13+ Best Graphic Design Software of 2023 (Free and Paid)
Choosing the right graphic design software is vital when creating high-quality images and designs. From creating logos and illustrations to photo editing and web design, the best graphic design software can help you meet your goals. In this guide, I ranked and reviewed the 13+ best graphic design software, along with my top 5 choices, so that you can pick the best one.
The most popular photo editing software tools in the market in a robust package that offers excellent graphic design capabilities.
A must-have software tool if you are in the business of publishing with capabilities to design stunning magazines, info sheets, and more.
HubSpot’s Free Icon Maker allows you to create new custom icons for your app, website and creative projects.
Pro-level features and a bundle of multiple applications that deliver powerful editing features with an easy to use interface.
A graphic design and vector creation tool that is perfect for illustrative artwork, page layouts, logos, brochures, and more.
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Stunning design that speaks to an audience is paramount for brands of all sizes.
Because of its various features and useability, Adobe Photoshop has become the reference point of image editing and AI design software.
However, several other visual design software tools have emerged to cater to designers’ different needs and preferences.
In this article, I will cover the top options ranked in order of quality, helping you pick the right software for your specific needs.
The following are the best graphic design software on the market right now.
If you’re looking for the best graphic design software, I highly recommend Adobe Photoshop. Used by professionals, this software will get you the results you want.
Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with photo editing for graphic designers. It is one of the market’s most popular photo editing software tools in a robust package that offers excellent graphic design capabilities.
- Design Tools: Offers a lot of design tools for both mobile apps and web
- Creative Cloud: Its active synchronization with Adobe Creative Cloud offers many unique features, including Content-Aware Crop, Face-Aware Liquify, Artboards, the Design Space view, synced libraries, a glyph panel, Cloud Documents, touch, and stylus input support, among others.
- User Interface: The Adobe graphic design software interface is continuously updated to provide a more customizable user interface. It offers several targeted workspace layouts, including Graphic and Web, Motion, 3D, Painting, and Photography, Designer can also create a custom layout of panels and windows.
- Open-Source GIMP Software: You can download and install this software for free if you don’t want to pay a dime. Consider installing it on a powerful machine to avoid lag and other performance issues.
With the ability to work offline through your browser, you can use Adobe Photoshop to edit photos quickly with a few clicks.
The software provides an intuitive user interface that is easy to use, making it an excellent choice for those new to photo editing.
At the same time, advanced features allow those experienced to get the most out of the software.
Adobe offers Photoshop at a subscription price of US$20.99 per month per license.
What I Like/Dislike About Adobe Photoshop:
- It offers a complimentary mobile application.
- Its slick user interface offers a lot of assistance for easy use.
- Got a rich set of typography and drawing tools.
- It comes loaded with 3D design capabilities.
- Offers a library and photo management with Adobe Creative Cloud.
- Efficient file transfer between different programs.
- Multiple design tools come with responsive graphics.
- Ability to edit animation and video layers.
- Users can define the size of the canvas, create custom brushes, work in 3D, and isolate elements from backgrounds.
- Adobe now offers Photoshop along with a subscription to Creative Cloud. The recurring payment turns out to be more costly, and people who want to buy software forever don’t have the option to buy a perpetual license.
- A plethora of features might overwhelm a new user.
- Offers lessor support for raster and vector images like SVG files.
- Improvements to cloud documents mean you can now work on your Adobe Photoshop projects even when you’re not connected to the internet.
- Edge enhancement in your skies means you can get better definition and detail in your photos, making them look more realistic.
Get started with Adobe Photoshop today.
For publishers that want to create stunning, functional outputs, I suggest you check out Adobe InDesign. With a lower learning curve than Photoshop, InDesign is an excellent software for those who want to quickly create beautiful layouts for published works.
Adobe InDesign is a must-have software tool if you are in the business of publishing. It offers excellent capabilities to design stunning magazines, info sheets, and brochures while easily exporting them to PDF or HTML.
- Easy To Use: Unlike PhotShop, InDesign requires a low learning curve. That means new users can quickly learn how to combine text and graphics to achieve the best results.
- Adjust Layout: The ‘Adjust Layout’ feature empowers the designer to change the template’s text, and the design gets adjusted automatically, which is great for infographics.
