Full list of paid and free graphic design software in 2023

Choosing the right graphic design software can be a daunting task. Here’s a comprehensive list of paid and free design software to help you find the one.

UI design tools

UI design tools help designers create visually appealing and functional user interfaces for websites, mobile apps, and other digital products. They allow you to create layouts, design elements, and interactive prototypes. Such tools make it easier to visualize and test how the end product will look and function.

Figma

Platform: online, macOS, Windows
Link: figma.com

Figma is a free online design tool that lives on the web. It makes the design more accessible, collaborative, and efficient. 

It has UX/UI design and prototyping features, making it a go-to tool for designers.

Plus, Figma has a library of design components and templates that help get your projects up and running in no time. You can pick from pre-built UI elements and customize them to your heart’s content.

Pros:

  • Real-time collaboration
  • Easy file sharing
  • All-in-one tool (design, prototyping, and hand-offs to the developers)
  • Offers a great variety of plugins

Cons:

  • Need constant online connection
  • Requires decent hardware
  • High learning curve

Pricing: Free | Professional plan starts at $12/month

Lunacy

Platform: macOS, Windows, Linux
Link: icons8.com/lunacy

Lunacy is a free online design software that offers all the standard tools you need for visual design. It offers a library of more than 1,300,000 icons, photos and models, and beautiful vector illustrations in the latest styles.

With Lunacy, you can easily create UI screens, blog illustrations, landing pages, prototypes, and more. 

Plus, the typography and vector illustration tools make adding text and drawing your own graphics simple. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced designer, Lunacy is a useful tool for optimizing your workflow and producing high-quality designs.


Pros:

  • Built-in library of high-quality illustrations, icons, and other visual assets
  • Simple, clean UI
  • Desktop version with offline access

Cons:

  • No layers

Pricing: 100% Free

Sketch

Platform: online, macOS, iOS
Link: sketch.com

Sketch is a design tool many UI designers use for web and app projects.

It’s vector-based, which means your graphics won’t get all pixelated when you scale them up or down.

But there’s a catch – it’s only for Mac users. So, if you’re rockin’ a Windows or Linux machine, you’re out of luck. It’s also a paid app, so it’s not free like other options.

Some of its key features include shared styles. They enable consistent styling across elements in a project.

You can also create reusable components – Symbols, which allow for easy updating and management of design elements in a library.

Pros:

  • Wide range of design tools and plugins
  • Flexible collaboration features
  • Intuitive vector editing tools
  • Shared libraries and reusable components
  • Ability to test out ideas and get feedback
  • Easy to create new plugins and tools

Cons:

  • Only available for macOS users
  • Limited functionality for complex animations and interactions
  • Not suitable for 3D or video editing
  • Limited compatibility with other file formats
  • Steep learning curve for new users who are not familiar with vector-based design tools

Pricing: 30-day free trial | Standart plan starts at $9/month

Adobe XD

Platform: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
Link: creativecloud.adobe.com

With Adobe XD you can create user interfaces and interactive prototypes.

It has features like Repeat Grids that let you duplicate elements and Auto-Animate to create smooth transitions between artboards.

As part of the Adobe family, it integrates with other Adobe apps, like Photoshop and Illustrator. It might be a good fit if you’re already using their Creative Cloud suite.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Quick prototyping and seamless design-to-prototype workflow
  • Real-time collaboration features
  • Integration with other Adobe products
  • Easy to learn for designers who are familiar with other Adobe software

Cons:

  • Limited support for advanced animations
  • Some features are still in development
  • The learning curve can be steep for newbies

Pricing: Paid plan starts at $9.99/month

UI prototyping software

UI prototyping is a useful step in the design process. It’s all about creating a rough, interactive version of your design before you dive into the nitty-gritty of development. It’s like sketching out your ideas and making them clickable so you can see how the whole thing flows together.

ProtoPie

Platform: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
Link: protopie.io

ProtoPie is a prototyping tool that helps you create interactive, high-fidelity prototypes for your app or web designs. You can do all that without having to write any code.

