If you’ve heard of Photoshop, you’re probably aware that it’s quite an investment. Don’t worry, there are plenty of free alternatives to Photoshop. we’ve come up with a list of options suited for both graphic editing newcomers and seasoned Photoshop users.
Photoshop is a software application developed by Adobe that is primarily used for image editing and manipulation. It is widely used by graphic designers, photographers, and digital artists for a wide range of purposes, including image retouching, compositing, and digital painting.
Photoshop provides a comprehensive set of tools for editing images, including features for adjusting brightness, contrast, color balance, and saturation, as well as tools for cropping, resizing, and transforming images. It also includes a wide range of filters and effects that can be applied to images to create different styles and looks. Additionally, Photoshop supports layers, which allows for non-destructive editing and the ability to create complex compositions.
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Photoshop is also used extensively in the design industry, as it allows for the creation of graphics and layouts for print and digital media. Designers can use Photoshop to create logos, web graphics, marketing materials, and more, and it is often used in conjunction with other design software, such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
One of the most powerful features of Photoshop is its ability to work with raw image files. This allows photographers to work with images that have not yet been processed or compressed, giving them greater control over the final output.
Photoshop is a complex and feature-rich application, and it can take some time to learn how to use it effectively. Adobe offers a wide range of resources and training materials, including online tutorials, user forums, and in-person training sessions, to help users get the most out of the software.
Creative Cloud is a marvelous collection of apps for experienced designers and a great investment if you’re planning on expanding your business or employing designers. Creative Cloud offers many useful features like storing and sharing your projects and even working on them at the same time. It’s the perfect graphic design environment.
Creative Cloud could seem overwhelming or impractical. That’s because even the slightest change to an image—like a decoration on a sales banner—or even just opening software-specific files like PSD (Photoshop Data file) requires a subscription to access the editing software.
Free alternatives of Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is an industry-leading raster (pixel-based) image editor used to create unique graphics and edit photos. It’s packed with many useful tools for resizing, color adjusting, and retouching images. Photoshop used to be a program you could buy from Adobe and use to your heart’s content. But since 2013, it’s a part of a monthly subscription-based service—Creative Cloud. Photoshop is included in multiple subscription plans.
Photopea Use it for: DTG, all-over print, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing, photo editing, social media graphics.
This might be the Swiss army knife of free alternatives to Photoshop. Not only does it look similar to Photoshop, it also has many of its features. Photopea offers pre-made sizes and templates for posters and social media graphics. All in all, it’s the perfect software for both experienced Photoshop users and graphic design rookies.
Gimp Use it for: DTG, all-over print, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing, photo editing. No list of free Photoshop alternatives would be complete without Gimp.
This software has established a strong presence in the graphics editing world and has built a strong community. It’s the perfect software for editing small files and creating simple designs.
Krita Use it for: DTG, all-over print, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing, photo editing. Krita is the only raster graphic software on the list suited for creating seamless all-over print patterns.
It’s also great for basic photo editing. It does, however, need some getting used to it as it might seem a little complex and hard to understand at the beginning. Since it’s made with artists in mind, it has a highly customizable Brush tool and can be linked to graphics tablets.
InkScape Use it for: DTG, all-over print, embroidery, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing. If you want to take your designs to new heights, try vector editing software. As such, InkScape is a handy program for creating print files of any size.
That’s because vectors are made of objects such as lines, curves, and polygons, and designs created on vector editors can be resized without damaging their quality. InkScape’s Measure tools also make it a handy program for creating embroidery designs. But, similar to a few other entries on this list, InkScape has a learning curve.
Canva Use it for: Social media graphics, poster & canvas printing. Canva might not be the most obvious choice of Photoshop alternatives, yet it’s a useful platform for any designer. Their free toolkit is quite extensive and their paid plans offer even more editing possibilities, but they cost more than Photoshop itself.
It’s great for designing posters. It also lets you post your creations straight to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media platforms. Canva Pro also offers a feature named Brand Kit, which makes branding each graphic exceptionally easy.
Desygner Use it for: Social media graphics, poster & canvas printing. Desygner is an online platform, which is great for creating poster designs and social media graphics—you can post designs straight to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
It has a desktop app as well as separate mobile apps (iOS and Android) for more specific design needs. The Desygner premium version offers the Brand Kit feature—a great tool for establishing a uniform style for each created graphic.
Pablo Use it for: Social media graphics. Pablo by Buffer is a great starting point for a social media and graphic design newbie—it’s completely free! The program lets you post your creations straight to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Feel free to play around with Pablo’s design options, but remember that it’s not meant for making print designs!
Instasize Use it for: Social media and marketing content, photo editing, basic video editing. For creatives who want a Photoshop alternative that caters directly to social media lovers and, even better, fits right in your pocket, Instasize is a popular choice. It has all the basic features you need to polish raw photos, and a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to scroll through and apply every option.
Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pos Pro editor Use it for: Social media and marketing content, photo editing. From simple tasks and editing images to creating artwork from scratch and even designing your own business cards—Photo Pos Pro is the ultimate tool for your marketing campaigns and beautiful social media posts. And all photographers out there will be glad to hear that the editor supports RAW files as well.
paint.net Use it for: Poster & canvas printing, photo editing, social media campaigns. Paint.NET is very easy to learn, so it’s a safe choice for beginners. The tool’s performance is incredible—it’s one of the fastest free image editors out there. The editor also supports plugins, which provide additional image adjustments, effects, and support for additional file types.
PIXLR Use it for: Social media and marketing content, photo editing. PIXLR was created to make design easy and accessible to everyone regardless of experience. The tool provides a variety of ways for users to edit images. You can dive into deep photo editing sessions or just quickly add some simple filters or stickers to spice up your designs.
Discover more opportunities with PIXLR by creating marketing banners, posters, or greeting cards for your business partners.
Sumo Paint Use it for: Poster & canvas printing, photo editing, social media images and graphics. Sumo Paint is a completely free online image editing and drawing tool. Perfect for everyone who wants to strengthen and improve their artistic skills and draw their own designs. It’s basically a community for sharing artwork and finding people interested in art.
FireAlpaca Use it for: Illustrations. This free digital painting software is a great tool for everyone who loves to create illustrations. Change brushes, create your own patterns, and even use comic templates in your illustration designs. The 3D Perspective tool allows you to create realistic-looking objects. And the best part about FireAlpaca—it’s extremely easy to use.
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