4 Great Free & Open Source Alternatives to Illustrator

April 26, 2014

Why is it that ever designer that I know seemingly uses Adobe Illustrator as their vector graphics editor of choice? I know that with Illustrator, Adobe has created an outstanding tool for drawing and illustrating but aren’t there any other, cheap options out there on the market today? Abobe Illustrator seems to have a monopoly on the market but there must be some other options out there, right? Yes, fortunately for us and all those hobbyists out there are, there are some other options.

Here are my picks of the top 4 free open source alternatives to Illustrator. With all the fantastic open source programs being created these days, it is about time that some other vector graphics programs are emerging. Check these out!

Inkscape logo Inkscape logo

1. Inkscape
Inkscape is by far my number one free open source alternative to Illustrator. Inkscape has had a growing number of followers over the past few years and it is now the most popular vector graphics editor out there next to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape has a simpler interface than Illustrator making it easy to use especially for anyone that has used Adobe’s Illustrator in the past. Most people won’t need much time to adjust to using this new software with is great and as this software becomes more known, it should allow for more people to willingly transfer over to using this software as their preferred vector graphics editor.

Inkscape is a very professional and powerful vector graphics software. It has tons of excellent tools that you allow you a lot of flexibility and the opportunity to mazimize your creativity. Inkscape is an outstanding free software that you can use to create a logo, a business card, stationary and so much more. There are also a lot of great learning resources available on the Inkscape website to help you along the way. Inkscape is also open source and cross platform. Inkscape works with MACs, Windows and Unix operating systems such as Linux. It is free so why not download it today and give it try.

Screenshot of Inkscape Screenshot of Inkscape
Screenshot of Inkscape 2 Screenshot of Inkscape 2


2. Skencil
Now that I’ve preached so heavily about Inkscape, why would I even go on to talk about anything else, right? Well, there are a few other decent free options out there that are worth a try if you are looking for a little more choice. One of these such options is Skencil. Not nearly as powerful as Illustrator or Inkscape but still a good choice, Skencil was formerly known as Sketch and it is a free vector graphics drawing application for Linux. Equipped with lot of fabulous tools, you can use Skencil for drawing a logo, or adding text to an image on a business card.  Skencil was created with the programming language called Python, which has made it very flexible, and because it is very customizable, I expect this free software to continue to grow in the coming years.

Skencil screenshot Skencil screenshot
Skencil screenshot 2 Skencil screenshot 2


Draw Plus logo Draw Plus logo

3. Draw Plus
DrawPlus is not a great choice for professional designers out there but if you are looking to have some fun designing, this is a good free open source alternative to Illustrator. Unfortunately, it is only for Windows and only the starter kit is available to free. The free starter DrawPlus edition comes with vector drawing tools, paintbrushes and it can be used to create logos as it comes with some filter and 3D effects.

DrawPlus screenshot DrawPlus screenshot


xara logo xara logo

4. Xara X
Unfortunately for Windows and MAC users, this software is only available for free for Linux users. Again, it isn’t as powerful as either Illustrator or Inkscape but it is very fast and it comes with many nice features and tools.

Xara x screenshot Xara x screenshot

If you find that none of these free open source softwares meet your logo design needs and you are looking for a little help with your next logo, check out the amazing logos available at Pixellogo. Pixellogo has a very extensive logo collection that is outstanding and affordable.

* All of the images above were taken from their respective websites.

Sarah Williams

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