One thing that sets ProtoPie apart is its focus on creating realistic, complex interactions and animations. 

It has the “Pie” editor, where you can set up triggers, responses, and variables to make your prototype behave like the real deal. 

It’s more advanced than other prototyping tools, but it’s not too tough to get the hang of.


Pros:

  • Simplified interaction process
  • No coding necessary
  • Multi-touch gesture support and built-in smartphone sensors
  • Powerful features for creating advanced prototypes
  • Import Sketch and Adobe XD files
  • Bridge feature allows for communication between devices

Cons:

  • Interface can be confusing at first
  • No commenting feature for collaboration
  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Limited free version

Pricing: Free | Pro plan starts at $67/month

Framer

Platform: online, macOS, Windows
Link: framer.com

Framer combines visual design tools and a built-in code editor.

You can drag and drop stuff and design it visually. But you can also dive into the code if you want to get fancy with your interactions and animations.

You can preview your prototypes on any device. It’s always a plus when designing for mobile or different screen sizes.

It isn’t free. They have a subscription model, but they offer a limited free tier if you want to test the waters. 

And even though it has some powerful features, it might be intimidating for beginners or those who aren’t into coding.

Pros:

  • Code-based design
  • Robust library of components, animations, and effects
  • Built-in design tools
  • Realistic and high-fidelity prototypes
  • Strong collaboration features
  • Integrates with various design and development tools

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve compared to other prototyping tools
  • Code-based design may not be suitable for all designers
  • Can be time-consuming to create complex prototypes using code
  • Limited functionality for basic designs

Pricing: Free | Paid plan starts at $5/month

Axure

Platform: macOS, Windows
Link: axure.com

Axure’s all about helping you create detailed, interactive wireframes and prototypes.

It focuses on complex interactions, conditions, and logic.

Axure got a deep set of features.

You can create all sorts of interactions, from simple click events to dynamic content that changes based on user input.

Axure’s desktop app is available for both Mac and Windows.

Pros:

  • Provides a variety of design tools
  • Supports a wide range of design elements
  • Ability to create dynamic and responsive prototypes
  • Integrations with various design and development tools

Cons:

  • Can be time-consuming to create complex prototypes
  • Limited functionality for basic designs

Pricing: Pro plan starts at $25/month

Webflow

Platform: online
Link: webflow.com/prototyping

Webflow is an all-in-one web design platform.

It focuses on creating responsive designs.

Plus, a CMS lets you manage and update your content.

This online app is flexible when it comes to integrations and third-party tools. You can connect it with services like Google Analytics or Mailchimp.

Webflow got some powerful features and an active community. Yet, it may be a bit overwhelming if you’re starting or looking for something more lightweight.

Pros:

  • Provides a comprehensive suite of design tools
  • Easy-to-use
  • Content Management System
  • Strong collaboration features
  • Webflow integrates with popular design tools

Cons:

  • More focused on visual design
  • Can be slow or buggy at times
  • Free plan is limited

Pricing: Free | Paid plan starts at $14/month

UXPin

Platform: macOS, Windows
Link: uxpin.com

UXPin is a design tool that lets you create wireframes, prototypes, and full-on designs for your digital products.

UXPin allows working with both vector and raster graphics, making it versatile.

This design software has many built-in UI elements and libraries.

You can work with your team in real-time, share designs, and gather feedback.

Plus, it has this version control, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based software
  • Allows to create of realistic prototypes
  • Has enterprise features

Cons:

  • Export options
  • Limited design elements

Pricing: Free trial available | Paid plan starts at $69/month

Check out our top 8 prototyping tools to try in 2023.

Vector Design Software

Vector design software lets you create and manipulate vector graphics. Raster graphics are made up of pixels. But we create vector graphics using mathematical formulas, like lines, curves, and shapes. This means you can scale them up or down without losing any quality, which is pretty rad if you ask me. Use vector design software to create logos, illustrations, and infographics. It provides tools for drawing, shaping, coloring, and manipulating vector graphics.

