5 Free Open Source Software Substitutes to Photoshop

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Photoshop is an awesome tool that has revolutionized both the photography and design industries. Photoshop has made much of what was extremely complicated and time-consuming, quick, easy and simply executable with the touch of a button. Photoshop has simple-handedly transformed photo editing, photo retouching and the entire graphic design field. But what if you can’t afford to pay the hefty cost Adobe has put on its much-prized product? Or what if you are just looking for something else to try for your logo design? Aren’t there any alternatives? Well, yes actually there are. There are a few excellent substitutes out there now that are definitely worth checking out. Here is a short review of my Top 5 favorite free open source software that can compete with Photoshop.

GIMP logo GIMP logo


GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. Personally, this is my no.1 free open source software that can be used as a substitute to Photoshop and I think that it is the best free image editing software out there on the market today. It has much of the same capabilities as Photoshop including photo retouching, image composition, paint capabilities and batch processing. It is a cross-platform software meaning that it works on both MACs and PCs and it has been created in many different languages. GIMP is a great free software that you can use to design your logo, your business card and so much more. Check it out and give it a try!

Paint.net logo design Paint.net logo design

2. Paint.net

Paint.net is another free software alternative to Photoshop. It is easy to use and it has a large community of many followers. It is a great image editing software however it does have several limitations. For one, it is only for Windows users. Secondly, it truly is only  an imaging editing software. For those of you looking for basic photo editing capabilities, it is great but you might find it a little lacking if you are a more advanced user. If you are looking to design a fairly simple logo, you will likely be able to do it with Paint.net. If you are looking for a more complex or more interesting logo design that you can’t seem to design in Paint.net, have a look at the excellent and affordable logos available at Pixellogo.com.

Pixia image with anime influence Pixia image with anime influence

3. Pixia

Pixia was originally a Japanese software that has now been released in an English language version. Although it was first mainly used to edit anime and manga, Pixia is actually surprisingly powerful and a good alternative to Photoshop. It is for Windows only and it is a good free software to use if you need to do some graphic design work such as to design a logo or any photo editing work. It isn’t as user-friendly as Photoshop or GIMP but there are a lot of tutorials available on the web that can help you along the way.

Krita logo design Krita logo design

4. Krita

Krita won the Akademy Award for Best Application in 2006 and although it isn’t as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP, it does have plenty of image editing capabilities. Krita is toted as a “powerful painting application for professional artists, VFX and game studios”. It is built for Linux and Windows users and it is a good free software to use for both photo editing and basic logo design.

Pixlr logo Pixlr logo

5. Pixlr

Pixlr is a web-based image editing software and it is an amazing photo editing tool that you can use on the run. If you are away from your home computer where Photoshop or GIMP is installed, Pixlr is an attractive substitute if you have some quick photo editing that you need to do. It has all of the basic photo editing features that you need such as layers, filters and masking. Pixlr isn’t as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP but because it’s free and online, it is a great emergency option even for simple logo design.

There are many other Photoshop alternatives out there including Cinepaint, Picnik and Inkscape. Many of these options though aren’t very good so take your time, experiment and see which one you like best. If you need a logo design and you aren’t interested in using any of these free open source softwares to design it yourself, visit the Pixellogo website to see their wonderful selection of outstanding and affordable logos.

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