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Article: The Top 10 Most Popular Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

The Top 10 Most Popular Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

Without question, Adobe Illustrator is one of the best vector-based graphic design tools.
Here are some of the best alternatives you might want to try!

In the graphic design realm, Adobe might be one of the most popular programs used by designers. It has a Creative cloud that consists of a wide range of programs with different usages, such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, or Adobe XD. But there is one downside of the program, the expensive monthly subscription. 

A rate of $20 - $52 per month can bump the freelancer budget. It is especially devastating if you only need one particular program, which makes other programs wasted for nothing. The good thing is, there are tons of alternatives out there if you are a designer that is bound to use the popular Adobe Illustrator (AI).

Some of the alternatives are not too inferior compared to Illustrator. In many cases, each of the options has its values that explain its difference with AI. You can get a free app on the internet, but the most popular and best Adobe illustrator alternatives will always demand some price. The good news is, these apps are the cheaper options for you.


1. CorelDRAW

CorelDraw is the first or maybe the most popular alternatives you can find out there. The program itself pretty much offers the same range of functions as Adobe illustrator. It even offers the same compatibility function as Adobe creative cloud. The feature is called Corel graphic suite, which includes some stellar programs such as Photo-Paint. 

The Photo-paint itself is considered as the great competitor of Adobe Photoshop. That fact has proven how competent CorelDRAW is as an illustrator rival. The alternatives for the graphic design program itself offer the same vector illustration tools, like the popular Adobe program. However, you can say that CorelDraw is way more user-friendly.

The learning curves are less complicated than the popular Adobe illustrator. It makes CorelDRAW the ideal alternatives for beginners. Compared to the Adobe program, Corel has 3-point curves that specify width and height easily. You can easily make shapes without doing some node manipulation like in Illustrator. 

CorelDRAW itself is one of many prodigious Adobe Illustrator alternatives that offer a lot of vector design templates. It is mostly used to make multi-page documents, generate QR codes, or convert raster to vector without destructing it. It is one point that tells why Corel is one of the most popular rivals for the graphic design program from Adobe. 

As a program that focuses on vector design, it is considered on par with Adobe illustrator. It might have some lack of feature or function, but it does have a good vector graphic solution. One of them is LiveSketch that changes the touch drawing into a stellar vector design. It comes with a single subscription rate of around $200 per year with a 15-day free trial. 



2. Inkscape 

One of the most popular Adobe Illustrator alternatives is Inkscape. The program got some praise and was considered superior at some points. One of them is the price tag, which is free. It makes a big difference from the popular Adobe and its creative cloud. However, Inkscape cannot offer a superior or powerful model compared to Illustrator. 

You can say that Illustrator is way better and most popular among the two programs. But, for newbie freelancers or designers, Inkscape provides enough alternatives options to work with. It has a range of impressive drawing tools, gradient editor, Boolean operations, node editing, and many more. Overall, it does help in the bare minimum standard for designers. 

So what makes it worth being the Adobe illustrator substitute? Other than the price, Inkscape is quite capable of an illustrator alternatives program. It has a bit outdated UI since Adobe has always been one of the industry standards. But the old simple UI makes it look like a simpler version of the illustrator program. That is why it snatched the most popular position.

Another plus point goes for its easy-to-use and range of functions. You can do most of the Adobe illustrator, except for some advanced editor options. You can edit, design, draw in 2D, create ranges of SVG files, make a compelling vector design, or convert bitmap to vector. The alternatives are free, have high compatibility, and work for Windows, macOS, or Linux.  



3. Figma 

As said in the opening, some of the Adobe Illustrator alternatives offer different purposes and usage. In this case, you will find Figma as one of the most popular indirect alternatives for Adobe. Why so? If it does not, then why is it here? Hold your horse. One of the reasons why it deserves the position and the title is due to its popular practice or uses. 

