Small Business Trends

10 Best Free Graphic Design Software

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Graphic design software helps users design, edit, and publish graphics or images.

Working on graphic designs as a freelancer or an in-house graphic designer requires a lot of brainstorming and ideating. And without the right tools, developing ideas into actual graphics can be difficult. Graphic designing software helps create appealing images to make your designs stand out and capture your audience’s attention.

With graphic design software, you can create company logos, banners, promotional material for offline and social media marketing, design assets for advertising campaigns, and more.

However, not every business may have the budget to invest in a high-end graphic design tool. If your business is one of these, the workaround is using free software that gets the job done without eating up your finances.

This article highlights the ten best free graphic design software tools (sorted alphabetically) based on user ratings and reviews. (Read the complete methodology here.)

See the full list of the best graphic design software in Capterra’s software directory.
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10 best free graphic design software

BEE Pro: Provides access control rights

BEE Pro is a graphic design software solution that helps design emails, landing pages, newsletters, signup forms, and more. It offers a drag-and-drop editor that lets you edit and manipulate images, and create email and page templates.

With BEE Pro, you can export your designs in multiple ways—download it on your system as a zip file, save it on your BEE Pro account, copy the HTML code, or push it to a third-party app.

The software offers a built-in communication portal to create communication threads for your teams and oversee photo editing and design projects. You can set user roles and permissions, and assign designers to specific workflows to monitor your production capacity.

BEE Pro is web-based and offers email support.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Image library
  • Templates
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$12.50 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Landing page builder in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/231760/BEE-Pro/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">BEE Pro</span></i></a></p>

Canva: Integrates with third-party tools

Canva is an online image editing software solution used by advanced designers to first-time photo editors. It helps create, customize, and share designs such as brochures, flyers, logos, resumes, and posters on social media platforms.

With Canva, you can import PDF files and turn them into online designs using a built-in editor. The editor allows you to add editable elements and convert and annotate your PDFs. It also lets you create animated assets by applying movement to words and using dynamic text animations.

Canva lets you collaborate with your teammates and create designs together in real time. You can start a new project, invite your team members, and give access permissions to them. Image cropping, color correction, and multiple photo effects are some other features to enhance your images and designs.

Canva offers chat and email support. It is web-based and also has applications for desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) devices.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Animation
  • Asset library
  • Audio file management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Custom fonts
  • Content management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$12.99 per month (billed monthly)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Designing dashboard in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/168956/Canva/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Canva</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/168956/Canva/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Creatopy: Offers a library of design templates

Creatopy is an image editing and ad design automation platform that helps customize, automate, and scale ad production and delivery. It lets you customize motion, add creative elements and effects, and create workflows.

The software uses AI to generate various design versions per your needs. You can set preferences for layouts and orientation and use the built-in AI tool to resize your designs as required.

The photo editor also lets you create teams and workspaces, allocate roles and rights to users, set privacy levels for projects, and allow users to collaborate on projects.

Creatopy is web-based and offers email, chat, and phone support.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Advertising management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Content import/export
  • Customizable templates
  • Design management
  • Drag-and-drop editor
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$17 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drag-and-drop editor in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/161766/Creatopy/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Creatopy</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/161766/Creatopy/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

GIMP: Supports multiple programming languages

GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an open source photo editor for graphic designers, photographers, and illustrators. It supports multiple programming languages, including C, C++, Perl, Python, and Scheme, to offer high-level customization for graphic and vector designs.

GIMP’s color management feature helps ensure high-fidelity color reproduction for your digital and print media assets. You can create icons, logos, original artworks, illustrations, and much more.

Being open source, GIMP’s view and behavior can be customized according to your preference. You can also customize items such as widget themes, spacings, icon sizes, and drawing tools.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Design management
  • Pattern, color, and art storage
  • Search/filter
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

Free (open source)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sketching in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/168960/GIMP/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">GIMP</span></i></a></p>

Issuu: Helps with multichannel marketing

Issuu is design and content management software for marketers, designers, freelance illustrators, and solo creators. The software lets you create flipbooks, content cards, and presentation decks, and embed content on your website without needing any coding knowledge.

With Issuu, you can customize your designs, establish and follow specific brand guidelines, and optimize your content for SEO. You can integrate the software with third-party design platforms to facilitate easy design migration.

Issuu integrates with various social media platforms to help market your designs online. It also allows you to collaborate with your teammates and create individual and group workflows for design projects.

Issuu offers email support. It is web-based and has a mobile app for Android and iOS.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Advertising management
  • Approval process control
  • Booking management
  • File sharing
  • Layout and design
  • Multichannel marketing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$19 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharing assets on social media in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/212526/Issuu/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Issuu</span></i></a></p>

Sharing assets on social media in Issuu

Lucidpress: Facilitates easy data migration

Lucidpress is a design and brand templating tool designed for creative teams. It provides pre-designed templates and stock photos for beginners.

With Lucidpress, you can design content, such as branding assets and marketing materials, from scratch using a drag-and-drop editor. You can even import existing designs from your system or third-party platforms.

The software helps maintain brand consistency by letting you lock down brand assets to protect them from accidental changes or deletions. It lets you collaborate with your teammates on projects and share assets easily.

