Adobe Illustrator is the default choice for anyone who needs high-quality graphic design software. But Adobe's subscription model is pretty expensive, and you can't use Illustrator online—it only works on Windows and Mac. If you're a hobbyist on a budget, use Linux or a Chromebook, or want a more mobile option, what can you do?
Fortunately, there are plenty of free, browser-based Adobe Illustrator alternatives you can try. Not only do you not have to pay for them, but they'll work on any device running any operating system. That makes them probably the closest you'll get to Adobe Illustrator online.
1. Gravit Designer
Gravit Designer is a fast, powerful, and great-looking vector design tool with free and pro versions. As well as working in all major browsers, you can download a desktop version for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. In all cases, you get full cloud sync integration.
The program has all the basics you'd expect from Illustrator, including a version of the Pen tool and a freehand drawing tool that smooths your lines as you go. It's easy to create custom shapes thanks to Gravit's take on the Pathfinder tool. There's also a wide variety of keyboard shortcuts, including many that are the same as in Adobe's software.
In addition to all this, you get huge libraries of pre-designed shapes, illustrations, icons, lines, and more to use in your designs. If you need more, you can upgrade to Gravit Designer Pro for an annual subscription and get CMYK support and offline use, among other things. This is the best online alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
With support for all major browsers as well as a downloadable extension for the Chrome browser, Vectr is a simple tool for creating quick vector designs. It isn't as feature-rich as Gravit, but that means there's a shorter learning curve. And it has strengths for particular types of usage.
Vectr is especially good for creating social media cover pages. There are preset document sizes, and it's easy to import photos and add your own text on top. There's seamless cloud integration too. Every image has its own URL that you can share with anyone, or you can export your finished work in the SVG, PNG, and JPEG formats.
3. Boxy SVG
Boxy SVG is an SVG editor that works in Chromium-based browsers like Chrome or Opera. It also has a desktop version for Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.
Boxy works natively with SVG files, so you never need to export your images when you're ready to use them, and can easily open them in other image-editing apps. It also means you can output HTML code for your images, which you can paste straight into a web page. If you prefer, you can create normal image files in JPEG, PNG, WebP, and GIF formats.
So what features do you get? All the basics are here. There are lots of shape drawing tools, plus a pen and various curve tools. You also get plenty of type options, including integration with Google Fonts. Plus, support for clipping masks gives you the power to create more complex works.
We found Boxy's interface to be a little tricky to master at first, but it's a fast and very capable online Illustrator alternative, so worth persevering with.
Canva is a very popular and easy-to-use browser-based design tool. It offers more than 250,000 free templates for every type of user and purpose. You can use it to create logos, ebook covers, posters, ads, and a lot more.
You don't get much control. There aren't any drawing tools, so it's not possible to create something from scratch. Instead, you just pick the template and customize it to taste. And that's the point. Canva is about simplification. You can create some beautiful, complex, and very professional-looking designs without any design skills.
The free version gives you a generous 5GB of cloud storage. You can upgrade that to 1TB with a paid plan, which gives you many more features and tools to use to really expand your work.
Figma is a great alternative to Canva. Aimed at professional or serious users who may already know how to use Illustrator, the app has a growing reputation. It comes with an Adobe-style subscription plan but has a free offering that lets you create three projects and work in a team with two members.
Figma is primarily built for interface design, and fully supports files made in Sketch, another popular pro design tool. It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android that you can use to preview your designs on the fly.
The learning curve is steep with its online illustrator tool, but there's little you can't do with Figma. There's both support for Google Fonts and your own imported, offline fonts. It's easy to create shapes or design custom shapes through a Pathfinder-like tool, and there's full mask support. You can also save them as Components to reuse in your other projects.
When you're finished, you can export your work as PNG, JPEG, or SVG files, or just copy out your styles as CSS code.
Inkscape has long been established as one of the best free Illustrator alternatives. While it's always been a desktop program, you can also use it in-browser through the RollApp service. The effect is a little strange, since you get the full desktop UI crammed into a browser window. However, once you switch the browser to full-screen mode, it works much better.
Inkscape is a powerful piece of software. There's a learning curve, both in terms of mastering its tools and in that it uses a whole different set of keyboard shortcuts.
It's also a tad slow. Using Inkscape with RollApp is ideal when you need to edit on the go, but in most cases, you're better off installing the desktop software.
Janvas has a solid set of features, including support for masks, and plenty of pen tool and text options.