Most of the time, Figma used to create a design made for the web. It has a range of robust vector graphic creation functions just like the popular Adobe. It may not have very specific and high-end tools compared to Illustrator, but it still works for some vector work. The most popular alternatives mostly focus on working around smart components. 

One thing that makes these Adobe alternatives unique is the collaborative UI design and wireframing tool. The collaborative work mostly approaches web app design, which makes it a pretty popular alternative compared to Adobe illustrator. Another great point that makes Figma worth your consideration is the sharing feature. 

The illustrator alternatives can share files using links instead of exporting the work. It is easier and also quicker to execute‚ÄĒunfortunately, one of the most popular alternatives only available for macOS that has cloud-based web applications. You don't need to download it. The Adobe replacements are free for the first 2-3 works, but the paid plans start around $12 per month.



4. Sketch 

One of the popular alternatives that have a focused purpose is Sketch. The Adobe Illustrator alternatives themselves are mostly built to support UI design creators. If you want a more adept tool for UI design that is as superior as Illustrator, you should check Sketch. It has a lot of tools that can support you in creating wireframing and prototyping. 

While the popular alternatives are mostly used for UI design, you can also have some powerful vector graphic editing usages like Illustrator. But, one thing that makes it so different yet worth the place is the easier to use aspect. It is also one of the most popular due to the robust organizational or the breadcrumb features. 

Combined with the diverse suite of educational resources, you can say that it deserves to be one of the most popular alternatives out there. It is something that is hardly found in Adobe creative cloud, including the Adobe illustrator itself. And another point that you can put your finger on is the pricing. You will find that the Adobe replacement does not ask many. 

Sketch offers a free trial for 30 days. You can play around with the illustrator alternatives and then decide whether to buy it or not. If you want it, the one-time payment for an individual is around $100. It is way cheaper compared to every Adobe program. If you work for a team, you have to pay about $10 per contributor per month or $100 annually. But, it is only available for macOS. 



5. Affinity designer

If you are looking for a longer trial to decide whether to buy the Adobe Illustrator alternatives or not, try Affinity designer. The program is considered one of the most popular options for many reasons; one of them is the pricing. It is one of the fairly affordable alternatives that you can find on the internet, which has a comparable ability with Illustrator. 

For illustrator users, you will find that the $50 one-time payment is like a joke. But it does happen. Mac or Windows users can use it easily with a range of powerful vector design tools. For iPad users, you can also buy the Adobe alternatives program for only about $20. That is a bargain for a beginner designer that is looking for the most popular replacement. 

One thing is for sure; you will find a lot of similarities between the Adobe illustrator and Affinity designer. It was built and continuously improved to offer powerful tools just like the rival. It even has some intuitive functions that rival the Adobe user experience. With many considerations, you can see how the program reached the most popular chart. 

The affinity designer itself offers more than just basic tools. When compared with other Adobe Illustrator alternatives, Affinity got some comprehensive design toolset suitable for many vectors design work. It is as powerful as Illustrator, with a simpler UI appearance. Another good point is the ability to make raster finishing, which makes it one of the solid alternatives.  

The good point that makes Affinity Designer popular among designers is the Adobe Suite compatibility. It is rare, considering how the program is the robust Illustrator alternatives. But the point itself also makes a great selling point, which many other most popular options miss. 

You can do many vector design standards using Pantone, CMYK, 10-bit, or CIELAB. The ranges of options make it more popular at work. It also has some compatibility with other Adobe programs, such as Photoshop. It works due to the ability to work with bitmap graphics. Another point also goes to the lightweight and low RAM usage.   



6. Gravit designer 

Another free alternative that is quite popular is Gravit designer. As Adobe Illustrator alternatives, the program allows some limited features for the free user. However, you can use more functions if you are willing to afford the Pro plan that costs around $50 per year. Considering the low price, you can say the program is worth its alternatives rank position. 

So, what makes the program worth its title? One thing is for sure; the free version makes it a clear determiner as illustrator alternatives. It is not only a bare average application, but it is one of the most popular programs that offer professional designers tools. That is why Gravit designers can rival Adobe in its functions and features. 