Lunacy

Platform: macOS, Windows, Linux
Link: icons8.com/lunacy

We’ve talked about Lunacy as a UI design tool. It’s also perfect for graphic designers and web developers, who want to create and edit vector graphics easily and precisely.

Lunacy comes loaded with various drawing tools like pen, shape, and brush tools. They allow the creation of vector shapes and paths with gradients and textures.

This free design software also allows layer-based editing. You can work on individual elements of your design without affecting the rest of the project.

Lunacy includes a built-in asset library that comes with pre-made graphics and templates.

Pros:

  • Lunacy is a 100% free vector editing software
  • User-friendly interface
  • The software is compatible with Sketch files
  • Built-in asset library of pre-made graphics and templates
  • AI-powered tools

Cons:

  • No import of EPS, PDF, or AI formats

Pricing: 100% free

CorelDraw

Platform: online
Link: coreldraw.com/en/product/vector/

CorelDraw launched Corel Vector – an updated version of Gravit Designer Pro. A vector editing software that’s perfect for graphic designers, illustrators, and digital artists. 

Corel Vector has features for creating geometric shapes with its smart shape primitives and magic control points.

You can also make complex compound shapes with Live Boolean operations and edit them later.

Plus, you can style objects with layered fills, borders, adjustments, and effects, and control their transparency and blending modes.

With Live Corners, freehand vector tools, and other vector manipulation features, you have complete control over your designs.

Pros:

  • Smart shape primitives and control points
  • Creation of complex compound shapes
  • Non-destructive object styling
  • Powerful vector manipulation tools
  • Over 35 live, non-destructive effects and adjustments
  • Intuitive color picker
  • Live palette that shows colors used in the design

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Interface may seem cluttered or overwhelming
  • Resource-intensive and may slow down older computers
  • Layering is not as good as competitors

Pricing: Free trial available | Subscription starts at $99.99/year

Affinity Designer

Platform: macOS, Windows, iPadOS
Link: affinity.serif.com

Affinity Designer works with both vector and raster graphics.

Yup, you can switch between vector and pixel personas. It allows working on stuff like illustrations, icons, and image editing all in the same software.

This vector design software has tools for creating and manipulating vector graphics, like a pen tool, shape tools, brushes, effects, and layer styles.

It’s easy to pick up and start playing around with, even if you’re a newbie.

Pros:

  • Clean and intuitive interface
  • Both vector and raster graphics
  • Wide range of tools and features
  • Exporting formats

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for complex or large-scale design projects
  • Lacks 3D modeling and animation tools
  • Issues with stability and performance

Pricing: Free trial is available | One-off payment is $69.99

Vectr

Platform: online, ChromeOS, MacOS, Linux, and Windows
Link: vectr.com

Vectr is a free, lightweight vector design software that’s all about simplicity and ease of use.

It’s not as feature-packed as Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer. But with shape tools, pen tool, and options to align and arrange elements, Vectr gets the job done.

Advanced designers might find Vectr limiting, but if you need quick visuals without spending too much time and effort – Vectr is the tool you need.

Pros:

  • Lots of file formats for export
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Convenient real-time collaboration

Cons:

  • Limited options for design
  • Requires constant connection

Pricing: 100% free

Vectornator

Planform: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
Link: vectornator.io

Vectornator is a dynamic vector design tool.

With its intuitive UI, you can create stunning illustrations, web designs, and layouts.

One of Vectornator’s features is its machine-learning-based auto trace, which makes vectorizing images faster and more intuitive.

With support for multiple artboards and an updated interface, you can create complex designs.

It also allows you to create CMYK previews and color profiles.

Pros:

  • CMYK previews
  • Machine-learning-based auto trace
  • Wide range of import and export formats
  • Vast library of assets

Cons:

  • Learning curve might be steep
  • No animation

Pricing: 100% free

Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software allows you to manipulate and enhance digital images. It provides tools for cropping, resizing, color correction, applying filters and effects, and other modifications to improve the quality of the image.

Adobe Photoshop

Platform: macOS, Windows
Link: adobe.com/products/photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular software for photo editing, graphic design, and digital art.

