Free Graphic Design

Last updated: October 2022

Compare different graphic design software, explore our in-depth reviews & informative articles, and choose the best solution for you.

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DISCLAIMER: The “free graphic design software” options are recommendations designed to get you off the ground. While these programs are indeed “free” on the most basic levels or for limited times, it’s important to note that once the free trial period concludes, you will be required to pay for continued use. Additionally, if you use “Freemium” graphic design tools, you must pay for more advanced features and functionality.

What is Graphic Design Software Used For?

The best free graphic design software can be used for a myriad of functions. Most notably, graphic design programs are used to create, edit, and manipulate bitmap, vector graphics, and other types of graphics. 

A graphics editor uses images, text, and imagination to create art that communicates a specific message in various file formats (i.e., raster, pixel, vector, 3D modeling, etc.). That includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Marketing and advertising graphic design, including social media
  • Web design graphics
  • Publication graphic design
  • Motion graphic design
  • Art and illustration graphic design
  • User interface (UI) graphic design
  • Visual identity graphic design

Non-designers and professional designers, can use the best free graphic design software for photo editing (i.e., retouching, resizing, etc.), mockups, infographics, web design, social media posts, flyers, advertisements, letterhead, layouts, logo creation, and more. 

What Are The Pros & Cons of Free Graphic Design Software?

Most of the best free graphic design software has a user-friendly interface, provides tutorials, and offers enough functionality to complete most basic projects. While there are many advantages to using free image editing and photo editor software, there are also a few drawbacks you should be aware of.

Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of the free versions of graphic design apps.

Advantages of the Free Graphic Design Tools

One of the most significant advantages of free image editing tools is cost savings. If you or your business can create a professional design using a free tool, then you can expect to save hundreds (if not thousands) on graphic design software.

In addition to the cost savings, a few advantages of the best free graphic design software (depending on the program) include:

  • Unlimited use of photo editing tools
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Free templates and design elements
  • Image editing on most operating systems and mobile apps (i.e., iOS and Android)
  • Limited use of the creative cloud for real-time collaboration with team members
  • Free stock photos, fonts, and vector images
  • SVG file editing (depending on the app)
  • Limited AI functions

There are many benefits to using the best free graphic design software for your needs. However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential disadvantages of the free versions of closed-source and open-source (i.e., GIMP, Gravit Designer, etc.) graphic design tools.

Disadvantages of the Free Graphic Design Tools

Whether you use a Microsoft Windows, iOS, Chrome OS, or an Android computer, tablet, or mobile app, the free version of the best free graphic design software can come with a few drawbacks. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • The learning curve required to master the program
  • More time editing and creating graphics
  • Free templates that fail to differentiate your brand from others
  • Hidden costs of add-ons, plug-ins, and advanced graphic editing tools
  • Inability to save or share work for real-time collaboration
  • Limited functionality
  • Workflow disruption and lack of integration with other apps
  • Watermark on finished work (depending on the program)

In many cases, it is in your best interest to try the free version or free trial of your favorite free graphic design software before committing to long-term use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The Best Graphic Design Software -Free Version

Whether you’re interested in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, CorelDraw, Pixlr, or similar, you likely have questions. Listed below are the answers to some of the web’s most frequently asked questions about the free version of the best graphic design software on the market.

Which is the best free software for graphic design?

The best free graphic design software for you and your business depends on your needs. For example, the best graphic design tool for infographics, layouts, thumbnails, unique fonts, vector graphic editing, vector art creation, etc., may be different.

Generally, some of the best graphic design software for $0 available online includes:

  • Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop (7-day free trial available)
  • Canva (Free Plan)
  • Creatopy (free trial available)
  • Lunacy
  • Blender
  • Open source graphic design tools like Vectr, Blender, Krita, Inkscape, Gravit Designer, Pixlr, etc.

Where can I design graphics for free?

There are countless places you can design graphics for free (online and offline). They include but are not limited to Adobe Illustrator, Blender, Vectr, Lunacy, Canva, Pixlr, Setka Editor, Design Wizard, and more. If the program isn’t 100% free, it likely offers a free trial or the ability to use limited functions of the graphic design tool.

What is the best free graphic design software for beginners?

Graphic design is a complex discipline. With that in mind, if you’re not a master graphic designer, you may need to stick with a program with a user-friendly interface and plenty of tutorials. A few of the best graphic design software for beginners include:

  • Canva
  • Adobe Illustrator (free trial)
  • Rederforest
  • Blender
  • Gravit Designer
  • Lucidpress
  • Vecteezy

If you’re a beginner, you may want to invest some time in learning graphic design theory and best practices before designing customer-facing materials.

Is there a free version of Adobe Illustrator?

You can download Adobe Illustrator for free. However, you’ll need a 7-day free trial to access any of its features. When the free trial concludes, you must pay to upgrade to a paid plan. If you’re not prepared to make that financial investment, that’s okay. There are plenty of other free options available.

Check out Sonary’s recommended free graphic design plans and free trials at the top of the page.