It suits the beginner, thanks to a library of templates covering everything from icons and UI elements, to letter and photo book templates. An extra series of pre-made gradients, patterns and textures, and filters help to make common design features accessible with a single click. You can save your work in SVG, JPEG, or PNG formats.
Janvas has its quirks. It's got a panel-heavy interface that takes some time to master. It's configurable, but you'll need to experiment to find a layout that suits your workflow. The biggest downside is that it doesn't support keyboard shortcuts at all. All of which means Janvas is a solid choice for smaller, quicker projects, if not for more complex pieces of work.
8. Vecteezy Editor
If you have an existing SVG file that you want to tweak, Vecteezy is a good choice. It's best for editing files or making very simple icons and logos, rather than creating larger pieces of work from scratch.
This is due to the simplicity of the app. You get pen and type tools and not much else. Instead, there are heaps of pre-designed shapes and pre-drawn illustrations that you can import into your work. Templates are promised for the future, too. Saving files is trivial: just choose to export as either an SVG or PNG and your final image downloads instantly.
Adobe Illustrator Isn't the Only Option!
None of these browser-based apps can match the full feature set that Adobe Illustrator has to offer.
But they're more than good enough to create things like posters, illustrations, logos, and the like. You can even use them to learn the principles of graphic design, since all the tools—the various drawing, text, color, and shape tools—all work in the same way.
— Update: 21-02-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article The 6 Best Adobe Illustrator Free Alternatives from the website mailchimp.com for the keyword best free adobe illustrator alternatives.
The first step in finding the right free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator is to look at your design and collaboration needs. Hone in what you plan on using the application or platform for and the average learning curve to understand what it can and cannot do.
Once you have your objectives in line, it’s time to deep dive into the different Adobe Illustrator alternatives currently in the market. Take a look at the six options below and see which one fits what you’re looking for.
As a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is one of the most popular choices out there.
Best for beginners, Inkscape is SVG-centered, open-source software that comes complete with an arsenal of features that make manipulating images and designing scalable vectors a piece of cake. If you need a free illustrator platform that helps you with advanced editing (e.g. cloning, bitmap tracing, text designing, etc.), then look no further than Inkscape. It has similar (albeit less robust) features to Adobe Illustrator, but Inkscape can certainly help you meet your needs and accomplish your goals.
Inkscape’s main purpose is to serve and meet the needs of SVG creators and is compatible with Windows, Macs, and Linux operating systems.
- Inkscape files can be exported in PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, PDF, PostScript formats, and more.
- SVG files can also be edited.
- Not compatible with AI and EPS files.
- Does not have superior vector graphic options.
2. Gravit Designer
Gravit is a fantastic free illustrator alternative as it allows you to play around with thousands of vectors, mockups, wireframes, UI designs, and more while packing as much punch as Adobe Illustrator. This program has something to offer everyone from beginners to professional designers.
Similar to Adobe Illustrator, Gravit Designer has vector tools (i.e. pen, slice, line, knife, etc.), and can create shapes while also serving your needs with live filters, layers, path editing modes, and more. Some noteworthy features include an SVG editing tool, live Boolean operations tool, and cloud integration. Gravit has a user-friendly interface and video tutorials.
Gravit’s main purpose is to help illustrators and designers who need a robust design tool and is compatible with the web, Chrome, Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.
- Supports many formats to export/import files.
- Offers flawless dashboard navigation.
- Provides fast and easy-to-use keyboard shortcuts.
- Color customization.
- Free library of wireframes and mockups
- No real-time collaboration
- Lags when working on complex designs.
If you’re looking for an Adobe Illustrator free alternative that can help you design interfaces, create personalized shapes, design animated prototypes, or collaborate, then Figma may be the right fit.
With Figma, you can import your favorite fonts or even use Google Fonts. You don’t have to worry about saving your work as you have Figma’s cloud software to give you peace of mind. Figma is capable of flexibly accepting plugins, allowing you to optimize your workflow.
For a stress-free user experience, you’ll need a graphics card and good RAM. You can export SVG, PNG, and JPEG files or as CSS code. To master the software, remember you need time, patience, and resources to learn it.
Figma works with Chrome, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
- Has all the website design tools you’ll need.
- Simultaneous work by a team can be done on the same project.
- Has all prototype design creation tools.
- Lags on heavy prototypes without a graphics card and effective RAM.
- Doesn’t work offline, and must have a connection to the internet.
- Figma’s module does not have global colors.
