I was wondering which application people would recommend for someone that wants to try their hand at creating some vectors. The Adobe suite is a bit too expensive for what I intend to do with it.

I frequently see Inkscape and Vectr recommended, but finding an accurate up to date feature overview is a bit of a pain. Other suggestions are also welcome. Is there some "standard" app for Windows that you'd suggest?

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    They are free.... have you tired Inkscape or Vectr??
    – Scott
    May 14, 2019 at 8:41
  • Yes, both work fine for my current skill level. So I'm a bit curious as to which one is the better pick to invest time in. May 14, 2019 at 9:42
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    I use Illustrator along with Inkscape. Both have some unique features that the other hasn't. But don't worry about features. Inkscape skills will be transferable to any other vector tool anyway.
    – AAGD
    May 14, 2019 at 12:35
  • What features do you really need? Anyway i dont use inkscape because it has awful snapping ergonomics, although feature for feature it seems better than illustrator (but its not).
    – joojaa
    May 14, 2019 at 15:56
  • After having a quick look at Vectr, it seems to be very basic in comparison to Inskcape or Illustrator. It reminds me more of Adobe XD, more like a prototyping tool. I'm not going to add an answer here however, as I feel choice of software is very subjective. Different people prefer different software for different reasons.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 14, 2019 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


up to date feature overview

On a free tool is not a pain at all. You download it and you take a look.

So I'm a bit curious as to which one is the better pick to invest time in.

Inkscape is a solid tool, you see people actually using it everywhere. You find tutorials, etc.

I feel you are a bit scared to "waste time" on the tool, thinking that you can not accomplish something later...

Well, if you are doing vector images at this level: https://inkscape.org/gallery/ you are probably pushing the program to the "limit". But when people push themselves to that "limit"... they are not limited by the program. Do you know what I am saying?

The "market" for vector-based 2D applications is not that broad. The real free contender is Inkscape.

There are some others. Gravit https://www.designer.io/ is still free. It has been purchased by Corel to push it to be a web-based vector program.

The other two real options imho for Illustrator are Corel Draw and Affinity Designer.

But do not waste too much time looking for "features". Download a program and start using it.

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    I felt like I was a bit too rookie to do a proper comparison myself. Thank you for the input. May 15, 2019 at 4:28

For myself, I started off in vector art with Macromedia Freehand and Aldus Pagemaker... then switched to Adobe Illustrator, and some Inkscape... those two were my workhorses for a looong time. I developed a huge library of Illustrator assets over fifteen years of graphic design, technical illustration and architectural illustration. More recently, a couple years back, I moved to Affinity Designer, and despite having to accept the loss of many of my amassed Illustrator assets, it's been overall a fairly painless transition.

Inkscape is free, reasonably effective and powerful, and has the potentially amazing differentiator that it's natively writing .svg from the get-go, so if your final publishing target is online vectors or logos, it's already there. Workflows are somewhat idiosyncratic, but not unfathomably so; a bit like Blender pre 2.8.

Illustrator is immensely over-featured (just short of Microsoft or Autodesk level bloatware, but just short enough to still be an amazing and effective tool) and a tad expensive for most folks, but can do so much that it's still worth it for a lot of people. Decent range of file exports, slice and export en masse tools are also decent.

Affinity Designer is cheap, the license is perpetual including upgrades, and it's fast. On larger, vector-heavy illustrations, it's noticeably a ton faster than Illustrator. That said, there are quite a few tools Illustrator has which Affinity does not - if your workflow has become dependent upon those, switching can be a royal pain. For myself, I've not found I missed the Illustrator "3D Extrude and Bevel" tools a ton, but that's because although I'm proficient with them, I seldom really use them - if I need a "3D look" I either manually illustrate it that way in Designer (or Illustrator) or I switch to a real 3D DCC tool (Digital Content Creation) like Modo or Blender. Oh and the slice and export toolset (there's an entire "Export Persona") are phenomenal - best in class from my perspective.

As has been pointed out, although the workflow specifics (hit This Button now, then hold cntrl + Esc + / whilst left-clicking repeatedly) will not as a whole transfer from Inkscape to other vector apps (or in fact between many vector apps) the way of thinking you engender when you learn to design in vectors is instantly transferrable, and is the most critical thing to learn no matter which app you choose to use!

Hope this helps.

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    Good points, thank you for the thorough response. May 15, 2019 at 4:29

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