Skencil: the free vector graphics program

screenshot of Skencil

There are graphics programs, and then there are graphics programs. The various raster-based apps out there, like Photoshop, do a great job with photos and paint-type images that are created at their full size. Unfortunately, these types of images don't scale well, and when you start adding text, they can get pretty out-of control. Enter vector-based drawing programs.

With vector drawing apps, you open a whole new world out there. Now you can change your images from small to large, or vice versa, with no loss of clarity or precision. These images are composed of a number of mathematical formulas that tell the app how to draw it, instead of a bitmap that says that this pixel here is blue but that pixel over there is red.

Tools like Illustrator and FreeHand cost a fortune and have a steep learning curve. Skencil is an open source drawing program licensed under the LGPL and written mostly in Python. It runs on Unix-like systems (Linux, OS X, etc.). It's got all the shapes (rectangles, ellipses, and B├ęzier curves) and properties (line weight, fill color and patterns) you need, as well as the all-important ability to put text along a path, so necessary for designing logos.

You can grab Skencil as a tarball, or there are some binary distributions available (.rpm) as well. Your system must have a Python interpreter, and Tcl/Tk; there are links for both featured on Skencil's download page.

Download Skencil

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