When it comes to a free illustrator for beginners, Vectr is the answer. Vectr is available as a web extension or desktop software, and both of these options are simple, and easy to understand and use. Vectr is a great gateway to vector arts because it doesn’t have all the features Adobe Illustrator does, and has little to no learning curve. However, it does have just enough to introduce beginners to the field.
Vectr has a URL sharing feature for collaboration purposes, and it’s lightweight, so it does not take up a lot of room on your system. Vectr’s main purpose is to create a simple, easy-to-use, and quick to learn Adobe Illustrator free alternative. It works best with the web, Chromebooks, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
- Simple user interface
- Multiple formats
- Direct import
- Inbuilt tutorials
- Only has basic features
- No customer support
— Update: 10-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article 12 Best Adobe Illustrator Alternatives (Free & Paid) from the website justcreative.com for the keyword best free adobe illustrator alternatives.
If you’re looking for an Adobe Illustrator alternative, you’ve come to the right place.
Adobe is undoubtedly the industry standard for graphic design and Adobe Illustrator stands as one of the most popular and widely used tools from the Adobe Creative Cloud however it does come at a high price point.
Though it provides impressive output, Illustrator does have its glitches and teething problems along with almost each of its version updates. Moreover, the high price that the designers have to pay for its monthly subscription often bruises their budget.
Hence, we decided to explore a few Adobe Illustrator alternatives that not only promise quality results but also offer a modest deal.
- Get Adobe Illustrator for 65% off
- Get 10 Free Stock Images from Adobe Stock — Includes royalty-free photos, illustrations and videos!
You may also be interested in our guide on how to download Photoshop and the full Adobe software list, as well as the best Adobe Photoshop alternatives and the best monitors for photo editing. If you’re a student check out our guide on how to get Adobe student discount and our Adobe Creative Cloud pricing guide.
Considering the prohibitive price tags and a few quirks that it comes with, Adobe Illustrator might not be the best tool for students who have just started learning graphic design or for professionals who are not willing to invest a lump sum into buying an expensive tool but do check out the 65% discount below.
Or if you’ve decided you do want Adobe Illustrator, get 65% off here.
Adobe Illustrator Discount or Free 7-Day Trial
Did you know that Adobe offers free trials & discounts on their most popular creative software including Adobe Illustrator?
- Download a free trial of Illustrator for PC, Mac or iPad now
- Get 65% off Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Creative Cloud
Students and teachers are also eligible for a discount on Adobe products.
If you are a current student or teacher you are eligible for up to 65% off Adobe Creative Cloud on their Students & Teachers plan.
If you’re not a student or teacher, you can easily become a student and then save up to 65% off on Adobe’s most popular annual plan, CC All Apps. See the instructions here.
How to Choose the Best Adobe Illustrator Alternative?
Before we compare different options, consider the following points to make the right decision:
Ask a few questions to yourself before picking your tool. What kind of designs are you working on? How basic or advanced is your project? What is your desired output? Evaluate and analyze all your requirements, jot them down as this will help you have a clearer picture of your design needs. Look for a suitable tool as per your need.
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If you have a group of designers working on the same project, using a single designing tool is recommended otherwise things get confusing. So, you must analyze your collaboration needs beforehand and choose a tool that enables you to get the required number of people together on a single designing platform. This will make work and sharing files easy.
Price and value
You don’t need to invest in an expensive tool to get the required output. Compare and examine the price and features of a few selected tools and pick the best one. Determine it based on the value and factors it offers against the price for your needs.
Look for tutorial videos and support for the tools on its website and Youtube before investing. Pick one that is easy and quick to learn. Going for trials in advance if available is always a good idea before making a financial commitment.
The 12 Best Adobe Illustrator Alternatives (Free & Paid)
The most powerful Adobe Illustrator alternative
CorelDRAW is popular as the fastest illustrator tool in the market. The all-in-one design and layout illustrator is compatible with Windows, iOS, Mac, iPad and works even on your mobile phones. It offers a multipage view and multi-asset export making designing a lot easier. The next-generation collaboration feature on CorelDRAW enables collaborators to share their feedback and leave comments in the design file itself. In terms of graphic design capabilities, CorelDRAW is the most powerful Adobe Illustrator alternative.
