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Free Graphic Design Software you Didn’t Know About


For a designer who wants to start out, or a new company that doesn’t have much of a revenue stream, a surprising amount of money can go towards acquiring all of the graphic design software they need, such as Illustrator, AutoCAD, Photoshop and a lot more.

While in most cases these are the best software you can possibly get, there are a bunch of other tools you can use that are completely free, and will do 90% or more of the work.

Here’s a list of such software that can help solve your design needs:

1) Affinity – photography and design

Affinity is free software that works much like Photoshop. It doesn’t have all of it’s bells and whistles, but it’s interface is sleeker and more intuitive to use.

2) Inkscape – vector graphics

A great piece of free, open source software that’s designed to manipulate vector graphics, in particular Scalable Vector Graphics or SVG’s.

Some users can consider it to be on the bloated side, but it does the job you want it to do.

3) GIMP – photo manipulation

GIMP is an acronyim for GNU Image Manipulation Program, available on OS X, Windows and Linux and other operating systems.

GIMP works well if you want to do mostly superficial work on photo’s, such as resizing, doing some retouch, cropping and the like.

4) MagicaVoxel – Voxel art

If you’re into voxel art, or want to get into it, then MagicaVoxel is the software you were looking for.

Although it’s free, it’s in a constant state of development, adding new features, fixing existing ones and making it’s already excellent interface even more intuitive.

5) Figma – UI design software

Figma is a powerful software for creating and designing user interfaces for mobile, desktop and a whole host of other devices.

It’s interface is simple, fluid and intuitive. Power users may want to shift to the paid version, which offers more features. But fortunately it has a generous free tier that allows designers and startups to do their early designs quickly.

6) Canva – banners and graphics on the cloud

Canva can get a lot of hate from the designer community, but if you accept it’s limitations and use it as a quick, on the go tool to create graphics, then you might find it surprisingly useful.

Although it’s free, it’s in a constant state of development, adding new features, fixing existing ones and making it’s already excellent interface even more intuitive.

7) SkyFonts – font management


SkyFonts is a font management tool that allows you to install fonts in the cloud, so you don’t clog up your device or lose your fonts if you switch devices.

On top of that, it also permits you try out certain fonts before you buy them, so you can see what the font actually looks like before commiting money to it.

8) Hexagon – 3D modelling software

If you want a program that does complex modelling but at 0 cost, Hexagon is the program for you. It’s free, feature rich and fairly easy to us.

It’s also constantly updated, so there’s no risk of investing the time and effort into it, only to be left stranded by the developer.


What makes a great designer is less the programs he uses, but more his own skill. That being said, for those just starting out, getting the premium software solutions might not be the best choice, at least until they start generating revenue from their ventures.

Until then, all of these programs are more than good enough to get the job done.

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