It’s got tools for everything from basic adjustments like brightness, contrast, and color balance, to more advanced stuff like layers, masks, and blending modes.

There are tons of brushes, filters, and plugins you can use to get some really unique effects.

Photoshop is overwhelming when you first start using it. There’s a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you can achieve the results you want.

Pros:

  • Advanced tools for retouching and color grading
  • Advanced layers
  • Vast array of tools and features
  • Large community and many resources available

Cons:

  • Overwhelming for beginners
  • Not suitable for batch work
  • Resource-intensive software
  • Steep learning curve
  • Needs additional software (CameraRAW, etc.)

Pricing: Free trial available | Paid plan starts at $20.99/month

Adobe Lightroom

Platform: macOS, Windows
Link: adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is designed for professional photographers and hobbyists alike. It’s like a one-stop-shop for organizing, editing, and sharing your photos.

Lightroom has a non-destructive editing process, allowing you to make changes to your photos without permanently altering the original files.

Lightroom is all about organization and workflow. It’s got a catalog system that helps you keep your photos organized.

You can apply edits to multiple photos at once, which is a time-saver if you’ve got a big batch of images to work on.

Pros:

  • Excellent file management and cataloging system
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Cloud syncing
  • Powerful search tools
  • Lots of presets and plugins
  • Create books, slideshows, and galleries from your photos

Cons:

  • Uses a fair amount of resources
  • Uploading existing libraries can be time-consuming
  • Not suitable for advanced retouching

Pricing: Paid plan starts at $9.99/month

Capture One

Platform: macOS, Windows
Link: captureone.com

Capture One is a strong competitor of Lightroom. In addition, Capture One offers a layering system for editing similar to Photoshop.

You can customize the user interface to create workspaces that suit your needs and preferences.

It also has some great tethered shooting options. You can hook up your camera to your computer and shoot directly into the software.

Pros:

  • High-quality RAW processing
  • Advanced tools for localized adjustments
  • Customizable interface
  • Asset management and organization features
  • Supports tethered shooting

Cons:

  • Complex learning process
  • Limited plugin support
  • Lack of tutorials

Pricing: Free trial available | Paid subscription starts at €29/month | One-off payment – €349

GIMP

Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows
Link: gimp.org

GIMP is a free design software used for image retouching, editing, drawing, and conversion between different image formats. 

It can handle a wide range of image editing tasks, from simple photo touch-ups to complex graphic design projects. 

Its intuitive tools, filters, and effects make it easy to enhance and manipulate images. The layer system allows for precise control over each element of the design. 

You can add plugins, brushes, and other tools to enhance the workflow and make your design process more efficient.

Gimp is open-source software, which means that it’s constantly updated and improved by a community of developers.

Created with GIMP

Pros:

  • Vast range of tools
  • No need for high-performing hardware

Cons:

  • No adjustment layers
  • Setting text is way too complicated
  • Steep learning curve

Pricing: 100% Free

Affinity Photo

Platform: macOS, Windows, iPadOS
Link: affinity.serif.com

Affinity Photo is a photo editing software similar to Adobe Photoshop, but with a more affordable price tag.

It has all the basic adjustments you’d expect, like exposure and color correction. But there’re also more advanced features like frequency separation and live filter layers.

Plus, it has a range of retouching tools that are great for portraits.

Pros:

  • Live filters feature is included
  • Non-destructive RAW processing
  • Advanced editing tools

Cons:

  • No asset management
  • Filters don’t save previous settings
  • No presets

Pricing: One-off payment of $69.99 

Fotor

Platform: online, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
Link: fotor.com

Fotor is a user-friendly, online photo editing tool, great for beginners.

It’s not too basic, nor too complex, and has a range of editing and design tools and features.

Fotor is great for making collages, editing single images, and creating graphic design projects.

There’s an auto-color correction feature that can enhance your images with just one click.

It’s free but has premium options for extra features.

