Have you ever wondered what the best graphic design software is that’s available for free? Or how chromebooks can can you get into design? You’re in luck. I’ve fairly recently started digging into graphic design and online marketing so needed to find out exactly what was out there and whether it could help you run your business better. Anyway, this post will look at some of the best software and resources available to you for free!
Whether you are a graphic design beginner or intermediate, you will eventually need to know about the best free graphic design software. There are plenty of free applications out there for your Google ChromeBook, but not all of them are worth your time. If you want to be efficient and professional with your online graphic design, I strongly suggest that you choose one of these applications.
- Platform: Windows, Linux, iOS
- Rating: 4.7/5.0 Stars
Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. The Krita project was started by the KDE community in 1998. Krita is still part of the KDE community: all Krita contributors are KDE community members!
An intuitive user interface that stays out of your way. The dockers and panels can be moved and customized for your specific workflow. Once you have your setup, you can save it as your own workspace. You can also create your own shortcuts for commonly used tools.
Over 100 professionally made brushes that come preloaded. These brushes give a good range of effects so you can see the variety of brushes that Krita has to offer.
Sketchbook by Autodesk:
Sketchbook is a widely popular program for digital drawing and it’s recommended for both professionals and beginners alike. And the best part is that this powerful program is now available on Chromebooks thanks to the Android support. Sketchbook runs phenomenally well in full-screen mode with a huge canvas, multiple tools, and layers.
Other than that, in my testing, the touchscreen latency was close to naught and I was able to draw on my HP Chromebook x360 without any crash or freezing issues. You can even use an active stylus on this app and it supports palm rejection too.
- Platform: Browser, Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS
- Rating: 4.8/5.0 Stars
Whether you’re working on graphics for marketing materials, websites, icons, UI design, presentations, or social media—or just like creating cool art—Gravit Designer PRO gives you all the power, precision, and flexibility you need to unleash your creativity.
Gravit Designer is a free full-featured vector graphic design app that works on ALL platforms. Unlock the full power of your creativity with fast and flexible tools tailored to professional designers. Easy to use for beginners, yet powerful enough for professionals.
Gravit Designer runs smoothly on ALL platforms – Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, Progressive Web App, and in-browser, allowing you to easily transition to as many devices as you want.
This editor is one of the most, if not most, comprehensive of all the ones I’ve come across. Just by looking at Gravit’s homepage, you can see that it promises tools for screen design, vector illustration, etc. Sign up is required, but other than that, this platform seems too good to be true.
Pixlr Editor is a great free image manipulation app that mimics the look, feel, and functionality of Adobe Photoshop. There are little differences, however Pixlr Editor is very comparable. Users have the options to work with or without an account and save locally to their device or in the cloud (Google Drive).
- Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS
- Rating: 4.6/5.0 Stars
GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.
Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.
GIMP provides the tools needed for high quality image manipulation. From retouching to restoring to creative composites, the only limit is your imagination. The file format support ranges from the common likes of JPEG (JFIF), GIF, PNG, TIFF to special use formats such as the multi-resolution and multi-color-depth Windows icon files. The architecture allows to extend GIMP’s format capabilities with a plug-in.
This is not an app but an extension providing an option to pick color any color off of the screen to determine the hex color, and RGB color numbers. Users also get a history of all their colors picked and can revisit and use the colors for current and future projects.
Built entirely on HTML5, Picozu has drawing capabilities, image retouching tools, and the power to import to and from Facebook, Google Drive, and more. You can also install plugins and filters to add more to the editor interface.
Adobe Illustrator Draw / Adobe Photoshop Sketch:
Similar to Sketchbook, Adobe’s Illustrator and Sketch are two of the best drawing programs available on Windows and macOS and now you can use them on Chromebook as well. The app is directly available through the Play Store and it works in full-screen mode with touchscreen, mouse, and keyboard controls.
If you are confused about which of the two Adobe apps to choose, I would recommend you to use Adobe Illustrator Draw first. It’s a vector drawing app which means you can draw freely on a big canvas with several brushes, layers, and tool options. And if you are into bitmap or raster drawing then go for Adobe Photoshop Sketch.
As you move along, you will be using both apps depending on your need and use case. As for the performance and latency, I found both the apps working really well on Chromebook and did not show any input lag. Not to mention, both the apps support the tilt mode which you can use through the rotate tool.
- Platform: Browser, iOS
- Rating: 4.9/5.0 Stars
Launched in 2013, Canva is an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. Canva is the best free fully editing photo retouching software for the creative community, with photo manipulation, to color picker, you can design and create the most beautiful brochures, business cards, flyers or anything you can imagine. Canva is also great for creating online images for banners, ads, Facebook banner ads with just few clicks any beginner can create most beautiful graphic designs for free.
An AWESOME advanced photo editor that includes most of the tools you would find in Photoshop. Unfortunately, it seems the latest version of Photo Raster will be the last (the team behind it hasn’t been active on social media since 2013), but it is a pretty darn good replacement to Photoshop nonetheless. Signup required.
Not every Chromebook user has access to the Play Store, especially students who have been issued a machine by their schools. In such cases, installing a drawing app from the Play Store becomes impossible. So if you are looking for a drawing app for Chromebook that requires no downloads then Sumopaint is for you. It’s a web-based drawing tool that lets you access all the advanced features and for absolutely free. The best part is that you can install Sumopaint as a PWA and use it while you are offline. That’s amazing, right?
- Platform: Browser
- Rating: 4.9/5.0 Stars
FREE SVG editor! Designed to allow anyone to customize Vecteezy content before they download it, or create beautiful vector designs from scratch directly in your browser. Easy for beginners. Powerful for Professionals. Built with everyone in mind for the modern web. Built directly into our website for a streamlined workflow. No need to download an app or install anything.
Graphic design is a complex process which requires some expensive software. If you are not a skilled designer yourself, the best free graphic design app for Chromebook can be a challenge on its own. In this article, however, I have talked about the best online alternatives for popular graphic design software.