Best Free, Deep Discounted tools for artists and designers 2020

Image: Getty

We've been breaking news about Adobe and Affinity deals in recent days, providing some respite for cash-strapped creatives looking for a bit of relief in their current day-to-day.

As more and more offers aimed at the international creativity community are piling on, we've compiled the best below for professionals and students covering areas such as virtual classes, creative software, networking tools and stock photography.

Before diving in, check out our other guides to other best freebies already out there:

Free stuff for all creatives

Best Free and Discounted tools for professionals 2020


US and UK users can now take up 90 day free trials of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X.

As our sister site TechAdvisor reports, Final Cut’s trial is therefore boosted from 30 days, while Logic has never had a free trial.

The Final Cut Pro deal is live, with Logic Pro X to try here.


Fancy two full months of free access to Skillshare? A free limited edition Procreate brushset?

Then download the Procreate Care Pack now to enjoy these benefits. There'll also be daily art prompts.


The Getty subsidiary is offering 69 free images as a response to current turmoil; yes, 69, stop laughing at the back!

It's a nicely varied selection, with a few photos related to health and hygiene. There's no deadline yet for downloading these, either.

Download iStock's Campaign Support Board here.

Adobe and Affinity

Adobe is offering two months free off its Creative Cloud subscription if you use a sneaky Cancelling trick. Note that the secret 'offer' was available long before the world crisis of March 2020, and that you're effectively cancelling one contract for a new full-term one, starting anew.

Find out more. Note this gives you a 25% saving; if you'd prefer more off, then note Adobe has brought back its seasonal 39% discount on its All Apps annual planThe offer ends 23 April, and reduces the annual paid-monthly rate of £49.94 per month to £30.34 per month. If you want to pay the annual fee in full upfront, the price now is £362.21 per year, reduced from £596.33 per year. 

Both payment plans work out to roughly the same price, though you save about £2 if you pay for the entire suite upfront. Get the Adobe CC All Apps package here.

CC users will also now find unlimited access to the Adobe XD collaboration tool, having premium sharing and collaboration features until October 2020.

This means you can share links with your team and invite to documents easily, with such features on the Starter plan previously having been set to expire in April.

Additionally, Adobe will continue to support both local and cloud documents on all plans going forward, even after October 2020, so that creatives can use XD remotely, online or offline.

Finally, iPad artists will like to know about the Photoshop on iPad and Fresco bundle announced this week.

Previously offered for £9.99/mo each through the App Store, both apps are now available together for only £9.99/mo (inc.VAT).

The offer is available to customers who buy Photoshop on iPad or upgrade to Adobe Fresco premium through the App Store, as well as to Creative Cloud customers who buy the Photoshop Single App or All Apps plan on Early adopters who already have a Creative Cloud membership are eligible too.


iPad art kings Serif meanwhile are offering Affinity Photo, Designer & Publisher free for three months. This is an extension of their one month trial, and there's also a 50% discount for users who would rather buy and keep the apps on desktop or tablet.

Find out more in our Affinity news story.


AnimDojo is a training program for animators who wish to learn Autodesk Maya. Its premium membership is usually £15 per month but is now free until July 2020 to help those in lockdown.

Learn Squared

Until May 30th 2020, 58 hours of online training is free for artists looking to up their game. The deal means you can enjoy the opening virtual class from creators like Ash Thorp (of Akira fan art fame) and Javier Perez on everything from Substance 3D matte painting, concept art to character design. Beeple is a fan, so why not try it? We're sure tempted.

Sign up here to enjoy.


Pluralsight has announced that it is providing free access to its entire skills platform from April 2 to May 1 for current non-subscribers. Its 7000+ courses are taught by the world’s most recognised experts in their respective technology fields with the vetting process apparently being more selective than the admissions practices at MIT. 

There are some great creative design courses in VR and computer graphics, which you can try with its now extended trial period for workforce teams of ten or less, jumping from 2 weeks to 30 days.

It's also providing 30 day trials of Pluralsight One for non-profit teams of ten or less. 

Remote collaboration tool deals

Needing to manage a remote design project? You can check out our new guide to doing that, whilst also choosing from these free and deep discount deals on remote collab software.

Loom has removed the recording limit on their free plan — what was 25 is now unlimited; cut the price of Loom Pro in half — what was $10/month is now $5/month, and extended all trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days.

Sign up here.

Best Free and Discounted student tools


UK and US students can get two months free on the Skillshare Premium Membership plan. Note you'll need an, .edu or .k12 email address to take advantage of this offer.

Sign up here.

Red Giant

Red Giant Complete - the full set of tools including Trapcode Suite, Magic Bullet Suite, Universe, VFX Suite and Shooter Suite - is now free for students or faculty members of a university, college, or high school.

Sign up here with school or organization ID or any proof of current employment or enrollment that can be used for verification.

Clip Studio Paint

Japan's Celsys is offering complimentary three-month Clip Studio Paint EX licenses for home use for companies and educational institutions using Clip Studio Paint volume licenses.

All companies and educational institutions with such volume license contracts will be contacted by Celsys shortly. New interested establishments can purchase here.

Greyscale Gorilla

When buying a student discount use the code “LEARN3D” during checkout and get $150 off your first year of Greyscalegorilla Plus.

Greyscalegorilla Plus includes over 677 videos to start learning about Cinema 4D, Redshift, Arnold, and X-Particles, with 1,200 HQ textures thrown in.

Buy here.


Students can sign up now to get courses for as low as £11.99 each. First time users only.

Sign up to Udemy here.

G Suite for Education

Google has rolled out free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally including: 

  • Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
  • Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain 
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive

These features are typically available in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and in G Suite Enterprise for Education, and will be available at no additional cost to all customers until July 1, 2020. 

Related: The best free UX online development courses / Learn UX app Sketch: The best paid and free online courses

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