Pros:

  • Offers three different versions
  • RAW tools and effects for image editing and adjustments
  • Powerful tools to adjust photos
  • Templates for collages
  • Batch processing feature
  • Auto-color correction feature

Cons:

  • Ads cannot be removed in a free version
  • Deep image retouching is difficult to do within Fotor
  • Effects can be slow to load and may freeze your browser
  • Reloading the page causes a loss of the edits
  • Limited free version
  • Fotor has fewer powerful editing tools compared to Lightroom

Pricing: Free | Pro plan starts at $8.99/month

Social Media Graphics

A social media graphic software or website helps you create visual content specifically for social media platforms. These tools often provide pre-made templates, images, and design elements that you can customize to fit your brand and message.

Canva

Platform: online
Link: canva.com

Canva is a free design software for creating social media graphics, presentations, posters, and more.

You can upload your own images, remove the background and start creating.

Canva provides a library of stock pictures, icons, and text templates.

There’s also a video editor, so it’s basically an all-you-need web app that will provide you with all the basics to create your brand image.

Pros:

  • Convenient Content Plan feature
  • Brand Kit with logos, brand colors, and fonts
  • Lots of free assets

Cons:

  • Can’t add your own elements
  • Templates seem generic
  • Limited image quality

Pricing: Free | Pro Plan starts at $119.99/year

Mega Creator

Platform: online
Link: icons8.com/mega-creator

Mega Creator is a fresh addition to the DIY graphic design scene.

With thousands of customizable flat and 3D illustrations in over 70 styles, this tool simplifies the design process by providing an all-in-one platform for creating marketing materials.

The interface is user-friendly, so if you have no design experience can create designs thanks to the drag-and-drop feature.

You are able to change colors and styles for all the assets to suit your brand or project theme.

It’s powered by AI-powered suggestions and advanced search filters, so creating content is faster than ever.

Plus, Mega Creator also offers a free background remover and a non-destructive crop tool for seamless editing.

Pros:

  • Huge library of elements and illustrations
  • Offers both flat and 3D illustrations
  • AI-powered suggestions and advanced search filters
  • Free background remover tool
  • Non-destructive crop tool

Cons:

  • Limited font selection

Pricing: Free | Subscription for the assets starts at $9/month

Adobe Express

Platform: online
Link: adobe.com/express/

Adobe Express is an online, easy-to-use design tool for quick graphics, collages, and photo editing.

It comes with customizable templates and a user-friendly interface.

Adobe Express gives you access to Adobe Fonts, Adobe Stock assets, and Cloud storage which is very convenient for working on the go.

Pros: 

  • Built-in scheduling feature included
  • 100GB cloud storage offered
  • Access to free Adobe Fonts
  • Free Adobe Stock assets are available

Cons: 

  • Has lags and bugs
  • Has no SVG support

Pricing: Free | Paid version starts at $9.99/month

Pablo

Platform: online
Link: pablo.buffer.com

Perhaps, Pablo is one of the easiest free design software to use online.

This tool provides a straightforward interface that enables you to easily edit and share images on social media.

There’s a library of pre-made templates for popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can also upload your own images and customize them using a variety of filters, fonts, and design tools. 

Pros:

  • Variety of filters and image enhancement tools
  • Integrates with social media platforms
  • Integration with social media

Cons:

  • Image editing features are basic
  • Only three sizes are available
  • Design options are limited

Pricing: 100% free

Vistacreate

Platform: online
Link: create.vista.com

Vistacreate is a free design tool that makes it easy to create graphics without any design experience. 

They have templates and design elements to spice up your creations. 

It has a handy drag-and-drop editor and a text editor to make the process a breeze. 

And if you need printing services, they’ve got you covered.

Plus, they can integrate with Google Drive and Dropbox.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • In-house printing services
  • Integration with other platforms
  • Quick and helpful assistance 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Limited range of templates and design elements
  • Some users may find the design tools to be too simplistic for their needs

Pricing: Free plan available | Pro plan starts at $10/month

Logo Design Software

Logo design software helps you create unique, eye-catching logos for your brand or project. They usually come with different design elements, such as icons, shapes, colors, and fonts. These software tools provide an easy and cost-effective way to design logos.

