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Top 8 Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator

Top 8 Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is no doubt, one of the best graphic design tools available. With its outstanding capabilities, Illustrator can output intricate vector designs optimized for print. However, Illustrator has quite the learning curve if you’re new to the software. Not to mention, it isn’t exactly budget-friendly either. Now that the creative suite is a cloud-based platform, reoccurring payments are getting old and designers are looking for alternatives to Illustrator.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options outside the world of Adobe. We’re here to discuss comparable vector applications that are close competitors to Illustrator.

1. Affinity Designer vs. Illustrator

Affinity Designer is a desktop vector software created as a low-cost alternative to Illustrator. Its functionality reflects the needs of full-time design experts while simplifying the learning process for beginners. If you’re using intermediate features on Illustrator, then the transition to Affinity Designer will be virtually seamless. It shares most of the same functions as Illustrator, but it’s often described as a cross between Photoshop and Illustrator in one. If you’re frequently toggling between Adobe programs, then Affinity Designer could be the answer for you!

Beneficial Features of Affinity Designer:

  • Compatible with Illustrator and Photoshop files
  • Converts vector to pixel without leaving the app
  • One-time payment
  • 1,000,000% zoom for fine lines and small details
  • Advanced grids and guides
  • Split screen and outline views
  • Unlimited artboards
  • Brush stabilization

2. Inkscape vs. Illustrator

Since Adobe stirred up a little frustration with subscription-based payments, Inkscape’s used this to their advantage by making the application completely free! Inkscape is a vector design software that’s used professionally by designers of all levels. It’s comparable to Adobe Illustrator, but limited to the more basic design tools. While some might argue that Inkscape’s platform is strictly for beginners, it really comes down to the creativity of the user. Inkscape doesn’t offer everything that Illustrator does, but it’s still very possible to create complex and elaborate designs that will amaze your customers. If you’re looking for a vector illustration software to create exciting t-shirt designs and images, then Inkscape is just a couple clicks away!

Beneficial Features of Inkscape:

  • Free
  • Flexible drawing tools
  • Object creation
  • Shape manipulation
  • Operation on paths
  • Stroke and fill
  • Interactive transformation
  • Text manipulation

3. Sketch vs. Illustrator

Sketch is one of the best alternatives to Illustrator. It’s an established, intuitive vector design platform that’s won over many dedicated Illustrator users. Sketch’s biggest advantage is its adaptability. It offers a variety of time-saving plugins and has simplified the learning curve to a T. Plus, its customizability helps creators personalize their workspace to best-fit their design needs. If you already know Illustrator like the back of your hand and frequently use every available tool, then Sketch isn’t necessarily for you. Sure, Sketch can definitely replace Illustrator for most designers, just know it’s geared toward a quick and easy workflow that eliminates many of Illustrator’s hassles. If you’re looking for a professional design tool that’s easy to learn, give Sketch a try!

Beneficial Features of Sketch:

  • Selection of plugins and integrations
  • One-time payment
  • Workspace customization
  • Converts vector to pixel without leaving the app
  • Export multiple file types all at once
  • Large selection of multi-functioning tools
  • Compatible with Illustrator and Photoshop files

4. Vectr vs. Illustrator

If you’re starting to get your feet wet in the world of design,Vectr is a simple but powerful place to start. Vectr is a free, user-friendly online vector creation tool with no required program downloading. The user experience is simplified so any idea is easy to bring to life. Although Adobe Illustrator has a lot more to offer designers, Vectr gives users cost-free access to the vital tools necessary to create a masterpiece. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, Vectr is sure to pleasantly surprise designers of any level!

Beneficial Features of Vectr:

  • Free
  • Friendly to beginners
  • Browser and desktop options available
  • Easy sharing capabilities
  • Multiple exporting formats
  • Variety of filters
  • Simplified user experience

5. Gravit vs. Illustrator

Gravit is one of the most powerful free browser-based applications for vector designing. While Gravit offers a solid selection of proficient design tools, it also has the benefit of easy accessibility. Your designs can be reached from any computer in a matter of seconds. Gravit also offers a marketplace of graphic material to use for inspiration or as additions to designs. With a similar functionality to Illustrator and an easy learning curve, Gravit is perfect for anyone with the desire to create.

Beneficial Features of Gravit:

  • Free
  • Cloud storage for designs
  • Simple importing and exporting
  • Work on designs from any computer
  • Marketplace of graphic material to work with
  • Predesigned templates
  • Beginner-friendly

There are pros and cons to every vector design program whether it’s the learning curve, price, functionality or anything else that you’re taking into consideration. What matters are your needs as a designer. Before making any purchases, try out some of the free applications we’ve suggested. If you’re a full-time designer or feel trapped using free applications, it’s probably best to bite the bullet and invest in a proficient software with higher capability. Just know that there are other options out there that are just as wonderful as Illustrator!

6. MediBang Paint vs. Illustrator

MediBang Paint is one of the most efficient illustrative applications as a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. This lightweight app is jam packed with brush selections, fonts, even premade backgrounds, and they’re all available at your fingertips. Because the application is geared towards comic creation, you’ll be pleased to find a selection of tutorials, templates and tips to output outstanding digital work. Even if your artistic skills aren’t up to par, the pen correction tool can smooth out your brush strokes for a polished finish.

Beneficial Features of MediBang Paint:

  • Free
  • Mobile and desktop
  • Cloud features
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Pre-loaded creative tools
  • Pro version available

Compatible With:

  • MacOS
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Android

7. Manga Studio vs. Illustrator

As a favorite amongst comic professionals, Manga Studio has the power and tools to bring your imagination to life. While there are a variety of comparable applications, Manga Studio is well with it’s low price of $24.99. It’s tried and true, it’s trusted and most of all, it can help you produce wonderful works of art!

Beneficial Features of Manga Studio:

  • 3D Pose reference
  • Vector and raster mix
  • Built-in screen tones
  • Used by professionals

Compatible With:

  • MacOS
  • Microsoft Windows

8. Vecteezy Editor vs. Illustrator

Vecteezy is know for it’s wide variety of vector graphics. Now, Vecteezy offers a free editing tool for your convenience. The Adobe illustrator alternative is designed for easy manipulation of SVG graphics which is perfect for designing t-shirts and more! Because it’s fully integrated into the Vecteezy website, there is no hassle and no frustration. It’s almost too easy!

Beneficial Features of Vecteezy Editor:

  • Free
  • Friendly to beginners
  • No downloading necessary
  • User friendly
  • All preferred features

Compatible With:

  • Browser based

There are pros and cons to every vector design program whether it’s the learning curve, price, functionality or anything else that you’re taking into consideration. What matters are your needs as a designer. Before making any purchases, try out some of the free applications we’ve suggested. If you’re a full-time designer or feel trapped using free applications, it’s probably best to bite the bullet and invest in a proficient software with higher capability. Just know that there are other options out there that are just as wonderful as Illustrator!

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