Another plus point that makes it stand out is the wide range of Illustration and shapes. You can play around with the popular tools and functions to work for vector graphics. At some point, you also got some infinite scalable vector graphic options. It does well, just like an illustrator. It goes even better if you can afford the pro version. 

The pro version offers more advanced options, tools, roles, and graphic features. It also rivals online sharing through cloud file syncing. If you don't like sharing it, you have the popular alternatives to work under offline mode. If Adobe Illustrator is most popular on Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux, you can do the same with Gravit designer. 



7. Pixelized 

Adobe Illustrator alternatives that offer a great range of graphic suite solutions can make a lot of difference for design projects. In Pixelied, you will find that the program is not the best direct alternatives for the stellar Adobe program. However, you will find that it is built to rival the quick graphic solution program Canva. 

If you are a beginner that wants that kind of feature, Pixelied will be the best and the most popular alternatives. It offers a range of vector icons, assets, templates, and ready-made designs. It might not offer professional tools like Illustrator, but it does help people that work with Adobe programs. It is because Pixelied is compatible with illustrators.  

Since it has a similar system to Canva, the program works as a cloud-based application. It makes the program available for almost every system and device. However, Pixelied is not a free program. It offers a free trial but then demands a pro plan for around $8 per month. It is one of the most popular options if you want a quick and light program. 



8. Vectornator 

The Vectornator is getting popular due to its continuing development. The program was built as an iPad app, which does not mean to be alternatives to Illustrator. However, as the program offers some more advanced vector editing tools, it does deserve the name. You can play around with many unique tools found in Illustrator. 

Some popular tools such as Boolean operations, pen-tool, masking, anchoring, or grouping are there. It is also one of the free popular alternatives that have great potential on the internet. And one of the best features that can rival Adobe is real-time collaboration. However, you might have to be patient and wait for the coming soon development. 



9. Graphic 

As one of the most popular Adobe Illustrator alternatives, you will see some resemblance in the Graphic user interface. Since Adobe has been one of the industry standards, it does have some exceptional functions, looks, and icons. But Graphic has one particular point that makes it stands out, the initial build as an iPad app. 

It is a popular app for iOS users. It has a range of functions for vector graphic design capabilities. It also has a similar resemblance to Adobe illustrator, which makes designers love the UI. As a light alternatives program that works around the iPad, you can say it does not have many wholesome purposes. But at least you can do a lot of graphic wits with it. 

It is considered one of the most popular alternatives for some reasons. You can work with its powerful tools, such as UI creation elements, brush strokes, layers, and others. The good news is, the alternatives moved to iPhone and Mac Os X as well. You can get the Illustrator rival starting from $3, $9, and $30, based on the devices used.  



10. Boxy SVG

The Boxy SVG serves its name as its best. As the name says, the program was not the real match for the popular Adobe Illustrator alternatives. It was merely a program that has SVG native document format. That condition makes it work only for scalable vector graphics. It makes the program have a lot to compare with the most popular graphic design programs. 

The program itself is popular as the SVG file editor. It has some excellent points, including easier use, beginner-friendly, and professional graphic design tools comparable to illustrators. Due to its nature and usage, most of the users will be web developers or designers. It does have a limited offer compared to other strong alternatives, but it is worth trying. 

The good news is that you can try the program for free. It has a 15-day trial, which allows you to access almost all of its features. Boxy SVG is available for Linux and macOS. But You can also access the program as a cloud-web application. If you want better innovation and access, you can buy this one of the most popular Adobe Illustrator alternatives for around $10 per account. 




The ten popular graphic design alternatives have their price and benefit. It is also equipped with a range of features, functions, and usage, which can help you work with a range of graphic design projects. The options might not be on par with Adobe illustrator, but at least you got some useful apps to work with. They are not inferior as long as you are good at working with them.

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