Looka

Platform: online
Link: looka.com/logo-maker/

Looka is an AI-powered online logo maker, designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to create a logo quickly.

It is convenient: just enter your brand name, choose your preferences, and the AI generates various logo options for you to customize.

The platform also provides you with the flexibility to make changes to your logo design until you’re satisfied with the final result.

Once your logo is ready, you can download it in high-res formats suitable for any application.


Pros:

  • AI-powered logo generator
  • High-quality templates
  • User-friendly interface
  • Variety of file formats for logo downloads

Cons:

  • Customization options can be limited
  • May not be suitable if you have a specific vision or style for logo design

Pricing: Free | Paid package starts at $20

Adobe Express

Platform: online
Link: adobe.com/express/create/logo

Adobe Express is a free design software that includes a free online logo maker.

It’s beginner-friendly and walks you through three steps:

  1. Name your company and slogan.
  2. Choose a logo style.
  3. Choose an icon.

However, customization options are limited, and you can only change the color and font of your logo.

Once you’re happy with your logo, you can download it for free, but there’s a catch. You may not get commercial rights to use the icon.

Pros: 

  • 100GB cloud storage offered
  • Access to free Adobe Fonts
  • Free Adobe Stock assets are available

Cons: 

  • Has lags and bugs
  • Limited customization
  • Has no SVG support

Pricing: Free | Paid version starts at $9.99/month

Wix Logo Maker

Platform: online
Link: wix.com/logo/maker

Wix Logo Maker uses AI to generate custom logo designs based on your preferences and industry.

You start by entering your company name, slogan (optional), and selecting your industry.

You can then customize your favorite logo by changing the colors, fonts, and layout.

Plus, you can preview how it will look on different marketing materials like business cards, websites, and t-shirts. 

However, if you want to edit it later or get the vector files, you’ll need to pay for the premium package.

Pros:

  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • AI generator
  • Customize and make changes to the generated logos
  • Wide range of logo templates and icons
  • SVG format is available

Cons:

  • The free version allows you to download a low-res, watermarked version
  • AI-generated logo options can be hit or miss
  • Customization options can be overwhelming

Pricing: Free | Basic package starts at €20

Tailor Brands

Platform: online
Link: tailorbrands.com/logo-maker

The setup process in Tailor Brands is straightforward.

It also allows choosing between icon-based, name-based, or initial-based layouts.

The Logo Maker can be a bit buggy, and it may not follow your instructions precisely.

But there are editing options available to make the necessary changes.

Pros:

  • AI-powered logo creation
  • Versatile logo design options
  • Access to high-quality logo files, stock photos
  • Ample editing options for customizing logos

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for some designs
  • Logo Maker may not always accurately follow instructions for the design
  • No one-time purchase option, only subscription plans are available

Pricing: Free | Basic plan starts at $3.99/month

Ucraft

Platform: online
Link: ucraft.com/free-logo-maker

Ucraft’s design suite includes a free logo maker, along with a website builder.

The logo maker is user-friendly but offers basic icons.

Instead of templates, you start with a blank canvas and add elements.

There aren’t guidelines for a balanced design. But it’s free and provides PNG and vector files to users.

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop tool
  • Both PNG and vector logo downloads
  • Preview of the logo designs on a website, business card, app, and T-shirt
  • Variety of additional services

Cons:

  • All legal rights to icons are held by the designers, so the icons are not exclusive.
  • No ready-made templates
  • The icon designs are very basic
  • Limited options for fonts
  • Lacks customization options

Pricing: Free | $7 fee to download an SVG file

DesignEvo

Platform: online
Link: designevo.com

You can choose from standard and gradient colors for your logo, more than 100 different style logo fonts, and solid, transparent, or gradient backgrounds.

You can also add icons and shapes from a library of customizable vector icons.

