Best Open Source Graphic Design Software

Graphic design lets you visually communicate with people. It’s the perfect tool to get your message across, and knowing how to use it effectively can give you a huge advantage when you’re trying to make a point.

The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank in order to create beautiful designs. There are dozens of great open-source programs available for free download.

We’ve compiled a list of best open-source graphic design software for you to try out:

Best Open Source Graphic Design Software

1 – Inkscape

Inkscape Download Tutorial

Inkscape is a powerful feature-packed open source vector graphics editing tool for Windows, Mac OS and Linux that’s analogous with Adobe Illustrator, Xara X, Freehand, and Corel Draw. 

Like most free open source vector design software, it uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open source XML-based W3C standard, as its primary and native file format. 

Inkscape is a highly capable vector editor with commendable SVG integration. 

It supports a host of advanced features that enable graphic designers to effect alpha blending, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps, edit notes, clone objects, import native Adobe Illustrator files, among other actions.

Some of the most visible features of Inkscape include:

▪      Drawing tools– a pencil tool for freehand drawing; a pen for drawing straight lines and creation of Bézier curves; a calligraphy tool for calligraphic strokes and freehand drawing.

▪       Shape tools for drawing rectangles, polygons, stars, ellipses (arcs, circles, and segments), and spirals

▪      Styling objects

▪      Ease of documentation

▪      Text tool for full on-canvas and multi-line text editing

▪      Embedded bitmaps to create and embed bitmaps from select objects

▪      Cloning tool for cloning, organising and arranging clone objects and patterns

▪      Transformations– this tool enables a graphic designer to move, rotate, scale, or skew their design via interactive and exact numeric transformations

▪      Z-order operations that allow raising and lowering of designs

▪      Grouping objects

▪      Layering tool which enables the graphic designer to hide, lock, or rearrange individual layers or form a hierarchical layer tree

▪      Distribution and alignment commands

Inkscape supports numerous file format types, features full support for various colour modes and works incredibly well with 3D, and other complex images due to its Bezier Curves feature. 

Besides, its interface is flexible and user-friendly, making it a preferential free open source tools for graphic designers.

2 – Krita

Krita Vector Graphics Tool

Krita is a great free, open source vector graphics creator that focuses majorly on digital illustration and painting. 

It’s mainly used by comic book designers, illustrators, concept artists, matte and texture artists, in the VFX industry. 

It is supported on some of the best Linux distros, macOS, and Windows operating systems. 

Krita has been in development since 1999 and has recently gone through an explosion in features integration.

This software features numerous standard and advanced features alongside innovative design templates for amateur and pro graphic designers alike. 

It comes with a set of brushes for full-scope illustration and painting work and packs a host of plug-ins including painting assistants and advanced filters.

With Krita’s notable brush stabilisers, graphic designers can effectively, smooth out shaky lines, create seamless graphic patterns and textures with the software’s wrap-around mode, and quickly select colours via its pop-up palette. 

The software also enables graphic designers to draw smooth shapes effortlessly, vanishing points, and presents a multitude of other design features counting:

▪ Layer masks

▪ Layer Management

▪ PSD support

▪ Brush Engines

▪ HDR support

▪ A resource manager

3 – Blender

Open Source Animation Software

Blender is one of the best free open source tools for 3D drawing and software design. 

It’s supported on all operating systems and can be effectively employed in designing seamless animated films, interactive 3D applications, and visual effects. 

The engineers of Blender are always working to infuse the tool with more features regularly and optimise its user interface.

Blender boasts an extensive features suite that aids graphic designers in performing photorealistic rendering, game creation, sculpting using various types of brushes, compositing, and fast rigging. 

Famous animation artists use Blender to create animations, TV shows, as well as short and feature films.

Blender’s user interface is complex, thus unnerving to the first-time user, but it gets easier as you design. 

Besides, it presents several customisable features and extensions to give the graphic designer a personal feel.

4 – Gimp

Gimp Alternative To Photoshop

Gimp (GNU image manipulation program) is an immersive free open source cross-platform tool for graphics design and photo editing. 

It’s one of the most popular feature-rich free open source tools for image authoring, photo retouching and image composition that’s accessible on GNU, Windows, macOS, and some of the best Linux distros.

Gimp is a high-quality graphics design suite and photo editing framework for scripted image direction that’s designed with Perl, Python, C, and C++ programming languages. 

With its broad functionality, it’s an ideal choice for beginner and advanced graphic designers who primarily work with photos and a suitable alternative to Adobe Photoshop. 

The tool presents an extensive suite of sophisticated graphic design and image editing features in a layout similar to Photoshop. 

Besides featuring a swift-loading built-in file manager, Gimp’s compatibility with various file types is off the charts (it works smoothly with all popular file types). 

