Free design software
Inkscape is a free graphics editor that you can use for personal and professional purposes. Inkscape features a full suite of design tools to let you work with scalable vector graphics that are referred to as SVG. It also lets you work with raster images as well.
Adobe Illustrator is another graphic design application that works with vector images similar to Inkscape does. Illustrator comes at a price point, while Inkscape is free to use. In case you work more with raster graphics as opposed to vector ones, you can use the GIMP, Krita, or Sketchbook applications for free.
Is Inkscape for free?
Inkscape is free and open source. In case you want to become a contributor to Inkscape, you can contribute to the source code with new development or donate money to the team. The Inkscape download is available to install on Apple macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows PC operating systems, yet Inkscape warns that the user experience on Mac is not the best.
Is Inkscape good for beginners?
Inkscape is ideal for beginners because the user interface is clean and intuitive to use. In case you want to step by step instructions rather than experiment, you can find tutorials on YouTube to watch, along with written content like FAQs and forums.
The UI is interactive since the main menu bar changes according to the tool that you pick from the vertical toolbar on the left. Colors are important to the design process, which Inkscape respects by keeping a color palette always available to use at the bottom of the screen.
The ‘Fill and Stroke’ tool lets you type in HEX codes to pick specific color hues for your designs. The gradient option lets you fill objects on the virtual canvas with a color transition that fades two or more colors into each other. The select tool is represented by the cursor icon in the toolbar, and probably the option you will be using the most often.
The mouse tool lets you choose one item by simply tapping the element or multiple objects by dragging and dropping a selection area around the parts. You can move, rotate, scale, and skew the components by moving the edges and nodes around on the canvas. The button beneath the select tool lets you edit paths to change the appearances of shapes.
Objects will have coordinates called nodes that you can slide around the screen to change the structures of shapes. You can add and delete nodes to further transform the designs. Nodes will have handles attached that you can latch onto with your cursor to finetune the adjustments.
Is Inkscape hard to learn?
Whether you want to learn by trial and error or follow a tutorial, Inkscape is easy to use. A series of shape tools are available in the toolbar to let you quickly create squares, rectangles, circles, ellipses, stars, and polygons, along with abstract shapes like 3D boxes and even spirals.
Inkscape includes a Bezier pen to let you draw custom shapes and lines. The creations that you make with the Bezier pen will be comprised of nodes and lines that you can go back to further adjust after you let go of the clicker. In case you want more structure, the Bezier pen lets you force parallel lines, curved edges, and more.
The freehand tool lets you draw continuous lines without nodes. Inkscape will automatically even out the drawing after you are finished with the freehand pen. You can create classic penmanship imagery with the calligraphy pen that features a thicker to skinnier pen stroke. Inkscape even has an impressive text tool that lets you write and manipulate vector text.
A color picker lets you sample colors from either vector or raster images. You can click your cursor and drag over a picture to create an average hue of the colors in the chosen area. A tiny preview of the current color you are generating in the color picker will be shown beside the cursor. A fill tool lets you color in closed areas.
In case you want to manipulate multiple pieces at once, you can use the tweak tool to perform various manipulations to your selections. You can shift objects that you touch with the cursor once you highlight the area you want to work in with the tweak tool. Additional actions that you can do with the tweak tool include blurring, duplicating, recoloring, rotating, and shrinking the impacted items.
A spray tool lets you pretend that you have a spray can in your hand that lets you instantly put a preselected shape onto the canvas. The spray tool can create multiple objects at the same time. The eraser functions as a drawing tool since the path that you draw with the eraser will become erased. While you can slice through vector graphics with the eraser, you cannot remove portions of text with the tool.
The zoom tool is a convenient feature that lets you drag and drop a selection area above your vector image to get closer to the details. You can zoom in to vector images as closely as you want since the image resolution quality will not be impacted.
Comprehensive vector graphic editing software
Vector images are made from a series of equations that determine the properties, unlike raster images that are made of pixels. Inkscape is made to be used primarily with vector images yet you can still work with raster pictures in the software. This is a powerful app to use to make logos since you have an entire set of both basic and advanced tools.
The importance of Inkscape to professionals and hobbyists does not go unnoticed, and thus, the software is updated on a consistent and frequent basis by the community of developers. You can go to the official website to read about the most recent software updates.