Price: $424.75 for annual subscription ($35/month), $1,017.24 for lifetime access and 30 days money-back guarantee. CorelDRAW offers a 15-day free trial.
|➕ Files can be shared and exported in multiple formats including PSD, DXF, EPS, TIFF among others.||➖ It is not completely offline as it requires an active internet connection to run some of the included software components and features.|
|➕ The training videos are elaborate and very helpful.||➖ Users find the freehand brush difficult to use|
The best beginner-friendly Adobe Illustrator alternative
Canva is one of the most popular graphic design software and is the best beginner-friendly Adobe Illustrator alternative. Many people use Canva for basic and advanced designing, but it can work for vectorization with some limited functionalities. Canva offers some advanced settings and tools to work with vector graphics seamlessly. From creating simple designs to complex arts/shapes for different purposes, you can learn as you go and do much with this web-based Illustrator alternative.
Among all the programs on the list, Canva is the easiest to use and comes with a variety of templates, making it easier for both amateurs and professionals to create delightful designs. There are not many professional features, hence it is a good tool for beginners to explore the field of vector design.
Price: A free version is available with limited features. The Pro version costs $119.99/year for one user. See our compilation of the best Canva templates here.
|➕ Easy to use with an intuitive interface||➖ Limited print functionalities|
|➕ Thousands of templates||➖Not suitable for professional and complex vector designs|
|➕ Free version and reasonable pricing plans.|
|➕No design skills are required to get started|
3. Affinity Designer
The best value Adobe Illustrator alternative
The award-winning illustration tool is a popular choice of designers across the globe. It boasts amazing features like pan and zoom at 60fps with real-time blend mode previews. You can also add live gradients and effects to your designs with Affinity Designer. Moreover, it enables you to LIVE preview all the transformation and curve edits you make in the design. This tool has been optimized for documents of any complexity and is compatible with Mac, Windows, and iPad.
Price: Mac and Windows – $29.63, iPad – $12.11.
|➕ Comes with a free trial||➖ It doesn’t offer a natural perspective grid, apparently, a staple for some designers.|
|➕ Affinity Designer is a one-time pay tool. A monthly subscription is not required.||➖ It doesn’t allow you to export files in AI format.|
|➕ As there’s no legacy code bloat in the software, it is light to use and works at a superfast speed||➖ Vector eraser is missing so editing small vector errors is a task.|
|➕ The learning curve is not steep|
The best free Adobe Illustrator alternative
With millions of downloads, Vectornator is one of the highest-rated illustrators on the App Store. It features auto-trace technology that enables you to trace images in seconds. The unique gesture controls enable you to change node type with a single tap.
With unlimited artboards and advanced text editing tools, Vectornator has become a go-to tool for millions of designers. Some other features of the illustrator include Kerning, Tracking, Line Height, custom tool, path guides, and so on. It is compatible with iPadOS 13 & iOS 13 and later or macOS Big Sur or later (Native M1 support).
|➕ Free to use||➖ It doesn’t have tooltips for its quick action buttons|
|➕ The contextual quick action menus and quick action tab makes designing easy and quick||➖ It works slowly as compared to its counterparts|
|➕ Figma designs can be imported into the app|
|➕ Files can be exported in AI*, PDF*, SVG, PNG, JPG formats as well as in individual layers.|
The best Adobe Illustrator alternative for teams
Figma is a collaborative illustrator app available to use free of cost. With its auto-layout feature, Figma lessens the manual resizing and alignment. It also enables you to add plugins. It is a cloud-based design tool that helps you access your files from anywhere through the internet. It is compatible with both iOs and Windows.
Price: Free for starters, $12 per editor/month (Professional Level), $45 per editor/month (Organization Level)
|➕ Contains all the tools needed for website designing, users don’t need to invest in multiple tools.||➖ Runs slow on heavy prototypes hence require a Graphics Card and good RAM.|
|➕Several members can work simultaneously on the same project using Figma.||➖ Requires an internet connection, doesn’t work offline.|
|➕ Contains all the tools used for creating a prototype design.||➖ Global colors are absent in Figma’s module.|
|➕ Access files anywhere as it’s cloud-based.|
The best Mac Adobe Illustrator alternative
Sketch is a macOS-based illustrator that comes with a 30-day trial. Some of the amazing features that it offers include vector editing, Boolean operations, math operations, and Variable and OpenType fonts among others. Being a collaborative app, Sketch enables users to not only work simultaneously on the same project but also create libraries with symbols, text and layer styles, and color variables and share them with collaborators.
