Graphics: Tools and Resources


All of the following tools and resources for Graphics (incl. graphic design, illustration and printmaking) are available online, most of them for free – though sometimes with limitations (e.g. time, number of downloads etc.).


Abstract: Art of Design (Graphic Design)
A Netflix original documentary series highlighting creatives in the field of design.

Google Fonts (Typography)
Google Fonts offers a large selection of fonts for different languages and character systems for download and free use, but also for simply viewing, exploring and learning about fonts and their respective characteristics.

Thinking with Type (Typography)
A supplementary online materials for Ellen Lupton’s book of the same title.


Clearly the dominant provider of graphics related digital tools is Adobe through its Adobe Creative Cloud services (previously Adobe Creative Suite) including Adobe Fresco, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Capture, Adobe InDesign etc. Most of the apps are available for free trial, but convert to a pay-by-subscription model after a time limit. (For a limited time during Covid-19, Adobe offered all their licenses for two months for free for students and registered users.)

If you’re not eligible for Adobe’s giveaway and/or if you’re generally looking for alternatives, you may find some below.

Alchemy (Sketching)
Alchemy is an open source drawing software exploring new ways to sketch, draw, and create on computers. It’s intentionally not for creating finished artwork, but rather a sketching environment that focuses on the very early stages of the creative process. (More information)

Canva (Graphics)
Canva is an online graphics tool. It’s main feature are loads of provided templates for various tasks that are supposed to make graphic designs quick and easy for everyone. It also operates cross platform on smart phone, tablet and/or PC.

Fontspiration (Typography)
A mobile device tool to animate typography.

Fontstruct (Typography)
FontStruct is a free font-building tool that allows to quickly and easily create fonts out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks.

Gritlover (Typography)
Fiddle with the font size, line height and scale factor sliders and watch the typography dance.

Inkscape (Graphics)
Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor with a rich set of features that is widely used for both artistic and technical illustrations such as cartoons, clip art, logos, typography, diagramming and flowcharting. (More information)

Krita (Painting)
Krita is an open source digital painting tool targeting painters, illustrators, comic artists and animators. (More information)

Medibang Paint (Drawing)
MediBang Paint is a Japanese cross-device and cross-platform drawing tool, usually seen as an alternative to the industry-grade software Clip Studio Paint; similarly powerful, yet entirely free – even from ads.

TypeNugget (Typography)
Type Nugget is an online typesetting tool that gives you fine control over a robust base for hella fine web type — all via a pleasant user interface.

Vectr (Graphics)
Vectr is a free, powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool graphics software to create vector graphics easily and intuitively.

YourFonts (Typography)
YourFonts is an online font generator that allows to create OpenType fonts within a couple of minutes.

More tools and resources of interest for this area may be found in the posts for Drawing & Painting, Media Arts, or Printmaking.

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