The first step in finding the right free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator is to look at your design and collaboration needs. Hone in what you plan on using the application or platform for and the average learning curve to understand what it can and cannot do.
Once you have your objectives in line, it’s time to deep dive into the different Adobe Illustrator alternatives currently in the market. Take a look at the six options below and see which one fits what you're looking for.
As a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is one of the most popular choices out there.
Best for beginners, Inkscape is SVG-centered, open-source software that comes complete with an arsenal of features that make manipulating images and designing scalable vectors a piece of cake. If you need a free illustrator platform that helps you with advanced editing (e.g. cloning, bitmap tracing, text designing, etc.), then look no further than Inkscape. It has similar (albeit less robust) features to Adobe Illustrator, but Inkscape can certainly help you meet your needs and accomplish your goals.
Inkscape's main purpose is to serve and meet the needs of SVG creators and is compatible with Windows, Macs, and Linux operating systems.
- Inkscape files can be exported in PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, PDF, PostScript formats, and more.
- SVG files can also be edited.
- Not compatible with AI and EPS files.
- Does not have superior vector graphic options.
2. Gravit Designer
Gravit is a fantastic free illustrator alternative as it allows you to play around with thousands of vectors, mockups, wireframes, UI designs, and more while packing as much punch as Adobe Illustrator. This program has something to offer everyone from beginners to professional designers.
Similar to Adobe Illustrator, Gravit Designer has vector tools (i.e. pen, slice, line, knife, etc.), and can create shapes while also serving your needs with live filters, layers, path editing modes, and more. Some noteworthy features include an SVG editing tool, live Boolean operations tool, and cloud integration. Gravit has a user-friendly interface and video tutorials.
Gravit's main purpose is to help illustrators and designers who need a robust design tool and is compatible with the web, Chrome, Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.
- Supports many formats to export/import files.
- Offers flawless dashboard navigation.
- Provides fast and easy-to-use keyboard shortcuts.
- Color customization.
- Free library of wireframes and mockups
- No real-time collaboration
- Lags when working on complex designs.
If you're looking for an Adobe Illustrator free alternative that can help you design interfaces, create personalized shapes, design animated prototypes, or collaborate, then Figma may be the right fit.
With Figma, you can import your favorite fonts or even use Google Fonts. You don't have to worry about saving your work as you have Figma's cloud software to give you peace of mind. Figma is capable of flexibly accepting plugins, allowing you to optimize your workflow.
For a stress-free user experience, you'll need a graphics card and good RAM. You can export SVG, PNG, and JPEG files or as CSS code. To master the software, remember you need time, patience, and resources to learn it.
Figma works with Chrome, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
- Has all the website design tools you'll need.
- Simultaneous work by a team can be done on the same project.
- Has all prototype design creation tools.
- Lags on heavy prototypes without a graphics card and effective RAM.
- Doesn't work offline, and must have a connection to the internet.
- Figma's module does not have global colors.
When it comes to a free illustrator for beginners, Vectr is the answer. Vectr is available as a web extension or desktop software, and both of these options are simple, and easy to understand and use. Vectr is a great gateway to vector arts because it doesn't have all the features Adobe Illustrator does, and has little to no learning curve. However, it does have just enough to introduce beginners to the field.
Vectr has a URL sharing feature for collaboration purposes, and it's lightweight, so it does not take up a lot of room on your system. Vectr's main purpose is to create a simple, easy-to-use, and quick to learn Adobe Illustrator free alternative. It works best with the web, Chromebooks, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
- Simple user interface
- Multiple formats
- Direct import
- Inbuilt tutorials
- Only has basic features
- No customer support