Price: $9 per editor, monthly for individual users. It offers a 30-day free trial.
|➕ Files can be exported in multiple formats and sizes.||➖ As it is a heavy tool, it runs efficiently only on a Mac desktop|
|➕ Vector artwork can be created and edited quickly.||➖ It doesn’t offer a repeat grid|
|➕ Provides options for individual and team accounts with different prices allotted for both.||➖ A plugin is required if you need responsive design tools|
The best value Adobe Illustrator alternative for beginners
A free-of-cost illustrator that helps you create stunning designs with its pencil, text, and shape tool equipped with embedded bitmaps and clones. Apart from offering grids, object manipulation tools, and fill and stroke tools, Inkscape also helps you in node editing, boolean, and path operations.
|➕ Files can be exported in PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS, and PostScript formats.||➖ Not compatible with AI and EPS files.|
|➕ SVG files can be edited||➖ Lacks premium vector graphic options.|
|➕ Free of cost|
8. Gravit Designer
The best web-based Adobe Illustrator alternative
Gravity Designer is a web-based illustration tool. Some of its noteworthy features include SVG editing tool, live Boolean operations tool, cloud integration, and autosave. It is compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. It can work both online and offline. It offers numerous grids, layouts, advance-vector editing tools, a powerful aligning and distributing system among other features.
Price: While Gravity designer is free to use, you can buy Gravity Designer Pro at $48.94.
|➕ Supports multiple formats export and import of files.||➖ No real-time collaboration|
|➕ Offers flawless navigation through the dashboard.||➖ Runs slow while working on complex designs|
|➕ Offers quick and useful keyboard shortcuts.||➖ The free version doesn’t include many basic features|
The best SVG editor
Boxy SVG Editor is one of the best tools to edit SVG files both at the beginner and professional levels. The versatile editor works on any device and operating system. It provides an intuitive user interface to keep your dialogs, palettes, and toolbars organized. It works both as an online and offline tool.
Price: Buy the standard version at 9.99 USD / year and the premium version at 99.99 USD / year
|➕ SVG files can be exported in PDF format.||➖ It does not offer a free trial.|
|➕ Files can be saved both to your disk and in the cloud.||➖ The software has a laggy zoom.|
Browser-based, no app needed
Vecteezy is a browser-based illustration tool that doesn’t require any app download. It offers a friendly interface, numerous features like keyboard shortcuts, advanced transformation, and online collaboration that enable members to interact and work together on a project simultaneously.
Price: Free for the editor. The standard and pro versions can be subscribed at $19 and $29 per month respectively. It offers both vector images and videos.
|➕ It offers numerous vector images and videos for download and use.||➖ Minor glitches are seen in designed images when zoomed in.|
|➕ The designing software is free to use; you only have to pay for vector images and videos.|
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is free software that allows you to create high-quality images using a wide variety of tools and graphic design elements. It is compatible with GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and other operating systems. Moreover, the customization options it offers help you to include 3rd party plugins to enhance your productivity.
|➕ Though it offers numerous tools, GIMP has a small learning curve.||➖ Tools like Crop, Selection, etc are difficult to use|
|➕ It can be used to create GIF files using multiple layers.||➖ Being open-source software, GIMP lacks customer support.|
|➕ Supports files in various formats.||➖ Has fewer features when compared to its paid counterparts.|
Pixlr is a cloud-based storage app, a great pick for designers that work on web browser operating systems. This means you need not worry too much about the operating systems or specs provided you have a relatively decent system.
The software runs on mobile phones and desktops, making it accessible for all users. Also, when it comes to file formats, SVG, PNG, JPG, PSD, PXD, and WebP are compatible formats with Pixlr. So if you’re working on a wide variety of designs, you can render the format that best suits your creative asset.
Besides this, it’s also a good replacement for Adobe photoshop as its features are quite similar. With Pixlr, you can create collages using the collage maker online with free built-in pre-made collage templates.
So for users looking for a multi-platform software option, Pixlr is one of the best Adobe Illustrator alternatives to work with.
|➕ Free and easy to use||➖ Doesn’t support BMP and Tiff format|
|➕ Variety of image editing resources||➖ Glitches sometimes|
|➕ Handy selection of pre-made filters|
Frequently Asked Questions
The 12 Best Adobe Illustrator Alternatives (Free & Paid)
There are several top-notch alternatives for Adobe Illustrator in the digital market. We tried to pick some of the best options to make the choice easier for you. We hope this detailed list helps you pick the right Adobe Illustrator alternative based on your design needs.
— Update: 18-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article The 10 Best Paid and Free Adobe Illustrator Alternatives from the website blog.appsumo.com for the keyword best free adobe illustrator alternatives.
While Adobe Creative Cloud — Illustrator, Photoshop, Adobe XD, InDesign, and more — may be known as the industry standard for graphic design, its expensive monthly subscription model ($20.99 per month or $52.99 per month for the entire Creative Cloud) can bruise a budget.
