Not all designers have the money to kit themselves out with the most expensive design software, particularly when embarking on a new career in graphic design or starting a new business. With millions of newspapers, magazines and trade papers striving for designer’s attention, exclusive graphic design, layout, and content are important to achieve uniqueness, and the ultimate design software should have powerful tools and features that can render the most difficult tasks simple. Fortunately, there are lots of free graphic design software that you can choose to do the job well. We have compiled a list of the 7 best design applications and their features:
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Icons8 Lunacy is a free graphic design software for Windows.
This app works offline and supports all .sketch files. Original idea was to build Sketch for Windows. To help developers and designers who use different operating systems to work together.
It is a full-fledged graphic editor with built-in design resources: icons, illustrations, and photos. Lunacy makes software and content work together.
One of the latest updates is a project shadow copy: your design is safe even if your computer suddenly shuts down.
Apart from using SVG-Edit to create documents from scratch and edit them, you can also download and modify the code. The software was designed for 2-dimensional vector graphics, and you would have to look up X3D for 3-dimensional formats. For a brief guide on the capabilities of this software, you can read more here.
#3 Serif DrawPlus Starter Edition
While DrawPlus may not initially come across as a design App that professional graphics designers can use, it is actually surprisingly capable, and it is packaged in a free version that has muscled itself into the list of the top free graphics design applications. The software is intuitive to use and features an array of tools that mirror the functionality of Adobe Illustrator.
Moreover, it features a few extra features implemented in a more user-friendly manner than Adobe’s design software, with 3D-rendering being the chief example. For example, you can quickly make a 3D object via extrusion and apply a plethora of 3D styles that will be instantly applied to your created object. Similarly, the app features a collection of pre-defined templates and brushes to get you started quickly
DrawPlus works well in CMYK and allows you to output print-ready artwork easily in addition to being able to work with Pantone color profiles.
Easel.ly is a free graphic design application developed to create infographics. While you may notice a few rough edges when you first begin using this software, it lives to its creators’ promise of being easy to use. Simply select a theme, objects and shape then drop some text in and you will end up with an acceptable infographic within no time.
The software allows you to select from a wide range of color-coordinated themes that are fully developed and can be edited to match your information requirements. In most cases, the result would be a comprehensive and visually pleasing infographic that has a professional look, and at virtually no cost at all.
#5 Daz Studio
Daz Studio is a 3D figure animation, customization, and posing tool that allows users to create remarkable illustrations and digital animations. Its is among the best free tools available to design unique artworks and create animations using environments, animals, virtual props, vehicles, accessories and more. You simply have to select your subject and or settings, set up the lighting, and then arrange your accessories to start creating eye-catching images.
With this graphic design freeware it is easy to produce illustrations for books and book covers, create custom 3D characters and avatars and other graphic design elements.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and it is an open-source free graphics design software that debuted on Linux and other UNIX-based platforms. Today versions of the software are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
GIMP offers functionality that is almost similar to Photoshop, but its interface differs slightly. However, a version of the program that mimics Adobe’s feel and look is available and this makes migration easier for those ditching Photoshop. It offers the full suite of tools you will find in Photoshop; virtually everything that you are accustomed to, and this includes color correction, painting tools, selection, cloning, and enhancement.
The team that is in charge of GIMP’s development has put in much effort to ensure compatibility, so you don’t have to worry about problems manipulating images in popular file formats without any trouble at all. Moreover, GIMP comes with an inbuilt file manager that functions along the same lines as Adobe Photoshop’s Bridge.
One of the best uses of GIMP is by web designers and web developer for editing of high-resolution images and photography to create a web-friendly version. Typically, photographers and other creatives would send large, high-resolution images, several megabytes in size, which would not work on the web, due to website speed issues. GIMP is a great alternative to photoshop because it allows you to tweak such high-resolution imagery to create web-safe versions. With such software it would then be easy to create photography or portfolio sites with high-quality images, but which are small in size. Click here to learn more about how to use this to create the best WordPress themes for photographers.
This is one of the most capable web browser-based image editors. It offers most of the standard tools you will find on desktop based graphics design application (you can opt to install a PC-based version of the software if you like, by purchasing the Pro version for just $19).
To use this tool, you will need to have the latest version of Adobe Flash player installed, so this rules out using it on your Android tablet or Apple iPad. With that in mind, it is light and loads quickly. You will find the standard range of adjustments and tools. These include pencils, Brushes, shapes, cloning, gradients, etc that can all be accessed with ease from the Photoshop-esque floating toolbar. The browser-based tool can also open saved documents from your PC’s hard disk, making it a nifty choice for editing and re-editing.
Which one of these graphic design software would you try? Tell us in the comment section below.