DesignEvo doesn’t have the advanced features of professional design tools

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use logo maker
  • Over 10,000 templates
  • Vast library of vector icons
  • Adjustable layouts, fonts, colors, and icon sizes
  • Multiple export format

Cons:

  • Very limited free version
  • No custom shapes
  • Issues with the quality of downloaded files

Pricing: Free | Paid plan starts at $24.99/month

Hatchful by Shopify

Platform: online

Link: shopify.com/tools/logo-maker/service

Hatchful by Shopify offers a free design tool with a quick startup process and logos in seconds.

The logo maker features 100+ templates with various colors, font styles, and layouts.

However, the customization options are limited and basic, making it difficult to find a good or unique template.

The logo maker does offer free downloads of high-res PNGs with full color, transparent backgrounds, favicons, and social media profile images.

Overall, Hatchful is a decent free tool for personal or small business logos. But don’t expect to truly personalize your logo or use it for large printing purposes.

Pros:

  • Diverse range of logo templates
  • Wide range of file formats
  • 100% free to use

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Templates lack drag-and-drop functionality
  • No way to narrow down search results with keywords
  • No SVG files

Pricing: 100% free

Illustration Software

Adobe Illustrator

Platform: macOS, iPadOS, Windows
Link: adobe.com/products/illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is known as a vector graphics editor. It’s used for creating illustrations, graphics, logos, and typography.

However, it can also be used as a UI design tool.

Illustrator has a library of fonts and other design assets that designers can use to create UI elements.

It’s got an array of tools and features, like the Pen tool, Shape Builder, and advanced color options, making it versatile.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive set of tools and features
  • Highly customizable
  • Supports a wide range of file formats
  • Intuitive design tools

Cons:

  • Complex and overwhelming for beginners
  • Resource-intensive

Pricing: Free 7-day trial | Paid plan starts at $20.99/month


Procreate

Platform: iPadOS, iOS
Link: procreate.com

Procreate is a digital painting and illustration app for iPad and iPhone.

It’s got tons of brushes, layers, and blending modes.

Procreate is known for its responsive and smooth drawing experience, which feels natural and intuitive for artists.

Procreate is a raster-based app. So if you want to work with vectors, it’s not for you.

Pros:

  • Wide range of features and tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Large community
  • Creation of high-resolution artwork

Cons:

  • iOS devices only
  • Not suitable for vector art

Pricing: One-off purchase – $12.99


Inkscape

Platform: GNU/Linux, macOS, Windows
Link: inkscape.org

As a cross-platform free design software, Inkscape boasts a range of advanced tools that are both powerful and efficient.

It’s not as powerful as Illustrator. But Inkscape’s capabilities are more than enough for many design tasks, especially for beginners and hobbyists.

You can still work with layers, gradients, and shape tools.

While GIMP also has minimum system requirements, it tends to be poorly optimized, making Inkscape a superior option.

Pros:

  • Open-source software
  • Supports various file formats
  • Allows users to work with layers, paths, and nodes
  • An active community

Cons:

  • Some advanced tools and features are missing or need improvement
  • Can be slow and laggy
  • Lacks the automation and efficiency features

Pricing: 100% free

Krita

Platform: GNU/Linux, macOS, Windows
Link: krita.org

Krita is an open-source digital painting and illustration software.

It offers a bunch of brushes, textures, and tools for creating digital artwork, concept art, and illustrations.

Krita supports layer management, custom brush creation, and advanced selection tools.

On lower-end hardware or large canvases with many layers, it may experience performance issues or lag.

Pros:

  • Open-source software
  • A wide range of brushes
  • Supports a variety of file formats
  • Offers basic animation tools

Cons:

  • Limited features
  • It may have compatibility issues
  • Steep learning curve

Pricing: 100% free

Clip Studio Paint

Platform: macOS,Windows, iPadOS, iOS, Android, Chromebook
Link: clipstudio.net

A digital art software mainly focused on illustration, manga, and comic creation.

It’s got brush customization options that allow experimenting with different styles and techniques.

Clip Studio Paint is also known for its natural drawing experience, giving you that authentic pen-on-paper feel.

