DrawBot is a free MacOS application that makes it easy to use the Python programming language to draw two-dimensional graphics. DrawBot was conceived by typeface designer Just van Rossum as a tool to teach the Python programming language to his design students, and in the last five years or so DrawBot’s development has been pushed forward by Frederik Berlaen, an alumnus of Just's course. If Just van Rossum's name sounds familiar, it's no coincidence — his brother Guido van Rossum authored the Python programming language!

Three are several popular environments for writing code to make images, Processing being a prime example. But as a graphic designer, something that really excites me about DrawBot is that it puts a real emphasis into enabling high quality typography. That and it natively draws vector art that can be saved out as a PDF.

While it's not particularly suited for responding to physical interaction or interfacing with your hardware project, it really excels as a pro-quality design tool. With DrawBot, you can write simple Python scripts to draw vector art into a PDF, save bitmap images in several formats, and even make animated GIFs and movies.

And still, even with its powerful capabilities, DrawBot was still created to be one of the easiest ways to get started with the Python programming language.

If you aim is to learn Python to write code for one of the many CircuitPython boards, the Python language fundamentals that you'll learn by drawing in DrawBot can be applied later to your CircuitPython hardware projects.


DrawBot can be downloaded for free at www.drawbot.com.

This guide was first published on Dec 14, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (What is DrawBot) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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