Lucidpress offers chat and email support. It is web-based and also has a desktop application.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
Most Affordable
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Key Features:

  • Access control permissions
  • Analytics
  • Approval process control
  • Artwork management
  • Asset library
  • Asset sharing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$3 per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Template locking in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/234499/Lucidpress/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lucidpress</span></i></a></p>

PhotoScape X: Offers a library of pre-built templates

PhotoScape X is a photo editing software solution for graphic designers. It offers filters, effects, frames, objects, brushes, and tools to edit your digital assets and create custom images.

The software lets you combine and merge photos (vertically and horizontally) to create one final image. It also lets you create animated GIFs using a built-in GIF creator and add stickers and dynamic texts to your digital assets.

PhotoScape X offers email support. It is deployed on premise and has a desktop application for Mac and Windows devices.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Batch processing
  • Content import/export
  • Content sharing
  • Drag and drop
  • Image library
  • Pre-built templates
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$39.99 (one-time payment)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Editor in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/198207/PHOTOSCAPE-X/#features"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photoscape X</span></i></a></p>

PosterMyWall: Allows content scheduling

PosterMyWall is a graphic design software solution that lets you create social media posts and promotional videos using customizable ready-made templates.

The software lets you publish designs and schedule posts directly on social media. Its editing dashboard allows you to create posters, flyers, marketing materials, email newsletters, and more.

With PosterMyWall, you can collaborate with teammates and share designs, folders, and digital assets. Additionally, you can set up access control rights to define who can access the designs and assets.

PosterMyWall is web-based and offers email, chat, and phone support.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
Best Functionality
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Key Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Content library
  • Content scheduling
  • Customizable templates
  • Design management
  • Drag-and-drop editor
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$8.33 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Design dashboard in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/189429/PosterMyWall/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">PosterMyWall</span></i></a></p>

Visme: Helps create short videos and animations

Visme is a graphic design tool that lets you create presentations, infographics, promotional material, and newsletters for marketing campaigns.

The software offers an editing dashboard that you can use to create assets from scratch or with the help of pre-designed templates. You also get access to a template library with multiple themes for building your specific brand style and maintaining consistency while designing brand assets.

With Visme, you can create short videos and animations along with graphics. You can also integrate your social media accounts to share your designs directly to third-party platforms.

Visme is web-based and offers email, chat, and phone support.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • 3D objects
  • Animation
  • Audio file management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Media library
  • Offline editing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$15 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Template library in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/153139/Visme/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Visme</span></i></a></p>

Template library in Visme

VistaCreate: Provides a library of audio files

VistaCreate is a graphic design platform that helps create a variety of visuals, such as animated graphics, social media posts, posters, flyers, and logos.

The software offers pre-built templates to help create customized videos and stylized images for animation projects. It allows you to edit videos and add sounds and background scores to create multidimensional assets.

VistaCreate offers integration through an API to connect with your website and directly build graphic assets.

VistaCreate offers email, phone, and chat support. It is web-based and has a mobile app for iOS and Android.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Animations and transitions
  • Content library
  • Customizable branding
  • Design management
  • Media import
  • Pattern, color, and art storage
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$10 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Logo maker in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/175859/Crello/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">VistaCreate</span></i></a></p>

How to choose the right free graphic design software

Whether you are a professional design wizard or someone who’s starting out, it’s crucial to have the right software for the job. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting a solution:

  • Check for pre-programmed watermarks. Some free tools add watermarks to your designs that you can remove only after purchasing a paid plan. Ensure the free solution you choose doesn’t automatically add a watermark to your graphics.
  • Assess the compatibility of the software. The tool you select should be compatible with the file types you work with, along with the system you operate. Before finalizing any tool, check for software compatibility with the vendor.
  • Assess the tool’s usability. A graphic design tool should be intuitive and easy to handle, even for beginners. When selecting new software, check how user-friendly it is and whether the vendor provides tutorials for new users.

Common questions to ask while selecting free graphic design software

Having the right set of questions to ask vendors can improve your chances of finding the ideal software for your needs. These are some questions you can ask vendors when looking for a free graphic design tool:

What kind of support should I expect?

Before finalizing a vendor, check what kind of support free users get and if priority support is only accessible on buying a paid plan. Additionally, ask the turnaround time for tracking and fixing bugs.

What are your integration options?

Most graphic design tools integrate with social media and project management platforms to facilitate external and internal sharing of assets. Before finalizing, ask vendors if the software in question provides easy integration with third-party tools and apps.

Is your software scalable?

As your business grows, more people will start using the software for graphic design work or photo editing. An ideal tool should have additional user seats to make it easier for you to add new users. Before finalizing a product, ask if such features are part of the free software version.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people such as you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


To be considered for this list, products have to:

1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of Dec. 15, 2021). We selected the ten products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.

2. Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).

3. Meet our graphic design software market definition: “Graphic design software provides users with the necessary features to design, edit, and publish graphics or images.”

“Best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user-ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews as on Dec. 15, 2021.

“Most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade as on Dec. 15


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About the Author

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay

Writer @ Capterra, helping digital Davids beat Goliaths. I cover small business trends in CRM, accounting, real estate, insurtech, and emerging tech. B.A English, University of Delhi. Currently pursuing my master’s in English Literature. When I’m not working, I’m planning my next trek, playing video games, or working out.

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