Graphic Design Tools

Canva

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Canva offers a graphic design platform that balances ease of use with powerful features. They cater to both individuals and teams with a freemium model. The free plan provides access to a vast library of templates, design tools, and stock media, but with limitations on storage and collaboration features.

Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks increased storage, premium content, and team collaboration functionalities. This makes Canva suitable for anyone from casual social media creators to professional design teams.

Graphically

Price: Free Trial & Pricing Plans Available

Graphically offers a subscription-based service for graphic designers, aiming to streamline workflows and improve efficiency. They don’t have a free tier, but new users can access a trial period.

Paid plans provide features like project management tools, team collaboration functionalities, and built-in templates to expedite design creation. Higher tiers offer increased storage space, more integrations with other design tools, and priority customer support, catering to larger design teams with complex project needs.

Adobe Illustrator

Price: Pricing Plans Available

Adobe Illustrator, the industry standard vector graphics software, offers a subscription-based pricing model. You can’t buy it outright, but you can subscribe monthly or annually. The monthly plan provides more flexibility but costs slightly more in the long run.

Annual subscriptions are cheaper but lock you into a year-long commitment. Pricing also depends on whether you want Illustrator alone or as part of a larger Creative Cloud package that includes other Adobe applications.

Figma

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Figma offers a cloud-based design platform for creating user interfaces, prototypes, and graphic design elements. There’s a forever-free plan that allows you to work on an unlimited number of projects but with limited features, like fewer editable files and restricted sharing capabilities.

Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks features like increased file storage, advanced collaboration features, and access to plugins and integrations with other design tools. Higher tiers offer even more features and administrative controls for managing teams. This makes Figma suitable for both individual freelancers and large design teams.

Affinity Designer

Price: Pricing Plans Available

Affinity Designer offers a powerful vector design software for Mac, Windows, and iPad at a one-time purchase cost. Unlike subscription models, you pay once and own the software forever.

While there’s no free tier, they do offer a very affordable price compared to similar design programs.  You can buy it for individual platforms (Windows or Mac) or as a discounted Universal License that unlocks the software for all three platforms (Mac, Windows, iPad).

GIMP

Price: Free

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s a free and open-source image editing software, making it a popular choice for those who don’t want to pay for editing tools.

Despite being free, GIMP offers powerful features for photo editing, graphic design, and image manipulation. This makes it a suitable option for both beginners and experienced users.

CorelDRAW

Price: Free Trial & Pricing Plans Available

CorelDRAW offers professional graphic design software for Windows and Mac.  Aimed at designers and creative teams, it boasts features for illustration, layout, photo editing, and more.  CorelDRAW doesn’t have a free tier, but they do offer a trial.

Their pricing comes in two main options: a one-time purchase for a perpetual license or a subscription plan with yearly fees.  The one-time purchase typically costs around $459 and up, while subscriptions are billed annually.

Sketch

Price: Free Trial & Pricing Plans Available

Sketch offers professional-grade vector design software for Mac users. Unlike some competitors with freemium models, Sketch utilizes a traditional licensing system. You can purchase a yearly license for individual users, granting access to all features and updates for a set price.

This makes it ideal for designers who need the full functionality of the software without a recurring subscription. While there’s no free tier, they do offer a free trial to test out the software before committing to a purchase.

Vectr

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Vectr offers a free vector graphics editing software ideal for beginners or casual users. It allows you to create basic illustrations and graphic designs using a user-friendly interface. While there’s no traditional paid subscription, Vectr offers a credit system for accessing premium features.

You can purchase credit packs to unlock features like additional storage space, access to exclusive design elements, and the ability to export designs without a watermark. This freemium model lets you try the software for free and only pay for features you need.

Gravit Designer

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Gravit Designer offers vector graphics editing software with a focus on collaboration and ease of use. They cater to both individual users and teams with a freemium model. The free plan allows you to access the core design features for creating vector graphics and basic collaboration functionalities.

Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks advanced features like unlimited cloud storage, team collaboration tools, and the ability to export designs in various formats. Pricing for paid plans isn’t publicly available and requires contacting their sales team.

Stencil

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Stencil caters to social media managers and content creators by offering a web-based design platform for creating social media graphics. They use a freemium model.

The free plan allows you to design basic visuals with a limited number of templates and stock photos, but limits your exports and storage space. Pricing increases for higher tiers that offer even more features and functionalities.

Piktochart

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Piktochart offers a visual communication platform designed to create infographics, presentations, and other visual content. They cater to both individual users and teams with a freemium model.

The free plan allows you to create a limited number of visuals with basic features, but with storage limitations. Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks features like unlimited visuals, more storage space, access to a library of premium templates and assets, and team collaboration capabilities.

