Graphic design is the art of putting shapes, texts, and colors together to create meaningful messages in ways that are aesthetically pleasing. There are different approaches to graphic design, different forms, and different styles. But whichever school of design you belong to, there are applications that provide a significant boost by being in a designer’s arsenal.
Today, I bring you a list of applications that are not only essential for graphic designers to have – they are also free and listed in alphabetic order.
Canva is an online graphic design platform that enables users to create animations, posters, presentations, social media graphics, resumes, logos, and other visual content using a variety of free and paid images, illustrations, and fonts. It also has a library of templates to speed up the creative process. Notable mentions in this category include DesignCap and DesignWizard.
2. Google Charts
Google Charts is a free, powerful but simple platform for creating a rich gallery of interactive, customizable charts and data tools using dynamic data. It is cross-browser compatible without the need for 3rd-party plugins and embeddable in websites.
3. Google Fonts
Google Fonts is an interactive online library of close to 1000 free licensed font families that can be used via Android and CSS thanks to its robust API. Users can type in fonts to see how they look before choosing to embed them on websites or download them in an installable format. Notable mentions in the fonts category include DaFont and MyFonts.
Gravit is a full-fledged design application for creating vector graphics of all types including icons, logos, presentations, animations, presentations, illustrations, and mockups. Brought to you by the same company behind CorelDraw, Gravit packs a variety of features that make it an excellent alternative for Adobe Illustrator. It is available to run online and offline as a desktop app and users can export artwork as SVG, PDF, or bitmap.
Infogram is a web-based graphical tool for creating interactive charts, maps, infographics, and reports in quick and easily repeatable steps. Users can include animations in their designs, collaborate in teams, access version history, create custom links, reports, etc. and make use of its library containing royal-free stock photos, icons, flags, and more.
Krita is a free and open-source painting software for creating concept art, illustrations and comics, textures, and matte artwork. It features a clean and flexible user interface with a customizable layout, 100+ preloaded brushes, tools for creating and manipulating vectors, tons of plugins, and a resource manager.
Pixlr is an advanced photo editor that enables users to manipulate photos using Photoshop-class tools coupled with extras such as premade filters, photo effects, brushes, borders, etc. and it can be used online in a browser as well as in a dedicated Android or iOS app.
SketchUp is a freemium graphics software for creating, organizing, and editing models of virtually anything in 2 and 3-Dimensions. It contains tons of professionally-developed extensions, several textures, lighting effects, animations, and 10GB cloud storage for free users.
Vectr is a free web and desktop graphics software for easily and intuitively creating wireframes, posters, logos, brochures, etc. using tools similar to those in Adobe Illustrator in an environment with a clean user interface. Its other features include real-time collaboration using URLs and easy-to-follow tutorials for beginners.
These applications, in my opinion, are a must-have for any visual artist not just because they are free but also because they are among the most commendable products you can lay your hands on.
Did I mention your favorite graphic design tool? You’re welcome to add your suggestions below.
Martins is a developer with over 300 listicles on FOSS software. While studying for an MSc in Cybersecurity, his passion for technology keeps him covering different tech topics especially about the best software for readers to use.
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