In this post, we’ll explore 10 best alternatives to Adobe Illustrator.
Top Adobe Illustrator Alternatives
For context, graphic designers work on two types of static image formats: vectors and rasters. Vectors are made from lines, curves, and shapes (plus some machine learning magic). Rasters are comprised of pixels.
If you’re looking for a vector editor to create digital graphics, logos, illustrations, and animations for print, web, and interfaces, you’re in the right place.
1. Affinity Designer
Built and continuously improved as Serif’s pièce de résistance, Affinity Designer is designed to be intuitive for the experienced Adobe user. With one of the most comprehensive vector design toolsets on this list, plus raster finishing, Affinity Designer might be the alternative you’re looking for.
With full compatibility with Adobe’s Suite, Affinity Designer supports standards: 10-bit, CMYK, CIELAB, and Pantone. Affinity Designer has some capabilities similar to Photoshop, like bitmap functions. Users like that the program is not too heavy and doesn’t take up too much RAM.
Compatible format: EPS, JPEG, PDF, SVG, PSD, PNG, TIFF, and GIF
Operating system/device: MacOS, Windows, and iPad
Pricing: Affinity Designer lets you try free for 90 days. After that, it costs a one-time payment of $49.99 (for both Mac or Windows) and $19.99 for iPad.
Compatible with other tools in the Corel graphic suite including Photo-Paint, a Photoshop competitor, CorelDRAW gives you a robust set of vector illustration tools. Get vectors ready for print fast and easy, edit multi-page documents, convert bitmap to vector non-destructively, and generate QR codes.
Check out the LiveSketch feature on touch-enabled devices to turn sketching into precise vector graphics. CorelDRAW is the go-to software for many printing industries in certain parts of the world.
Compatible format: AI, PSD, PDF, JPG, PNG, SVG, DWG, DXF, EPS, TIFF, and more
Operating system/device: MacOS and Windows
Pricing: CorelDRAW offers a 15-day free trial. You can get its annual subscription for $198 per year or a full license for $669.
Many people who use Illustrator rely on tools like Canva when they need to create graphics quickly. And one of the top Canva alternative in the market is Pixelied. While it doesn’t have the same deep vector editing features as Illustrator, the tool boasts an impressive range of assets, vector icons, templates, and ready-made design solutions.
You can upload your vector files from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to Pixelied to use in your designs.
Operating system/device: Cloud-based web application
Pricing: Pixelied starts free and with Pro plan at $7.95 per month. But for a limited time, you can get Pixelied Pro starting at $59 for life at AppSumo.
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Built for UI design, prototyping, and wireframing, Sketch also gives users powerful vector graphics editing abilities. Users report that it is fairly easy to use and has strong organizational/breadcrumb features. Plus, Sketch has a diverse suite of educational resources.
Compatible format: PNG, JPG, TIFF, WebP, SVG, EPS and PDF. AI and PSD with limited support
Operating system/device: MacOS
Pricing: You can try Sketch for 30 days. After that, it’s $99 one-time payment for individual or $9 per contributor per month (or $99 billed annually) for their team plan.
For a free Sketch alternative for Windows, check out Lunacy from icons8.
As a collaborative wireframing and UI design tool, Figma isn’t a direct Adobe competitor, but its collaborative, web app-based approach might be worth your consideration. Share files with links, instead of exporting each time you need another pair of eyes on your work.
Speaking of collaboration, Figma might be most well-known for offering real-time teamwork-friendly possibilities. This Adobe Illustrator alternative is focused in on design made for the web, so its tools for pure vector graphic creation are more basic. But you’ve still got your pen tool, vector networks, and smart components.
Compatible format:PDF, PNG, JPG, SVG, and more
Operating system/device: MacOS with cloud-based web application (no downloads required)
Pricing: Figma is free for up to 2 editors and 3 projects. Paid plans start at $12 per editor per month, billed annually.
6. Boxy SVG
Using SVG as its native document format, Boxy SVG was made just for scalable vector graphics. This tool is available across operating systems and devices.
Compatible format: PNG, JPEG, GIF, WebP, PDF, AI, and more
Operating system/device: MacOS and Linux, but also comes with a cloud-based web application (no downloads required)
Pricing: Boxy SVG comes with a 15-day free trial. Paid plans start at $9.99 per both web or Mac version. It’s free on Linux.
Graphic started as a vector drawing iPad app, but it’s since moved to iPhone and Mac OS X as well. This vector software also gives you tools like layers, editable brush strokes, and UI creation elements.
