features. It runs on Windows 7/8/Vista.
19. Art of Illusion – Open Source 3D Modelling Software for Java
The Art of Illusion is a free, open source 3D modelling and rendering studio software. It is written in Java, so it is a powerful 3D design software to be used in many Java virtual machines.
On its website, you’ll get lots of tutorials, galleries of previous work as well as an active member forum who don’t mind helping you. So even if you are new to 3D modelling and looking to get started, Art of Illusion is perfect graphic design program for you.
20. Anim8or – 3D Modeller Software for Windows
Anim8or (pronounced as “animator”) is one of the oldest 3D modeller software which was introduced in 1999 and is still actively used all around. It is a 3D modelling and character animation program for Windows.
Anim8or has many powerful features like 3D modeller to create and modify 3D models, TrueType font support for 2D as well as 3D text, built in 3D object browser, Joint character editor and much more. You may also sign up for Ian’s new fantastic Anim8or course.
Want to Explore More? Checkout: 11 Best Free 3D Modeling Software for Beginners to Make 3D Printing Easier
Infographic Designing [Data Visualization]
21. Google Developers – Google Chart Tool Web Apps
Google Chart is a powerful tool offered by Google developers to create and customize charts from various data on the web. It is a simple to use free data visual tool that helps you in creating interactive pie charts, line charts, column charts, area charts, tree maps, bar, etc.
With Google Chart, you can easily create your data representation visuals and get the code to embed them into your web pages, spreadsheets, etc.
22. Visual.ly – Create Interactive Infographics Web Apps
Infographics are the new way of visual data representation which is blooming at a faster pace. Visual.ly is the best visual design software to create stunning infographics. It is a free graphic design software that lets you create and share interactive visuals.
Since Visual.ly is a social platform to create and share infographics, so you may also interact with other infographic designers and share your interactive visuals.
23. Infogr.am – Create Infographics and Visual Charts Online
Infogr.am is another powerful online tool to create stunning visuals and infographics. With Infog.am, you may create infographics, charts and other visuals in 3 simple steps: choose a pre-built template, visualize your data then publish and share.
You may also select charts and graphs from over 30 interactive chart types including bar, line, area, map and much more for free.
24. Easel.ly – Create and Share Visual Ideas Online
Easel.ly is another powerful infographic maker where you may start creating best of infographics easily. Even if you don’t know how to make an infographic, all you have to do is click on an infographic template after visiting the website and get started.
Easel.ly is a free graphic design software where you’ll find a huge number of graphic shapes and objects as well as infographics templates to create easily and share visuals online.
25. Visualize.me – Visualize Your Resume Online
Visualize.me is a personalized resume builder tool that lets you create and visualize your resume in one click. It enables you to create your infographic resume for free.
With over 500,000 infographics already created, Vizualize.me is the #1 infographics maker for resumes. There are many powerful tools present here that help you in creating a killer infographic resume.
Other Graphic Design Software Programs
26. Favicon Generator – Free Favicon Generator
It is a free favicon generator tool that lets you generate free favicon icon of your website. Just upload your file and click on generate favicon to get your favicon for free.
27. ColorPic – The Desktop Color Picker
ColorPic is a free desktop color picker to pick any color quickly from the screen. It allows you to grab color palettes of up to 16 colors at once. You may also use four advanced color mixers to pick a spectrum of possibilities.
28. Fast Stone Image Viewer – Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter
With advanced features like red-eye removal, color adjustments, photo browsing and emailing, cropping, etc. Fast Stone Image Viewer is another full featured powerful photo viewer, editor and batch converter.
29. Pixel Toolbox – Design Desktop Graphics for Windows
Pixel Toolbox is a powerful tool designed to help you create stunning graphics for your Windows systems. Create, edit, and apply 1-bit patterns, wallpaper tiles, icons, and cursors – all from a single pixel tool.
30. Prezi – Free Presentation Software
Prezi is a powerful free presentation software that helps you create, edit and explores presentations remotely from anywhere at your ease. It is available for desktop PCs as well as smartphones and tablets users which mean you may access it from anywhere. There is also inbuilt cloud integration that adds advanced features to it.
New Graphic Design Software for Free
31. Canva – Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software
Canva is a new sensation in the list of graphic design programs. It is a free web-based app that let you ideally design almost anything. The simple drag-an-drop feature makes it so easy that you don’t need to be a designer to design stunning graphics.
The Pro Review from TechReviewPro
Neither you have to be an expert designer, nor you need to pay premium graphic design software subscription cost to create stunning graphic designs. All you have to do is find out some free graphic design programs and get started to put your imagination on canvas and join the artistic sphere.
As I have already provided you with best design software tools – so just get started! I wish you all the best!
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