Every designer wishes to choose the best graphic design software for their work. These programs often come with a number of tools and features that can help produce outstanding 3D designs. However, not everyone has the budget to afford it.

Besides, if you’re a beginner who has just started learning graphic designing, going for the paid option only to practice doesn’t seem feasible. In that case, you can choose free tools.

There are several free graphic design software available in the industry. These are great for practicing and improving your skills before you start using advanced or paid software programs.

So, in this article, we’re going to offer you a quick brief on 10 of the best free graphic design software in 2021. However, before we start, let’s understand what graphic design is.

graphic design software

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the art of employing visual content to communicate a message. So, basically, the work of a graphic designer is to use visual hierarchy and page layout techniques to display the typography and images in the form of interactive designs.

Graphic design has now become one of the most effective tools for business marketing and promotion. With the appropriate use of typography, pictures, and color, graphic designers tend to attract more viewers, which further results in sales.

Top 10 Graphic Design Programs that are Free to Use

The graphic design programs we are about to discuss are free to use but do have the potential to create the best works when used properly.

  1. Vectr

    Platform Compatibility: Web, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

    Best for: Live collaboration

    Whether you need to create simple or complex graphic designs, you can use this software. It is easy to use and will allow you to connect with professional developers. So, contact them any time you want and find the solution to your problems.

    Merits:

    • Easy to use interface
    • Availability in cross-platform and browser versions
    • WordPress Integration
    • Easy sharing of projects
    • Real-time exporting of files

    Demerits:

    • None
  2. Inkscape

    Platform Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux

    Best for: Vector graphics

    The free vector software is sometimes referred to as a free analog of Adobe Illustrator. However, the major difference between the two is that it uses SVG file format. If you’re familiar with vector graphics, then mastering this vector graphic software will be super easy.

    Merits:

    • Wide range of filter options available
    • Offers educational content
    • Effect tools are available

    Demerits:

    • Large projects run very slow
  3. Gravit Designer

    Platform Compatibility: Chrome OS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web

    Best for: Beginners in graphic designing

    This software possesses both the features of Vectr and Inkscape. You may say that on the intuitive part, it is more like Inkscape, and on the functional part, it is like Vectr. It supports various formats like PDF, SVG, EPS, JPEG, etc.

    Merits:

    • Browser and cross-platform version availability
    • User interface is intuitive
    • A large library of vector assets

    Demerits:

    • Likely to become paid in the future
    • Doesn’t have additional functions
  4. GIMP

    Platform Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux

    Best for: Raster graphics editing

    The robust software is best for photo editing, creating paintings, or mock-ups. It works on all major operating systems and has an interface similar to that of Adobe Photoshop. It also allows easy saving and exporting of files.

    Merits:

    • User interface is modern
    • Easy to use software
    • Single window usage

    Demerits:

    • Contains a few bugs
  5. Canva

    Platform Compatibility: iOS, Android, Web

    Best for: Social media graphics

    It is one of the most popular graphic design software having more than 10 million users. It provides a drag and drop feature, which is why it is considered to be beginner-friendly. It is great for creating blog infographics, presentations, or email headers.

    Merits:

    • Easy to use interface
    • Compatibility with any computer or device
    • Offers various templates to choose from

    Demerits:

    • Likely to become paid in the future
    • Doesn’t have additional functions
  6. Blender

    Platform Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac

    Best for: 3D content and graphics

    Blender is a personal favorite of most companies offering graphic design services. It is widely used for 3D modeling and visualization purposes. So, if you’ve got a project for web designing, 3D printing, or outdoor advertising, it is one of the best free graphic design software to use.

    Merits:

    • Free open-source software
    • Ease of file export
    • Easy rendering with GPU instead of CPU

    Demerits:

    • Complex learning curve
    • Difficulty in managing animations if it is more than 15
    • Doesn’t support motion capture
  7. SVG-Edit

    Platform Compatibility: Web

    Best for: Simple Tasks

    This online program can help you edit SVG files and create your own. It contains a set of standard functions that can help you to add or color pictures, create shapes, draw with a pencil, and even transform the lines into paths.

    Merits:

    • Fast and easy to use
    • Uses open-source web code

    Demerits:

    • Not ideal for node management
  8. Krita

    Platform Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux

    Best for: drawing

    The open-source tool is widely employed by concept artists and illustrators. The ready-made templates available here are great for developing art for comic books. It offers a wide range of drawing tools, such as smooth shapes, layer masks, vanishing points, and more.

    Merits:

    • Bright and interesting UI
    • Offers basic and advanced methods
    • Easy to use
    • Offers various graphic illustrations and examples

    Demerits:

    • Requires more memory space
    • Offers only text tools
  9. Easelly

    Platform Compatibility: Web

    Best for: Automatic infographics creation

    This software is mainly used for creating infographics. So, if you are new to designing and creating infographics, you may find it a little difficult to use. It is available in both free and paid versions. However, if you wish to use additional elements, you need to pay a small fee.

    Merits:

    • Easy and instant uploading of sites to a social network, computer, or website
    • Online diagram creation
    • Additional functions can be used by paying $3 a month

    Demerits:

    • Not suitable for advanced users
    • Doesn’t have an auto-save feature
  10. Daz 3D

    Platform Compatibility: Mac, Windows

    Best for: 3D graphics

    It is one of the best tools for designers, animators, as well as, illustrators. With this software, you can create exceptional animations, illustrations, and digital locations. Apart from that, you can also develop 3D rigged human models.

    Merits:

    • Realistic looking characters
    • Possesses 3D creation tools, morphing tools, and tools for facial expression and movements
    • Supports 3D modeling, animation, and rendering

    Demerits:

    • Likely to become paid in the future
    • Doesn’t have additional functions

Hopefully, the article helped you in providing a kick-start to your selection process. So, go ahead and choose your favorite graphic design software and create amazing vector graphics. Do remember that we don’t suggest that these tools will be a complete replacement to the paid versions. However, they can be good alternatives if you’re looking to save money.