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Free Open Source Design Software

Anybody can make their own logo online. And yes, it is quite possible to turn basic graphics into a tangible, physical form using nothing but your computer and an internet connection. But if you understand the basics of graphic design software, you could make higher quality designs and even help you to create more complex designs that would be beyond your capabilities otherwise.

If you want to learn or need to learn about open source graphic design software, this article is for you. Not sure if free open source design software is better than premium design software? Let’s find out. Here’re top open source design programs that are completely free of charge. There are a lot of proprietary graphic design software on the market today and while they might be good at what they do, there is no denying the fact that some of them come with a hefty price tag. I understand that everyone can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars just to buy graphic design software. Well, if you’re looking for more options – whether you’re just a beginner or are looking for a more intuitive, easy-to-use solution, then look no further than these free open source design software.

GIMP (Free and Open Source)

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free and open source graphic designing software and popular cross-platform image editor. The free graphic design tool supports all major operating systems such as Linux or GNU, Windows, Mac, etc. Since it is an open-source solution, the software allows designers to change the source code and distribute the modifications. 

The software proves incredibly helpful for graphic designers, illustrators, photographs, and even scientists. The sophisticated tools simplify the designing tasks and surge efficiency with the third-party plugins and customization options.  

GIMP also becomes a crucial component of the desktop publishing workflow system, helping color management and color reproduction generate high-quality digital prints. 

Demo for GIMP

Source: GIMP Features

  • Graphic designers, artists, and illustrators can convert and transform ordinary images into stunning and unique creations with high-end tools. 
  • The software provides the best-in-class graphic designing components that are highly suitable for creating beautiful icons, different design styles, interactive user interfaces, and mockups. 
  • GIMP has a top-rated tool for the best image manipulation. It can help you to redefine your imaginative power and restore creative composites. 
  • The software can easily integrate with other designing tools such as Inkscape, Scribus, etc. 
  • GIMP also offers extensions during integrations with various programming languages resulting in the best customization.

Krita (Free and Open Source)

Krita is a free and open source graphic design software and painting program. The tool aims to provide comprehensive support to all artists, designers, and studios to create eye-catching digital art. Using Krita, the designers can create beautiful concept art designs, matte paintings, textures, comics, and unique illustrations.

The software offers two different desktop versions; Krita Plus and Krita Next. Krita Plus supports Windows and Linux platforms, with the main focus remaining on bug fixing. On the other hand, Krita Plus is compatible with Windows, Linux, and OS X. It focuses on adding new features, which are not stable. 

If you are a newbie designer, you get a supportive user manual guide and tutorial to design attractive designs and art from scratch to end.

Demo for Krita

Source: Krita     


  • Krita provides an intuitive user interface that allows designers to shift the panels and dockers, customizing the workflow. 
  • Designers get the choice of selecting more than thirty dockers to get additional functionality, light, and dark color themes. 
  • The software provides over a hundred preloaded professional brushes and brushes stabilizers for those whose hands shake while designing. 
  • The best free open source graphic design software comes with built-in vector tools helping to create comic panels. 
  • The tool also includes nine sophisticated and customizable brush engines with extensive settings. 
  • Easily create patterns and textures with the wrap-around mode feature. 
  • The software also provides a set of productivity features that include drawing assistants, full color and layer management, PSD support, etc.

Inkscape (Free and Open Source)

Inkscape is one of the best free and open source graphic design software that provides you free and flexible designing tools with spiro and Bezier curves. These powerful applications help you create outstanding illustrative images, vector diagrams, flowcharts, and simple drawings. 

Thus, Inkscape is a top-rated graphic designing tool and a vector graphics software, photo editing software, flowchart solution, and drawing application. The users can also unleash the benefit of efficient text tools. The best part is that the developers have fixed the bugs and updated the software with a multiple-language support facility. 

The designers can edit the Design in a CSS stylesheet, enabling them to select whole objects within a specific CSS selector. The software is compatible with CMYK using Scribus. Besides that, there are various other useful applications such as pencil and shape tools, text tools, and more.

Demo for Inkscape

Source: Inkscape


  • Inkscape is credited with a wide range of handy tools for freehand drawing, creating curves, calligraphic strokes, and carving out different shapes. 
  • The designers also get various other useful applications such as clones, embedded bitmaps, and text tools. 
  • The software provides graphic designing applications for manipulating objects, groupings, and transformations.
  • The designers are free to play and use their imagination with color selectors, dashboard strokes, and path makers.
  • The free and open-source graphic designing software allows node editing, boolean operations, path simplifications, etc. 
  • The other features include rendering, multi-line text support, and support for different file formats such as SVG, PNG, XML editor, etc. 

Blender (Free and Open Source)

Blender is another free and open source graphic design software that offers best-in-class tools for creating 3D animations and objects. The graphic design application supports a complete 3D pipeline that includes animation, modeling, rendering, motion tracking, stimulation, and more. You can also create 2D animations and edit videos. 

If you want to customize the tool and specifically implement applications, you can use the application programming interface (API) for Python scripting. The software proves an ideal suite for small studios and individual designers who can take advantage of the responsive development process. 

Blender is well compatible with popular platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS. The interface of the cross-platform tool uses OpenGL to provide an improved user experience.

demo for Blender

Source: Blender 


  • The best free and open source graphic design software is entirely developed for creating stunning animations, 3D and 2D images, and rigging. 
  • Blender allies you to create splendid digital sculpting, modeling curves, retopology, and eye-grabbing renders with the help of an extensive toolset.
  • The VFX tool enables you to track motions, amplify camera settings, compositioning, and masking. 
  • Enhance the 2D and 3D designs with a 3D viewpoint and grease pencil feature. 
  • The software provides robust simulation tools such as MantaFlow and Bullet, and it can easily integrate with several pipelines. 
  • This is also a video editing tool with essential features and functionalities. 

Pencil2D (Free and Open Source)

Pencil2D is a top-rated and intuitive free and open source graphic designing tool specializing in 2D handmade animations. You can create hand-drawn animations with vector graphics and bitmap. One of the advantages of using this tool is that it is user-friendly and lightweight, providing full comprehensive support while making animations. It also becomes much more comfortable to shift between the vector workflows and raster while drawing graphics and using ink or paint. 

Pencil2D is a free cross-platform graphics designing solution that operates seamlessly across all critical operating systems such as macOS, Linux, Windows, and FreeBSD. 

Demo for Pencil2D

Source: Pencil2D 


  • Pencil2D is an easy to use and lightweight tool perfect for minimal Design.
  • Seamlessly switch between the raster and vector workflows while sketching with ink and paint. 
  • The software supports all major platforms.
  • You can also find tutorials and guides on creating designs and animations. 


There is a great deal of confusion around the term “open source.” Many think it simply refers to the fact that the source code is available for modification and redistribution by anyone, whereas the reality is that there are a number of other freedoms involved, in addition to having access to read and copy the code, that you don’t have under closed-source software.

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