- Sensei Technology: Adobe’s AI-powered Sensei technology ensures automatic resizing and arranging of images.
- Adobe InCopy: Designers can leverage InCopy to work with other team members by sharing text, colors, and graphics.
With an interface similar to Photoshop and Illustrator, Adobe InDesign provides a familiar experience for those who are used to using Adobe products.
InDesign will give you the professional results you want if you work with text, images, and vector artwork.
While there is a learning curve to using the software, tons of tutorials can help you get up to speed quickly.
Adobe offers InDesign at a monthly subscription of $20.99. The full Creative Cloud costs $52.99 per month.
What I Like/Dislike About Adobe InDesign:
- Graphic designers can efficiently combine graphics and texts for easier streamlining and optimizing files.
- It allows users to add tags to indexes, keywords, anchor text frames, footnotes, tables of contents, and captions with hyperlinks.
- It supports HTML exporting, enabling web developers to export clean and simple codes while implementing the website’s layout designs. This works great for WordPress sites.
- It can help you eliminate redundant div tags in HTML files along with insignificant content grouping.
- It has the capability of resizing multiple objects and changing the width and height at the same time.
- Designers can leverage its Eyedropper tool to apply position or size instantly to another object within the document.
- It is an industry-standard for desktop publishing.
- The less intuitive user interface can make things overwhelming for new users.
- Not positioned for general users. Suitable for enterprise use only.
- Relatively more expensive than other similar software available in the market.
- PDF comment integration needs perfection
- Adobe has updated the InDesign UI to match better the scaling of other Adobe Creative Cloud products on high-resolution displays. This makes it easier to use InDesign on devices with high pixel density, such as Retina displays.
- The Adobe Capture extension for InDesign lets you quickly turn photos into design elements that you can use in your InDesign layouts. With the extension, you can capture colors, shapes, and textures from photos and apply them to your designs.
Get started with Adobe InDesign today.
3. HubSpot’s Free Favicon Generator.
If you’re looking for a small graphic design software that helps create icons for your website, I recommend HubSpot’s Free Favicon Generator. It can help you quickly create a favicon that looks great and helps you brand your website.
HubSpot’s Free Icon Maker helps you replace outdated images and logos with fresh icons. You can design custom icons for your app, website, and creative projects to impress visitors and boost click-through rates.
- Online-based: You can design and download icons and logos without installing design software.
- Generate Unique Color Palettes: The brand kit generator has a free color palette generator. You can choose the starting colors, and the tool will generate sets of compatible colors you can select from.
- Brand Personalization: You can create a personalized logo, which you can fully customize based on your brand specifications.
- Free of Cost: HubSpot’s Favicon Generator is a free tool.
The icon creator allows you to instantly design unique icons, vectors, and logos, even if you don’t have any design skills.
The tool is easy to use.
Simply choose an icon or logo from hundreds of customizable templates to create your downloadable designs.
You can select the perfect icon sizes for your social media and website and download the appropriate file format.
HubSpot’s Icon Maker is free.
What I Like/Dislike About HubSpot’s Free Favicon Generator:
- You don’t need to download design software since the favicon generator is online-based. As a result, you skip the long installation process and design logos and icons for your business in minutes.
- HubSpot’s icon maker is free of charge. You simply open your browser and create icons for your social media profiles and website.
- The icon maker supports different image file types, so you can download your desired file format.
- The interface is user-friendly. Simply follow the step-by-step process and create stunning logos for your website and social media profiles.
- Since it’s online-based, you can’t design logos and icons without internet access.
- The icon maker may be a bit basic for experienced graphic designers.
- HubSpot is working on automating the process of adding your brand kit to your HubSpot CMS website. Once they do that, your brand kit will be automatically added to your HubSpot CMS website.
Get started with HubSpot’s Free Favicon Generator.
CorelDraw gives you all the professional-level features to create illustrations, logos, and marketing materials. It’s an excellent program for anyone who wants to create vector-based graphics. If graphic design is part of your professional life, CorelDraw is a must-have software.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite packs some pro-level features and offers a highly accessible interface that is easy to use. It is a bundle of multiple applications that deliver powerful editing features.
- Content Exchange: Corel’s online digital library allows registered users to access thousands of high-resolution photographs and digital images. It also offers over 2000 vehicle templates, 1000 fonts, 350 professionally designed templates, over 500 interactive frames, over 600 gradients, and vector, and bitmap fills.
