Inkscape vs. GIMP

Which One Should You Use?

• Both are FOSS

About Inkscape

• An open source drawing tool for creating and editing Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Most similar to Adobe Illustrator
• Graphics drawn within Inkscape are formula or code based, and thus can be infinitely scaled up or down without any loss of quality
• Can import raster or bitmap graphics for use within vector designs
• Inkscape is not a photo editor
• File extensions: .SVG and .EPS
• Can export to code documents like .HTML, as well as to animation files like .SIF.

When Should Inkscape be Used?

• When drawing shapes, curves, and text; Designing a logo
• Good for printing

Who Should Use Inkscape?

• Graphic designers, marketers, business professionals, and vector artists
• Anyone who needs to print digital designs ((unless you are printing photos)
• Web designers who prefer to directly code their designs into their websites


About GIMP

• A multi-platform photo manipulation tool
• Uses raster graphics or a bitmap for display and editing purposes, meaning everything is displayed as pixels in a rectangular pixel grid
• GIMP is most similar to Photoshop
• Can open and export files in .XCF (GIMP’s native file format – which allows you to save and reopen works that contain layers), .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, and even .PSD (Photoshop Document)


When Should GIMP Be Used?

• When editing or manipulating photos and when free-hand drawing
• Can also be used for digital painting and pixel art (which is used in game design and other applications)
• Also capable of performing certain graphic design tasks but the graphic design elements are not scalable and often have “jagged” or “pixelated” edges when looked at closely

Who Should Use GIMP?

• Photographers, digital painters and artists, and game designers
• Web designers with little to no coding experience and who are not concerned with scaling their designs


Using Both Programs Together

• For example, you can edit your photos in GIMP and then import the finished JPEG into Inkscape to use within a vector design
• You can create a vector design and import it into GIMP to be used in a photo (such as a logo watermark to add to the bottom)
• You can create crisp, clean vector-based icons to use on a website in Inkscape, and then import that design file into GIMP to adjust the pixel resolution and compress as a JPEG for better performance on the web
• You can also create things like GIMP Palette files (.GPL) within Inkscape and import those palettes to use in your GIMP projects