Design Wizard

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Design Wizard offers a graphic design software aimed at both individual users and small businesses. They cater to users who value ease of use and affordability. Design Wizard uses a tiered pricing structure. There’s a free plan that allows you to create basic designs with limited features and watermarks.

Paid plans unlock features like premium templates, unlimited image uploads, and the ability to download designs without watermarks.

Placeit

Price: Free Trial & Pricing Plans Available

Placeit offers a subscription-based service for creating marketing materials and design assets. They don’t have a free tier, but they do provide a free trial to test out the features.

Instead of buying individual assets, you pay a monthly fee for unlimited downloads. This makes Placeit a good option for businesses and creatives who need to produce a steady stream of high-quality visual content.

Crello

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Crello offers a graphic design platform with a freemium model, making it accessible to both casual users and businesses. The free plan allows you to create basic designs using pre-made templates and a limited library of assets.

Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks features like premium templates, stock photos and videos, and the ability to export designs in higher resolutions.

Balsamiq

Price: Free Trial & Pricing Plans Available

Balsamiq offers wireframing software for designing the layout and user interface of digital products. They cater to both individual designers and teams with a tiered pricing structure.  Instead of a free tier, they provide a limited trial to test the software.

If you’re a solo designer or only need wireframing software occasionally, the desktop purchase might be sufficient. For teams or those needing ongoing collaboration features, the cloud-based subscription is a better fit.

Affinity Photo

Price: One-Time Payment

Affinity Photo offers powerful photo editing software for a one-time purchase price. Unlike subscription models, you pay upfront and gain access to all features and future updates. This makes it attractive for users who prefer a single cost and don’t need to commit to monthly fees.

While there’s no free tier, Affinity Photo offers a very affordable price point compared to similar editing software. You can buy it for Windows or Mac, with the iPad version available as a separate purchase.

Procreate

Price: One-Time Payment

Procreate is a popular illustration and design app designed specifically for iPads. Unlike most creative software, Procreate offers a one-time purchase instead of a subscription.

For a single payment of $12.99, you gain access to all the features, updates, and future improvements the app offers. This makes it an attractive option for artists who prefer a permanent purchase and don’t want to worry about ongoing fees.

Photoscape X

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Photoscape X offers a feature-rich photo editing experience for free. You can edit photos, create collages and gifs, and manage your images all within one program.

If you need more advanced features, they also have a paid version, Photoscape X Pro. Pricing information for Photoscape X Pro isn’t publicly available and requires contacting the developer.

Krita

Price: Free Version & Paid Version

Krita stands out as a free and open-source option for digital painting and illustration. Unlike most software, you don’t need to pay to use it.  It offers a wide range of brushes, tools, and features typically found in professional-grade applications.

This makes Krita attractive for artists of all levels, from beginners to experienced professionals. While it’s completely free to download and use, they also have a paid version available on Steam.

Inkscape

Price: Free

Unlike most design software, Inkscape offers a completely free and open-source option for vector graphics editing. This means you can download and use it forever without any cost.

It’s a good choice for hobbyists, students, or anyone who needs a powerful vector editing tool without a subscription or upfront purchase fee.

Lunacy

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Lunacy offers a design tool for crafting user interfaces (UI) and graphics. They cater to both personal and commercial use with a unique pricing structure. There’s a completely free version that lets you access core features and export designs with limitations.

Pricing for paid plans starts at a reasonable amount per user making Lunacy an attractive option for both individual designers and teams on a budget.

Visme

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Visme targets businesses and marketers seeking an all-in-one creative platform for content creation. They offer a freemium model, allowing users to test the waters with basic design tools for presentations, infographics, and social media graphics.

Pricing tiers offer additional functionalities like team collaboration tools and marketing analytics. This caters to both individual creators and marketing teams needing a comprehensive solution for various visual content needs.

Flipsnack

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

Flipsnack offers a cloud-based platform for creating interactive flipbooks and digital catalogs. They cater to businesses and individuals of all sizes with a tiered pricing model. There’s a free plan that allows you to create and share basic flipbooks with limitations on pages and branding.

Pricing starts at a modest monthly fee (billed annually) and increases for higher tiers that offer even more features, customization options, and storage space.

BeFunky

Price: Free Plan & Pricing Plans Available

BeFunky offers a photo editing and graphic design platform with a freemium model. The free version lets you do basic editing tasks and manage your photos online.

Upgrading to a paid plan unlocks a wider range of editing tools, access to premium effects and graphics, and the ability to create designs like flyers and social media posts.

Disclaimer: These tools are like power-ups for marketing: awesome options, but results depend on specific need. Test, tweak and choose a perfect fit from the results delivered.