Are you looking for a free or more convenient Adobe Illustrator alternative? Then this review of 15 free Illustrator alternatives, that can be used on your PC and smartphone, will be very useful. You can forget about paying $20.99 per month and choose any free Illustration software you need.
Adobe Illustrator is the leading vector graphics software that help you edit vector graphics, logos, icons, etc. However, the Adobe’s purchase model can be a deterrent for many beginning designers.
The program is available only in the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. The price starts at $20.99 per month or 239.88 per year. There are no one-time purchases here and if your subscription expires, you will not be able to use the software.
Many simple illustrative projects do not need advanced functions so you may not have to use a professional vector drawing software. In this case, you may choose one of the following Adobe Illustrator alternatives for designers.
Platforms: Windows, iPad
Price: FREE Trial or $49.99
If you are looking for a great Adobe Illustrator alternative with a lot of professional tools that you don’t need to pay for monthly, try Affinity Designer. It is available for Mac or Windows for $50.
Navigation and interface resemble the capabilities of Illustrator. The arsenal of its drawing tools is really impressive. Use various brushes, patterns, gradients, effects and styles. The program is quite difficult to learn for beginners. But because of its similarity with Adobe products, former Illustrator users will need only a short time to adapt. It’s also a good choice for newbies who want to try Adobe Creative Suite someday, as many of the concepts are the same here.
This Illustrator alternative works well with other programs and file formats. It supports .psd, .pdf, .svg, .eps, and .ai files so you can work on any professional projects simultaneously, without worrying about the program not supporting a certain file format.
Vectr is a relatively new vector drawing software that is developing, adding and improving various functions. This is a simple and intuitive graphics editor that allows you to perform standard vector operations, such as creating and editing geometric shapes, curves, etc. It has several levels and pages that help users organize a project. Vectr is a simple program which is intuitive to use. Although it lacks many of the advanced features of Adobe Illustrator CC, it has all the tools you need for basic vector editing.
Vectr allows you to import AI, EPS, SVG, PNG and JPEG files. It is often used for annotating, image correction, drawing layouts and diagrams. Moreover, it can be used to create logos, watermarks, user interface design, website layouts, social network banners, icons, and 2D images.
Platforms: Linux, Windows
Inkscape is a powerful open-source vector graphics editor. It is the best free Illustrator Alternative for semi-professional illustrators, graphics and web designers. Along with the standard drawing tools and forms, Inkscape has a special spiral tool aimed at creating templates and clone arrangements, advanced options for manipulating objects, several filters (including skews, textures, overlays, etc.).
Inkscape often gets various kinds of updates with new features, capabilities and tools. The latest update of this Adobe Illustrator alternative brought mesh gradients, improved support for SVG2 and CSS3 and new party path effects.
As for the flaws, the vector drawing software is rather poorly optimized. You may encounter frequent lags.
Platforms: online, Mac OS, Windows, Linux
Price: FREE or $49/year
Gravit was originally designed as an online editor for creating icons, banners, logos and other graphic elements. However, the developers introduced new features and this free Illustrator alternative became a powerful graphics tool compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.
The program has a complete set of tools necessary for editing vector graphics. It supports layers, curves, geometric shapes, various tools for selection and transformation, texts and many other functions for working with objects.
Gravit Designer’s vector resource library contains icons, shapes, emoticons and illustrations that can be combined. By the way, this Illustrator alternative can be used as a raster graphics editor, since there are such functions as cropping, masking, blending, resizing and adding filters. Results can be saved in PNG, JPG or SVG formats.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS
Price: FREE Trial or $9.99/month
Adobe Photoshop is a professional Adobe Illustrator alternative that is suitable for designers who are developing web projects, banners, logos, and artists who like to create their projects from scratch.
Photoshop offers many designing tools, such as paint brushes, healing tools, stamps, selection and more. Do not forget about the masks and layers that simplify the work and save your time spent on it.
Photoshop actions, overlays, brushes and textures are also worth mentioning. Using the text tool, you can create a unique font, add a watermark to your image, etc. However, not everything is so simple. If you are going to use Photoshop, remember that this is professional vector drawing software. You will need some time to learn all the features and understand its functionality.
Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac OS
If you are a Linux user, try GIMP, the best free vector graphics software for this OS. It is developed on open source code and is completely free.
The program is characterized by limited vector functions, but it has many tools similar to Photoshop.
