Updated: Feb 9
There are some great options for creating stickers, whether you are digitally drawing them directly, scanning in your hand-drawn artwork, or using commercially licensed art to work with.
Creating customised stickers for yourself or your shop can be a bit of a head spin, especially for a beginner. If you’ve been looking at graphics programs and apps for a while, then you will most likely agree that Adobe tops the pile. But hey, it's not cheap if you're just getting started, or that easy to use. You can get fantastic results for graphic design, including designing your stickers! Perfect to the last pixel!
I can recommend the programs and apps listed below. They won't leave you frustrated or baffled by menus and panels. But which one shall you choose? That all depends on how you decide to draw your stickers.
Adobe Illustrator - Drawing using vectors and easily resized graphics. Great for clean images and line drawings.
Adobe Photoshop - Drawing with a raster image, great for photo quality and detailed images, limitations due to resizing limitations.
Here are some great free alternatives to the industry-standard Adobe software
Canva - An online design and publishing tool. Canva makes creating images simple with drag and drop function.
ibis Paint X - Includes a wide range of features on mobile/tablet only, many of which have traditionally been exclusive to desktop drawing applications. Has ads on the top or bottom of the screen which can be turned off by paying.
Gimp - Similar to Photoshop with panels.
Krita - It's great brush selection and intuitive painting model
FireAlpaca - FireAlpaca is the free Digital Painting Software that is compatible with both Mac and Windows. Classic simple panel menus.
Affinity Photo - Affinity Photo has become very popular amongst sticker makers, who love its speed, power, and precision.
Some still are worth that one off payment. Here are those most used by sticker making community.
Procreate - Used time again by sticker makers for its brushes and great app for direct drawing on a screen.
Canva Pro - Paid version that unlocks extra features to the free version.
Clip studio - Clip Studio Paint was designed specifically with hand-drawing in mind with dedicated drawing tools and functions.
Here are some great free alternatives to the industry-standard Adobe software.
Fresco - Free to use adobe program that is available on IOS, perfect to use with the ipad pencil. My personal favourite! Also works on desktop pc. Combines raster and vector on different layers.
Inkskape - Closest thing to Illustrator, but without some go-to tools like image trace.
Vectr - Simple but does the job. Loads in the browser, good for those who don't want too many panels and options.
Boxy SVG - Super simple user interface. There is no crowded workspace with overlapping dialogs or dozens of opened palettes and toolbars.
Gravit Designer - full-featured vector graphic design app that works on ALL platforms. Looks and works like the big boys.
Popular one-off payment or subscription programs and apps.
Affinity Designer - already the choice of thousands of professional illustrators, web designers, and game developers who love its silky-smooth combination of vector and raster design tools. Perfect for sticker makers too.
Corel Draw - Top quality, with a top price tag. But you get what you pay for with this classic software.
Gravit Designer - full-featured vector graphic design app. Pay to unlock the fully adapted for touch-enabled device feature.
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