What is synonymous with graphic design? Adobe CC. The creative suite has 50+ applications and software. Each handy for different things ranging from photo editing to adding motion graphics.

But Adobe comes with a price. More than that, it is not a fixed expense. The cost keeps increasing. For a student who is learning graphic designing and its latest trends, burning a hole in the wallet is just not an option.

What you need are Adobe alternatives. Thankfully, there are plenty of free software that work just as well as Photoshop, Illustrator and more.

Alternatives for Adobe Photoshop

Every hopeful graphic designer knows what Photoshop is. It is the Holy Grail. There are 3 Photoshop alternatives you can try.

  1. GIMP
    It has almost all the same features as Adobe’s software. You’ll hardly feel any difference from Photoshop, although the interface of GIMP does take time to get used to. 
  2. Krita
    The free and open-source software is excellent for learning 2D animation and digital painting. The best part is that Krita offers a CMYK colour profile, a feature most free alternatives don’t have. 
  3. Photopea
    When you need a free app for graphic design, image editing or painting, Photopea is the answer. It’s web-based, so it works on any gadget and any OS – Linux, Mac or Windows. Plus, it has a smart objects feature!

Alternatives for Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is the obvious choice for vector graphics, icons, logos, user interface for websites or mobiles or even product packaging. There are 2 alternatives to it that don’t cost a penny.

  1. Inkscape
    This Illustrator alternative has everything you will need for vector graphics. There are very few areas where it falls short of the Adobe software. Inkscape even has advanced features like markers, alpha blending and cloning. 
  2. Vectr
    Vectr is a good Illustrator alternative when you want to work on simple designs as it doesn’t have more extensive tools. But it is web-based, so easy to use. Plus, the clean interface makes learning simple. 

Alternatives for Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is the software when you need to manage huge batches of photos. It has two good free alternatives.

  1. Darktable
    The free application is as close to Lightroom as you can get. It allows you to manage photos and edit raw images. Darktable also has a lot of the same photo manipulation features. 
  2. RawTherapee
    Like Darktable, Rawtherapee offers bulk management of photos along with an extensive range of editing tools. You can edit raw pictures and other formats to boost colours, correct distortions, recover details, and more. 

Alternatives for Adobe InDesign

The desktop publishing software is perfect for designing books, newspapers, magazines, brochures or more. For text-heavy graphic designs, you have 2 free alternatives.

  1. Scribus
    The free page layout program has all the capabilities you will need to create professional-looking publications. Scribus supports vector drawing tools, has press-ready output right out of the box and versatile PDF creation. 
  2. Lucidoress
    It is a web-based app and does not have as many features as you may find in InDesign or Scribus. But it is extremely user friendly. You can get a paid subscription for more features and unlimited page and project designs. 

Alternatives for Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is the optimal choice for a video editor with all the bells and whistles. Finding a good alternative to Premier is challenging as most software lack features you expect like graphic overlays, picture in picture and the ability to work with greenscreens. But there is one that comes quite close.

  1. Blender
    The app was primarily created for 3D graphics and animations. But it has a built-in video editor with every tool you’ll require, from adding jaw-dropping dimensions to texturing. There is hardly anything you can’t do with it, making Blender really powerful. 

Alternatives for After Effects

After Effects is Adobe’s answer to motion graphics and post-production. It is ideal for creating animated introductions or graphical effects. There is one alternative to it.

  1. Natron
    Nearly every tool After Effect has, Natron has it too for composting and motion graphics. On top of it, you get huge support from the community during troubleshoots.

Alternatives for Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe’s HTML editor for web design has an extremely easy user interface. There is just one decent alternative for it.

  1. BlueGriffon
    It is the only software that offers support for HTML5 and CSS – the two essential frameworks. That’s why BlueGriffon is the best free alternative to Dreamweaver.

It pretty clear that there are free alternatives to almost every Adobe Creative Cloud software. But why use them for graphic design when you can learn the real thing at any good animation institute?