Compatible format: SVG, PDF, and PSD
Operating system/device: MacOS and iOS (iPad and iPhone)
Pricing: You can get Graphic from Apple App Store at $29.99 for Mac, $8.99 for iPad, and $2.99 for iPhone.
8. Gravit Designer
Gravit Designer is a free vector graphic design app geared toward professional designers. Choose from a wide library of shapes, illustrations, etc., and export infinitely scalable vector graphics. The paid PRO version has even more vector graphic features, including cloud file syncing and offline mode, as well as way more file import/export options.
Compatible format: PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG, EPS, AI, and more
Operating system/device: MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS
Pricing: Gravit Designer offers a free version of its app with limited features. The PRO plan costs $49.99 per year.
Free, open-source, and impressive, Inkscape gives you flexible drawing tools, embedded bitmaps, transformations, gradient editor, node editing, boolean operations. Sure, the UI is a bit dated. But with Inkscape, you can design, edit, draw in 2D, easily convert bitmap images into vectors, and create compliant SVG files.
Compatible format: SVG, PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS, and more
Operating system/device: MacOS, Windows, and GNU/Linux
Pricing: Inkspace is free
Starting as an iPad app, Vectornator is a pretty interesting free choice with some more advanced vector editing tools like boolean operations, grouping, pen tool, anchoring, and masking capabilities. Plus, this will be a tool to watch, since real-time collaboration is coming soon.
Compatible format: AI, SVG, and PDF
Operating system/device: MacOS and iOS (iPad and iPhone)
Pricing: Vectornator is free
How to pick the right Adobe Illustrator alternative
Here you go with the best paid and free Illustrator alternative. Picking a new design tool isn’t an easy feat, here are a few tips:
- Understand your needs and workflow before you decide to commit to any paid tools
- Sign up for the free trial to test a software out. You can use this time to find if the tool has a well-established tutorials to guide you through the learning process
- While you’re testing out a new tool, don’t forget to keep browsing to find the best software for yourself
Good luck! We hope you find an Adobe Illustrator alternative that you love — a tool that can scale with you!
If you’re looking for alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, we’ve also got a handy list here, along with our picks for the best graphic design resources and web design software tools.
— Update: 19-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article The best Adobe Illustrator alternatives in 2023 from the website www.creativebloq.com for the keyword best free adobe illustrator alternatives.
The best Illustrator alternatives are well worth considering if you want to avoid paying for an Adobe subscription. Part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps, Illustrator remains the industry standard vector art software for a reason, but there are alternatives.
Illustrator has dominated digital art, illustration and graphic design for a long time, and we still rate Illustrator as the best vector program in our pick of the best graphic design software. But if you’re looking for Illustrator alternatives, our team of reviewers has some recommendations.
Whether you no longer want to pay for a Creative Cloud subscription or simply fancy learning to work with a different interface, this list will start you on the adventure of working with Illustrator alternatives. Some of these options have a one-off fee, some require a subscription, and some are even free or have free versions. Our reviewers have tested the tools to see how they compare and we’ve taken on board feedback from other designers too in order to evaluate each program’s feature set, versatility, ease of use and use of resources (see more about how we test software).
If you’re looking for more creative tools, see our pick of the best Photoshop alternatives and the top iPad apps for designers. Or if you want to stick with Illustrator, get Adobe Creative Cloud now (opens in new tab) or learn everything you need to know in our article on how to download Adobe Illustrator. Otherwise, read on for the best Illustrator alternatives.
The best Illustrator alternatives today
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We reckon the best all-round alternative to Illustrator is Affinity Designer. First launched in 2014, this vector editor from British software company Serif has gradually grown in popularity and influence, and for good reason. Not only is it powerful and feature-rich, but its one-off purchase price (£48.99, discounts are sometimes available) is far cheaper than an Illustrator subscription.
Unencumbered by legacy code, the software tends to run a little faster than Illustrator, or a lot faster if you have a relatively new Mac (which is largely why it won an Apple Design Award). Can it do everything that Illustrator can? There are some gaps, which we detail in our Affinity Designer review, but generally, yes. Working with other designers who use Illustrator isn’t usually a problem either because Affinity Designer can import and export AI and PSD files.
Affinity Designer also boasts a few features that Illustrator doesn’t have, including the ability to switch between raster and vector workspaces within the same tool, one-million plus zoom, and unlimited redos. You can also use the full version of Affinity Designer on iPad (for £19.99, but currently half price), with optimised features for the Apple Pencil.
