Visual elements have great significance whether you are into social media marketing, designing appealing UIs for websites, or graphics for brands. According to research by Stanford University, 94% of a website’s impressions are based on its design. Another study claims that users only take 50 milliseconds to establish an opinion about your site.
So, you can say user interfaces, flyers, logos, packaging, and the visual appeal of social media posts influence the users a lot. However, it could be expensive for individuals to subscribe to design software like Photoshop or hire a graphic designer. Hence, what about using free graphic design software or online tools? Let’s explore one of the top-notch design programs through this guide.
What is the Best Free Graphic Design Software?
An application program that is associated with creating, manipulating, and editing visual content refers to graphic design software. These programs are available in different forms, including browser applications and desktop software. Here are the top freeware options:
Canva – Web-based platform, best for beginners to design flyers, logos, and social media content
Lunacy – Cross-platform solution to design UIs and visual elements
Blender – Production-grade 3D software best for video editing, animation & modeling
VistaCreate – Online software to generate posters, flyers, and social media graphics
Krita – An open-source platform suitable for digital painting, sketching and animations
Vectr – Efficient program for vector graphics, illustrations, typography, and photo editing
GIMP – Offers efficient workflow with a rich toolset like Photoshop to beginners
SketchUp – Best designing software for architects to design 3D and 2D layouts
Canva is a free, online, and complete visual suite for beginners and experienced designers. Indeed, whether you want to build your online presence through websites, graphs, charts, logos, flyers, etc., Canva is always here to support you. Around 150 million users from 190 countries are benefiting from this amazing web-based graphic design tool.
You can find a huge collection of free animations, fonts, templates, illustrations, and photographs with easy customization functionalities here. Mainly, 81k+ highly-tailored education templates under ‘Canva for education’ differentiate it from other tools. So, you simply need to sign up on Canva and can build anything like a pro.
If we talk about the cons, the most appealing features can only be accessed if you are using its premium version. Also, you can’t download visuals into 300 DPI, which is a significant drawback of using Canva.
If you are a UI/UX designer, digital marketer, or into vector elements editing, Lunacy is a truly free graphic design software for you. It comes in the form of a desktop application and is compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows. A library of 1,185,600 icons, 71,656 illustrations, 140,836 photos, and support for 25 languages give Lunacy an edge over competitors.
By the same token, you can use image upscaler to enhance resolution, seamlessly remove backgrounds, and modify live web pages without paying anything. Traits like Lunacy Cloud to backlog your work and auto layouts would amaze you using this 100% free desktop application.
In case you are collaborating with a team, Lunacy lets you work with 100 teammates. Novice designers can join the Icons8 community forum and discuss their queries with experts.
Blender is an ideal open-source and free graphic design software for video editing, designing animated movies, 2D animation, motion tracking, skinning, 3D modeling, sculpting, and simulations. Highly customized layouts, render API support, sound synchronization, and real-time previews make Blender a perfect choice for seasoned graphic designs.
The drawback is that although Blender is a powerful design software but it is not ideal for beginners and marketers with limited skills. It has been crafted for highly skilled experts and is typically used for big projects like filmmaking, animated clips, and ads.
VistaCreate is an advanced, free, and similar to Canva graphic design tool that is best for social media marketing teams and beginners. You can approach 1 million photos, videos, vectors, and 100+ templates with no cost while using this platform. 10 GB storage and smooth integration with social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram also give it a plus point.
In case you are a brand, VistaCreate will aid you with all essential visual elements to showcase your products and services. You can also schedule your social media posts here. The drawback is that it isn’t very easy to find and use advanced photo editing tools with VistaCreate.
If you are looking for free digital painting software or a raster graphics editor, don’t ignore Krita. This open-source program has great compatibility with iOS devices, Windows and Linux. The availability of 100+ brushes, 3 brush stabilizing methods, 9 brush engines, and 30+ dockers makes Krita a perfect online painting and designing solution.
It is also seamless to import brushes and further functionalities to expand your toolkit using this program. Probably, using Krita could be complicated for newbies, but its training resources can help you train yourself.
GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is another one of the top-notch free graphic design software available in 82 languages. This raster graphic editor is considered software like Photoshop because of its image editing, transcoding, and photo enhancement properties.
Especially if you are looking for a highly tailored platform for digital retouching, and photo enhancement, you must consider GIMP. It is compatible with Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, Sun OpenSolaris, and Windows. Withal, you should only pick GIMP if you are experienced enough. Limited support for third-party plugins and incompetency to handle more layouts are cons of using this software.
Are you looking for handy graphic design software with a drag-and-drop editor? If yes, try DocHipo. With 28k+ global users, this is a credible, free tool for content creators, enterprises, and marketing teams. It allows users to craft advertisements for X, Meta, Instagram, etc.
Similarly, you can seamlessly create logos, flyers, brochures, posters, and presentations to promote your brand with online graphic design tools. Unfortunately, only 1k free templates and 100 text frames are available under the free plan; you must switch to the pro model to access premium features.
If you are designing for the construction industry or drafting complex furniture objects in 3D, SketchUp should be your preference. It is one of the finest 3D modeling software that doesn’t cost you anything for its free-tier program. Also, you don’t have to insert credit card details to start using its web version.
With this program, you can access user-produced models to get new ideas. In addition, 10 GB of cloud storage and mobile previews of your 3D models make it a valuable platform. However, creators should expand the rendering limit and enable automation for the convenience of graphic designers.
DesignWizard is another free-tier graphic design tool that confers 15 MB storage space, 10k templates and 1 million royalty-free images. Beginners can also swiftly resize the images, utilize color palettes and draft visuals with built-in templates using this web-based tool.
Though DesignWizard is considered as an alternative to Canva but most of the elements are paid here. Finding free templates and further visual components is troublesome when you use this platform. Limited customization options are also a drawback.
10. Paint 3D
Anyone who uses Windows must be aware of the ‘Paint’ program. Paint 3D is basically a novel version of Microsoft Paint that you can install on your device if you are using Windows 10 or its newest version. The main agenda of this software is to give life to your creativity.
It offers users several tools, brushes, and dimensions to explore their hidden talent. In simple words, you can craft 2D and 3D graphics with this free tool. You can consider it your first step towards professional design. If we discuss the limitations, it is a very basic-level software and lacks advanced functions.
Vectr is a forever-free alternative to CorelDRAW that you can commence using with a single click. It is considered the best choice to craft crisp and clean logos, business cards, flyers, web UIs, and 2D & 3D graphics. Also, it doesn’t lose its clarity and doesn’t add blur when it comes to expanding the visual components.
On the contrary, Vectr is an easy-to-use online tool that anyone can utilize. Yes, it doesn’t have a steep learning curve like other premium vector software. However, the presence of ads on its official site and limited vector features could be some negative points of using Vectr.
Final Thoughts on Picking the Right Free Graphic Design Software
The market value of the graphic design industry is snowballing. According to rent reports, Adobe products like Photoshop are leading these charts, but free tools like Canva are also trying to compete. Therefore, you can say using freeware software is not a bad idea. Only ensure the software is compatible with your device and offers desired features.
Hopefully, this guide will assist you in finding the most suitable software or online tools in this regard. Don’t forget to share your experiences by commenting below!