You can dive into 3D objects and models. And it has an animation timeline, which allows users to create and preview animations within the software.

Pros:

  • Customizable brushes, 3D models, vector layers
  • Personalization of workspace
  • Strong support for comic and manga creation

Cons:

  • Issues with lag or slow performance
  • Can be overwhelming for some users

Pricing: Free trial available | Paid plan starts at $24.99 

Infographics Software

With infographics software, you can create diagrams, charts, maps, and other visual representations that help convey complex information in an easy-to-understand way. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating reports, social media posts, or educational materials.

Infogram

Platform: online
Link: infogram.com

The platform offers a variety of templates and design elements to choose from.

It comes with drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to add and manipulate different types of data to create custom charts and graphs.

Plus, Infogram integrates with Excel and Google Sheets.

But it starts lagging on complex projects. It also lacks customization and inconsistencies in fonts and color options.

Pros:

  • Range of templates and customization options
  • Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive
  • Collaboration features
  • Mobile responsiveness

Cons:

  • Limited free plan
  • Limited data import options
  • Steep learning curve for advanced features
  • Limited branding options

Pricing: Free | Pro plan starts at $19/month

Piktochart

Platform: online
Link: piktochart.com

Free online design app that helps you create infographics, posters, and presentations.

Piktochart has pre-made templates for different fields, like business or education.

You can add videos and images from their media library and collaborate remotely with others on your designs.

Even so, the limited choice of add-ons and the absence of API integrations are disappointing. The steep pricing doesn’t help matters either.

Pros:

  • Variety of professionally designed templates
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Allows remote collaboration
  • Supports video integration

Cons:

  • Free version is limited
  • Lack of customization

Pricing: Free | Pro plan starts at $14/month

Venngage

Platform: online
Link: venngage.com

Venngage helps create professional-looking infographics, reports, and visual content.

You don’t need any design experience to use Venngage. The platform provides templates and a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to add text, images, charts, and icons to your project.

You can also add animation and make GIFs there.

But the free version is limited. You can download your graphics only on a premium plan.

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Pre-designed templates
  • Offers collaboration and team functionality

Cons:

  • Limited customization options for certain elements
  • Some templates may require a bit of tweaking
  • Free version is limited
  • Limited animation and interactivity options

Pricing: Free | Paid plan starts at $10/month

Easel.ly

Platform: online
Link: easel.ly

Free online infographic maker that allows you to create infographics and visual content.

The platform offers a variety of templates, graphics, and icons to choose from, making it easy to customize.

You can also upload your own images or logos to include in your design.

The interface is straightforward, and you can easily add, delete, or move elements around with a drag-and-drop feature.

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Affordable
  • Range of file formats, including PNG, PDF, and SVG

Cons:

  • Limited range of templates
  • The free version includes a watermark on all designs
  • Can be a bit buggy and slow to load

Pricing: Free | Paid plan starts at $2/month

What’s next?

“I’ve looked through the list. So, how do I choose the right one?” We’ve seen it coming.

Choosing a suitable paid or free design software can be a challenging task, especially if you’re new to graphic design. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  1. Determine your needs: Do you need a tool for image editing, vector design, or both? Do you require special effects or typography tools?
  2. Check compatibility: Ensure that the software is compatible with your operating system.
  3. Research the options: Research available options, including their features, reviews, and ratings.
  4. Try before you buy: Test out the software through a free trial or demo version.
  5. Look for user-friendly software: Choose software that has a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use tools, especially if you are new to graphic design.
  6. Consider the learning curve: Look for software that suits your level of experience. Consider the amount of time you are willing to invest in learning a new one.
  7. Check for updates and support: Ensure that the software is actively updated and supported by its developers.

Afterword

We hope that this list of paid and free design tools has been helpful to you in finding the right software for your needs. It’s time to take action and start experimenting with these free design tools.

Remember to keep learning and practicing with the tools that you enjoy using. And always keep in mind that your mind is your most powerful tool, and it’s free! So use it wisely to create stunning designs and bring your creative ideas to life.

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