As usual, to install GIMP, you need to be a root user or if you have a regular user, add user to sudoers group.

Gimp presents easy access to basic features, including painting, selection, cloning, colour correction, and enhancement tools. 

It further enhances the productivity of graphic designers and photo editors via numerous customisation options and 3rd party plug-ins for photo enhancement, hardware support, high-quality photo manipulation, and digital retouching.

The most visible features of Gimp include:

▪ A plethora of filters, layers, masks, and brushes

▪ Advanced features for photo editing

▪ Inspirational designs for flexible, customised image transformations

▪ Numerous graphic design elements including interface components and logos

▪ Top-of-the-line colour management tools 

▪ Extended functionality via 3rd party extensions and plug-ins.

5 – Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer Software

Gravit Designer is a full-featured free, open source vector design toolkit from the creators of Corel Draw. 

The app is supported on Windows, Linux, macOS, and browser platforms. 

It is ideal for multi-purpose image editing and graphic design projects counting icon and screen design, illustrations, animations, and presentations. 

This app packs a wealth of features for high-end vector design and imagery including a potent text engine, non-destructive Boolean loops, blending integrations, path graphs, multiple fill modes, and a knife tool. 

It also features an exceptionally user-friendly intuitive interface that adapts to the user’s needs and preferences for more productive graphic design and photo editing.  

The most identifiable perks of Gravit Designer include:

▪ Unmatched precision from the creation to exporting stages

▪ A solid structure composed of powerful pages structured with masters, symbols, and real layers to structure your content

▪ A pixel-perfect layout design featuring powerful grids, auto-layouts, and anchors

▪ Multiple design style options derived from blending modes, multiple borders and fills, compound effects, and shared styles.

▪ A powerful text engine featuring handcrafted text, web fonts, text on a path, and varying text styles

▪ An export feature for exporting high-grade SVGs, PDFs, and Images via multiple assets and slices

▪ A range of advanced functionalities counting EPS and sketch importing, design and image transformations, design templates, and presentations.

graphic design software for beginners

5 Graphic Design Software Options for Beginners

If you’re new to graphic design and not sure what software to start with, we’ve got you covered. From the top-of-the-line industry standards that employers will expect you to know, to free and lower-cost alternatives you can experiment with, below are five types of graphic design software that can help you start turning your creative ideas into reality.

1. Adobe Creative Suite
If you’re serious about pursuing graphic design professionally, Adobe Creative Suite contains much of the standard software you’ll use as a graphic designer—including Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Sure, these applications might take a little extra time to learn, but if they help you land a job, it’ll be worth your investment. You can start with a 30-day free trial and then pay on a monthly basis after your trial ends. Plus if you decide to go all in and study graphic design, Adobe offers all students a 60% discount on their Creative Suite software.

GIMP—short for GNU Image Manipulation Program—is one of the most popular free (and open source) alternatives to Photoshop. Compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems, GIMP includes a comprehensive set of tools for everything from image editing and retouching to full blown creation of artwork, icons, and other graphic design elements using layers, masks, and more. GIMP supports all popular file formats (and a few rare ones too) and is easy to use, even if it’s your first graphic design software. 

3. Inkscape
A strong alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is another free and open source graphic design software program. It’s a vector graphic editor that works for Windows, Mac, and Linux with a relatively simple interface and flexible tools for print, logo, and web design. These tools allow object creation, object manipulation, fill and stroke, text formatting, and operations on paths. (Many designers find cloned objects particularly useful.) Inkscape is primarily for working with SVG, but allows for export to PNG, PDF, EPS, PostScript, and more. 

4. Affinity
Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are relatively new competitors in the world of graphic design software. As you might expect, Affinity Photo is focused on photo editing, while Affinity Designer is vector graphic design software great for branding work, concept art, print projects, icons, and web mockups. Affinity software is designed to be fast regardless of the size or complexity of your work. It’s also highly customizable, with an intuitive, modern interface, advanced layer controls, the ability to undo up to 8,000 steps, and standard file format compatibility. This software is available on Windows or Mac at the reasonable price of $50 each. 

5. Sketch
While it’s only available for Mac users, the vector editor software Sketch is quickly becoming a favorite for many in the design industry, especially those focused on web, app, user experience, or interface design. Priced at $100, this graphic design software is comparable in many ways to Illustrator and, in some aspects, Photoshop as well. Features include support for multiple pages and artboards, symbols and styles that can be easily repeated and updated across a design, and the ability to edit and merge vectors without destroying their original shapes. Sketch however is not a photo editing tool or ideal for print work, so you’ll have to rely on something else for that.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Check out other publications to gain access to more digital resources if you are just starting out with Flux Resource.
Also contact us today to optimize your business(s)/Brand(s) for Search Engines

Leave a Reply

Flux Resource Help Chat
Send via WhatsApp