If need a vector drawing program primarily for digital design, then Sketch (opens in new tab) is probably the best of Illustrator alternatives, as long as you’re using a Mac. First launched in 2010, Sketch’s strong focus on UI and icon design quickly led it to become the industry’s go-to software for app and website prototyping.
It’s not a fully comprehensive drawing programme, so it doesn’t have all the features offered by Illustrator. You wouldn’t use it to create complex illustrations or art. But by the same token, it has a simpler and more user-friendly interface that makes icon and UI design quick and easy.
A Sketch licence costs $99 and will give you one year of free updates. Once your licence has expired you can still use the app for as long as you want, but you will need to renew if you want the latest updates.
First launched in 1989, CorelDRAW is an Illustrator alternative that has a big following among artists and illustrators. In fact, it’s hard to say whether CorelDRAW or Illustrator is the ‘better’ tool. Both are packed with features and both have their passionate advocates. Because the interfaces and approaches are quite different, fans of each tool will argue, with equal vehemence, that theirs is the easiest to use, but there’s no real objective way of settling this.
CorelDRAW isn’t exactly a cheap Illustrator alternative, but it is more flexible in terms of how you can pay because you can get the software in several ways. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021 is available for a one-off payment while the new 2022 version requires a subscription. It adds in new features including dynamic asset management and a faster adjustments docker for photo editing. There’s also CorelDRAW standard, which is aimed at enthusiasts rather than professionals.
It can easily import Adobe AI and PSD files, so there are no problems with compatibility, and CorelDRAW now has a browser-based app and iPad app too, making it easier to use the program on the go. It does work out a little cheaper than Illustrator but really the main reason to choose CorelDRAW over Illustrator would be if you prefer the interface and workflow. If you’ve never used it, you might want to take advantage of the free trial to see how it feels in practice.
Inkscape (opens in new tab) is a free and open source vector editor using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) as the native format. It’s lightweight, so will run on quite low-powered computers, but it’s surprisingly capable for a free tool, with a lot of useful features including layers, object grouping, drawing, shape, calligraphy, pencil and pen tools, path simplification with variable threshold, bitmap tracing and Boolean operations.
Inkscape natively supports opening or importing a range of formats, including SVG, PDF, EPS, AI (Adobe Illustrator) and CDR (CorelDraw). As well as Windows and Mac, it will also run on Linux. The main downside lies in its performance: it can be quite slow and laggy at times. But for a student or beginner wanting to create digital illustrations and vector graphics for free, and not wanting to spend any money, it’s an excellent choice.
Corel VECTOR is a new option from Corel and it’s worth considering as an Illustrator alternative if you want browser-based vector software at a cheaper price. The software used to be called Gravit Designer, and it used to offer a free option.
It now requires a subscription, but at $69.99 a year, it’s cheaper than the full professional CorelDRAW Graphics Suite – and cheaper than Illustrator. The interface is clear and intuitive, and we’ve found the program could cope with jobs running from icon design and prototyping to vector illustration and animation.
Vectr (opens in new tab) is a completely free, browser-based illustration tool that offers a quick and easy way to get started with vector editing thanks to its intuitive interface. As it’s based in the web browser, anyone with an internet connection can use it, and that makes it quite straightforward for multiple people to collaborate on a design, too. Each image has a bespoke URL you can share with others, and you can export your finished work as an SVG, PNG or JPEG file.
Overall, Vectr is super-simple, which can be seen as a positive or a negative. It can’t replace the feature-rich capabilities of Illustrator, Affinity Designer or CorelDRAW, but that means it has a very low learning curve (there are very good tutorials featured within the app itself). If you’re a beginner looking to create, say, a social media graphic with minimum time and effort, this is a sound option.
VectorStyler is a relatively new Illustrator alternative that seems to be expanding its offering. It used to be available for Mac only but there’s now a Windows version too. Its big sell is its wide range of scalable vector brushes and the inclusion of tools that some users might miss in other alternatives to Illustrator, such as a shape builder, a blend tool and a pattern tool.
This Illustrator alternative can handle Illustrator files, and you can also import AI brush collections. We’ve found the interface to be easy and intuitive, and there are plenty of interesting filters and tools. The downside is that at $95, VectorStyler is twice as expensive as Affinity Designer, which tops our list of the best Illustrator alternatives, and there’s no iPad app or wider ecosystem of other software. That said it does have those features that Affinity Designer lacks, so it will be worth the money for some users.
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