Free Design Tools for Students

Designers spend a lot of money on software like Adobe’s CC Programs (600 USD per year). While contrary to popular belief Adobe CC does save money compared to non-subscription based versions of the software, the price can still be costly to many, especially a student with little to no income. So I have devised a list of various programs free for students in several categories.

Prototyping

A Promotional Video for Figma

Figma — Recently release, this prototyping tool offers real-time multiplayer editing, web-based prototyping and an easy to use tool for designers. Figma is built for new and advanced users.

Pricing: Free for Students Forever (Will be free for anybody until the end of 2016)

Link: www.figma.com

Screenshot of Axure RP’s Potential

Axure RP — Axure is not for beginners, with a steep learning curve this software is very advanced and an industry standard. The payoff for learning this software is worth it because of the program’s power.

Pricing: Free (non-commercial) licenses to students (Save 50 USD a Month)

Link: www.axure.com/edu

Invision — Invision, like Figma, is a prototyping tool with a subscription based payment system. It is among the best tools for prototyping.

Pricing: Free (With .edu or regional equivalent email)

Link: www.invisionapp.com/education

Design

Autodesk Education

Autodesk Collection — Autodesk provides many pieces of software in their collection to students for absolutely free. The saving add up to potentially thousands of dollars. Among this software is 3Ds Max, Fusion, Revit, Maya, Inventor Pro and more.

Pricing: Various Free Programs (Thousands of USD in savings)

Link: www.autodesk..com/education

Web/Program Development

Github Student Developer Pack

Github Student Developer Pack — Github has compiled a student pack for developers. The pack includes 18 different free services and programs. Included is a free SendGrid account, $50 in DigitalOcean Credit, aNamcheap Domain and more.

Price: Free (Potentially hundreds of USD in Savings)

Link: education.github.com

Microsoft Tools — Microsoft has a catalog of software to download for free after student verification

Price: Free

Link: https://catalog.imagine.microsoft.com/en-US/Catalog/

Conclusion

While many programs have free versions or licenses for students, even more have discounts. So if there are programs you want, but cant afford don’t stress too much. Always look on the website’s footer for sitemap links like ‘Education’ or ‘Students’ for discounts. Popular discounts include Sketch (50% off) and Adobe CC (60% off a month).

Thanks for the read,

Siraj C