You can find a lot of brushes here, as well as healing, painting, point, selection tools and more. The software is not suitable for professional artists, but its functionality is fully capable of satisfying amateurs.
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Krita is an open source photo editor and free Adobe Illustrator alternative for those who often need basic digital drawing tools. The program combines a nice interface and photo editing functions, similar to GIMP or Paint.Net.
Pay attention to the brush tool among various features for creating design projects, layouts and banners. The software offers many additional settings, such as color, size, intensity, transparency, etc. Also, do not forget about other basic tools, for example, filters and effects that can improve your design in a matter of seconds.
Krita is one of the best free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator for beginners and amateurs. However, the lack of some popular tools is a disadvantage for professionals. If drawing brings you money, Krita is not for you.
Platforms: Mac OS
Price: FREE Trial or $99
Sketch is a professional vector drawing software for creative users. In recent years, Sketch has become very popular among designers, in particular, web designers who are looking for an alternative to Illustrator and Photoshop. Thanks to its simple and user-friendly interface, Sketch has many features similar to Illustrator and Photoshop, including working with layers, gradients, color palette and styles.
The development team made Sketch very flexible. It supports infinite scaling and vector shapes that are ideal for a variety of projects. You can create a new drawing from primitive shapes or add another drawing with the Vector tool or Pencil using this Adobe Illustrator alternative. Adjust the paint brushes using advanced settings, such as color, size, transparency and more. If you are working with an old laptop, you must deal with lags.
DrawPlus is a 2D graphics and animation editor developed by Serif, a British software company. Serif DrawPlus X8 has many tools, which are required for graphic design programs with the highest rating for different types of printing.
DrawPlus is generally referred to as a photo editor. However, do not forget about its graphics capabilities. The software does not cope with its photo editing functions well, but it is quite simple and has good navigation features, making it a good free Illustrator replacement for beginners and inexperienced graphic designers.
You can create everything from moving animations to a logo for a poster using brushes, shapes, ready-made layouts, selection tools, transformations and more.
Janvas is one of the first web apps designed for vector graphics to perform basic tasks. The interface of this Adobe Illustrator alternative and its ease of use make it suitable for beginners. Janvas has many useful features, including shapes, text, drawing tools, outlines, masks and layers. Nevertheless, as indicated by user reports on the discussion boards, many of these functions do not produce the desired results.
The full support of this Adobe Illustrator alternative has been discontinued. The reason for this is the development of a new, completely reworked app from scratch.
Price: FREE or $14/month
Vecteezy is a web app that works with SVG files, allowing you to get rid of the basics and existing components in the picture. You can resize and darken them, add some elements, figures and more using this SVG-edit Illustrator alternative.
You can import and edit SVG files or create your own projects here. There is a wide choice of shapes and ready-made cliparts, as well as a huge set of fonts for text designs. However, if in the case of Krita, you will have plenty of tools, Vecteezy won’t be so useful if you need to add progressively complex components to your SVG record.
In addition, it should work with newly created documents, since it is not possible to continue working later.
Boxy SVG is a free, simplified vector editor that works as a Chrome app. It is designed to give you full access to the best features. Boxy SVG is a free tool for creating scalable vector graphics files that works as an extension for Google Chrome.
This Illustrator alternative has a good set of basic tools, including pens, Bezier curves, text, basic shapes, strokes and fills, layers, the ability to add types, groups, transformations and contours provided in SVG.
You can use this free vector software in your web browser to create SVG images and edit existing ones. SVG-Edit works in any browser and offers a basic set of vector editing features, including freehand drawing, form, text, and outline tools.
Platforms: Android, iOS
You can create vector projects with layers for images and drawings using this mobile app. Graphic designers can scale up pictures 64 times to draw small details, draw sketches using five different pen tips with adjustable transparency, size and color, work with multiple images and layers for drawing, rename, duplicate, merge and customize each of the individual layers and more.
The app supports Creative Cloud services, such as Adobe Stock, Creative Cloud Libraries and Creativesync Technology.
Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS
SketchBook interface is quite complicated. The learning process may be a bit difficult for children, but if your child is interested in art, this is a good variant.
The screen size of the device limits the size of the graphics object that you can export, so this Illustrator alternative is ideal for tablets and not for phones.
However, you can get amazing results after you master the layers and experiment with brushes.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.