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Don’t Want to Pay for Adobe? Use These Free Apps Instead

9 free apps for illustration, graphic design, and editing

Adobe seems to be following the Netflix strategy. They just increased their monthly subscription price from $39.99/month to $48.99/month. While this price jump doesn’t yet affect North America, don’t expect that to last. Increasing subscription prices is a part of the game. With Netflix, however, there aren’t many other TV subscriptions that can provide the scope of content that they can. Adobe, on the other hand, has stiff competition.

Below we’ll list 9 FREE alternatives to Adobe’s high-priced subscription that you can use to fine tune your brand from logo to packaging design. These apps are best for illustration, graphic design, and editing, so you can also use them to create assets for your website or blog.

  1. Krita (/MacWindows) – Good for re-editable file layers, filter/effect layers plus layer files.
  2. Sketchbook (Mac/Windows) – Simple UI and allows you to save files in PSD.
  3. Medibang Paint (Mac/Windows/Mobile) – Similar to Procreate with just as many features.
  4. Pixlr X (Web) – Use the paid option only if you really dislike ads, but the free option works just as well.
  5. Photoscape X (Mac/Windows) – Simple photo editing software. Can batch-edit photos and gifs.
  6. Fire Alpaca (Mac/Windows) – A variety of brushes effective for painting comic strips.
  7. Storyboarder (Mac/Windows) – You don’t need to be pro at drawing or rendering to get the best out of this app.
  8. Shotcut (Mac/Windows) – Not ideal for any major video projects, but for basic editing, this app has you covered.
  9. Blender (Mac/Windows) – Perfect alternative to 3DS or Maya. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you master it the results will be worth it.

Adobe is great and they do offer an entire suite of high-quality tools. If you’re okay with the new rate and already comfortable with their software, then you might want to continue in their ecosystem. These alternatives are options that can complement what you do in Adobe or replace it if you’re just getting started or looking to market your business on a budget.

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