The 5 Top Open Source Graphic Design Software

Posted on August 15, 2022 | Updated on October 28, 2022

Sometimes graphic designers feel restricted by the current software they use to create new projects. Others want to delve deeper into a new skill or would like the ability to customize their options as they see fit. An open source graphic design software gives you the freedom to do this. You can manipulate certain features and be in control of the perfect graphic design tool you desire. Below are the top picks for open source software. Consider getting a closer look at everything they have to offer.

1. Inkscape

Much like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is a free, open source vector graphics tool available to everyone. 

Designers can use it for creating artistic or technical illustrations like typography, flowcharts, diagrams, logo design and cartoons. Additionally, it comes with various object tools you can use to make freehand drawings, calligraphy or play with different shapes and patterns.

Inkscape has a flexible interface and allows you to manipulate objects by rotating, scaling and moving them around. You can add layers and group various entities to form a hierarchy.


GIMP is a popular graphic design software and photo editing tool. Many graphic designers use it as an alternative to Photoshop since it has many of the same features. Therefore, it’s a useful tool for designers, whether they’re beginners or advanced.

GIMP has various features you can use to adjust photos, digitally paint and more. While it doesn’t have all the features that Photoshop possesses, it still makes quality software to work with in design.

3. Figma

Figma is an open source software you can use to conceptualize, prototype and present designs. In addition, it’s rich with advanced pen tools that allow you to draw freely without connecting and merging points. You can even use it to create pie charts and other circular objects.

One of the most appealing features is the auto-layout which helps you create responsive designs for website projects.

Another great feature this software provides is that you can turn static designs into interactive content by incorporating UI elements.

This open source graphic design software is full of resources to offer technical support. Plus, you can customize the software to suit your needs.

4. Krita

Krita is a useful vector graphics software that heavily focuses on digital illustration and painting. While its main use is for designing a comic book, it’s free software that provides advanced templates and various features. 

Such features include:

  • Smoothing shapes
  • Layer masks
  • Vanishing points
  • And more.

If you’re a beginner designer and want to dive into illustration, Krita is one of the top choices in open source.

5. Blender

Blender is a great open source option you can use to create 3D drawings. Even some of the most famous animators use Blender to make feature films, TV shows and short films. 

While this interface can take some time to get used to because of its complexity, it becomes easier to use as you move forward. 

It also has several customizable options where you can tailor your extensions and features the way you want. 

Blender is powerful in handling photorealistic rendering, game creation, sculpting and fast rigging. Consider this design tool for making all your 3D creations. 

Choose the Right Open Source Graphic Design Software

Open source graphic design software is perfect for designers who want to use their time practicing new skills and developing them even further. Test out each one to find which of them suits your needs and will give you the best results. 

There are numerous design tools you can use online. However, the above resources are the most beloved by all artists worldwide. 

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.

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