How to Get Adobe Illustrator for Free

Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector-based graphic design tool and it’s become many graphic design students or professionals’ favorite software. However, this powerful software can be expensive for some users, and that’s why the question came up – is there a way to get Adobe Illustrator for free? 

The only legal way to get Adobe Illustrator for free is from its official website. However, there’s a time limit and you do need to create an Adobe CC account to download Adobe Illustrator for free. 

In this article, I’m going to show you how to get Adobe Illustrator for free, what are the different plans/pricing options, and some of its free alternatives.  

Adobe Illustrator Free Download & Free Trial

You don’t need to pay anything upfront to download Adobe Illustrator and you can start with a free trial if you’re not sure if it’s worth it for your workflow. You can find the Free trial option on Adobe Illustrator’s product page.  

Then you’ll need to choose a plan – individual, students/teachers, or business. If you choose the Students and teachers plan, you need to use the school email address.

Once you choose a plan, you can choose the billing method (monthly, monthly within the annual plan, or annually) and input your email address to create an Adobe CC account for your subscription. 

Then, simply sign in to your Adobe account and Install Adobe Illustrator. The 7-day trial starts automatically when you launch Adobe Illustrator for the first time. After the free trial, it’ll charge from the billing info you added when you created the Adobe account. 

If at any point you decide to discontinue using Adobe Illustrator, you can cancel the subscription.  

How Much is Adobe Illustrator

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lifetime free version of Adobe Illustrator, but you can make the most out of it. For example, you can use it on an iPad, get a more valuable pack with more tools, etc. Here are the different plans and pricing options

If you are getting an individual plan like me, you’ll pay the full price of US$20.99/month for Illustrator or US$54.99/month for all apps. If you use more than two apps, for example, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, then it’s definitely worth it to get the all apps subscription. 

Students and teachers get the best deal – a 60% discount on Creative Cloud for all apps for only US$19.99/month or US$239.88/year

As a business, you get Creative Cloud for Teams, which also comes with a longer free trial period of 14 days (for all apps subscription only)! In this case, you must use a business email address to create the Adobe account. The single app plan for business teams is US$35.99/month per license, or all apps plan at US$84.99/month per license

Free Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

If you think Adobe Illustrator is too expensive, you can go for more affordable options like CorelDRAW, Sketch, or Affinity Designer as they also offer some powerful features for graphic design. 

If you’re simply looking for a tool to create basic artworks, here are three of my favorite Illustrator alternatives and they are totally free. I mean, they do have a paid version but you can use the basic version for free. 

Among the three free alternatives, I would say Inkscape would be the closest thing to Adobe Illustrator that you could get, especially for its drawing features. In fact, I think Inkscape can be better for illustrations than Adobe Illustrator because Inkscape has more brush options for drawing. 

Canva is my go-to for creating one-time-use digital graphics such as social media posts. You can find high-quality images, vector graphics, and fonts. Additionally, I like its color suggestion features that help you choose colors that match the artwork you work on. 

Vectr is another online graphic design tool similar to Canva but more advanced because you can draw, work with layers, and create freehand shapes using the pen tool. It can be a good option for creating illustrations and simple banner or poster designs. 

FAQs

Here is more about Adobe Illustrator that you might want to know. 

Is it worth buying Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is definitely worth it if you use it for professional work because it’s the industry standard, which will also help you get a job in the graphic design industry if you’re proficient in the software. 

On the other hand, as a hobbyist or light user, I think you can find more affordable options. For example, if you only use it for drawing, Procreate can be a good alternative. Or if you want to create banners or ads for social media or blogs, then Canva is a good option.

Does Adobe have a lifetime subscription?

Adobe doesn’t offer perpetual (lifetime) licenses anymore since Adobe CC replaced Adobe CS6. All Adobe CC apps are only available with a subscription plan. 

Can you download the old version of Illustrator?

Yes, you can download other versions of Adobe Illustrator from the Creative Cloud Desktop app. Click on the options menu, click More versions, and choose the version you want to download. 

Is Adobe Illustrator free on iPad?

With an Adobe Illustrator subscription, you can use Illustrator for free on your iPad. If you don’t have a subscription to use on your computer, you can get a stand-alone iPad version for $9.99/month.

Final Thoughts

The only legal way to get Adobe Illustrator for free is from Adobe Creative Cloud, and it’s only free for seven days. There are random sites where you can get Adobe Illustrator, even for free, however, I DO NOT recommend that because you don’t want to get into trouble for downloading a cracked program. 

About June Escalada
Graduated from Creative Advertising major, worked more than eight years as a graphic designer focusing in branding and Illustration. Yes, Adobe Illustrator is my best friend and I’m passionate about art and design.

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