- Flexible Payment: Corel offers three payment programs for users to buy the software and nominal charges for regular upgrades. It also offers an upgrade program for existing users.
- Customizable UI: You get a customizable UI environment for the desktop, icon sizing, toolboxes, options for how your documents open, and a window border color scheme. Users can also visit Corel’s developer community website to design macros that suit their workflow.
- New Pointilizer: Corel’s new pointilizer offers a lot of variable parameters that are not just limited to regular dots.
CorelDraw combines concepts from other vector software into an intuitive interface that is easy to use.
The software is packed with features but still manages to be user-friendly.
If you’re involved in print-based media, chances are that the features will already be familiar as the software is designed to be used with professional printing equipment.
CorelDraw is available for a 15-day free trial. Its full version is available for $499 with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also pay an annual subscription for $249 or just $20.75/per month.
What I Like/Dislike About CorelDraw Graphics Suite:
- It offers app-wide workflow and under-the-hood innovation and performance enhancements to boost productivity.
- Works perfectly without any lag with Surface Pen.
- Users can choose GPU acceleration over the default CPU while working with system-intensive sophisticated vector graphics.
- Smooth transition from desktop to tablet mode to leverage touch features.
- It offers better EPS and third-party PDF importing capabilities and leverages its GPL Ghostscript feature.
- It can export files in up to 48 file types, including AutoCAD, JPG, PNG, SVG, AutoCAD, JPG, and TIFF. It can also open 35 file types, including EPS, HTML, AutoCAD, PDF, PowerPoint, SVG, and even old FreeHand files.
- Unlike Adobe, there are no complimentary mobile applications offered by Corel
- Two many payment options might confuse the user
- Not easy to operate for beginners
- Direct access to online fonts so you can easily add fonts to your designs from various sources.
- A streamlined collaboration workflow that allows you to work on design projects with others in real-time.
- Asset management capabilities that let you quickly find, organize, and share the assets you need for your designs.
Get started with CorelDraw Graphics Suite.
I advise using Adobe Illustrator if you regularly work with artwork, page layouts, logos, and typography. It’s the industry standard for vector illustrations, providing you with all the tools you need to create beautiful designs.
Adobe Illustrator is more than just a graphic design tool perfect for illustrative artwork, page layouts, corporate logos, website mockups, and almost anything else per the requirement. Moreover, it’s an industry benchmark in vector creation tools.
- High-customizability: Adobe Illustrator is highly customizable through multiple preset layouts and other customizability options. Users can leverage the drag-and-drop feature to move panels anywhere on the screen.
- In-Panel Editing: Its in-panel editing feature allows designers to edit multiple artboards simultaneously to help designers work with more efficiency.
- Highly Compatible: It is highly compatible with numerous devices with different configurations from Mac and Windows.
- User Interface: Its user interface is highly accessible and customizable. It offers custom viewing and space-saving features to help you work on any machine.
Creating logos, designs, illustrations, and graphics can quickly be done using Adobe Illustrator.
The software is easy to use, and the tools are self-explanatory, making it user-friendly.
There are also all the features you would expect from a vector drawing app, such as the ability to create custom shapes, apply gradients and strokes, and add text to your designs.
Adobe Illustrator offers a monthly subscription of US$20.99.
What I Like/Dislike About Adobe Illustrator:
- Instead of stored pixels, it generates graphics based on mathematical equations to ensure crisp and sharp lines that you can print in any dimension
- It creates graphics files in relatively small sizes so that designers can share them easily through a simple email attachment
- You get access to over 90 million images, graphics, templates, and videos from Adobe Stock
- Use Adobe font integration to select thousands of fonts and implement the most suitable font for the project
- Tight integration with other Adobe products
- It is costlier in comparison to other vector-based graphic design tools
- So many features can look a bit overwhelming for new users. It requires a steep learning curve to use it efficiently
- It could eat up a lot of space on your machine
- Blend objects in your design for a more natural look.
- Map artwork onto 3D objects and then edit and paint them to create unique graphics.
Get started with Adobe Illustrator today.
Inkscape is a capable free graphic design software that can help designers create scalable graphic designs that won’t stretch or blur during resizing.
It’s a user-friendly option for hobbyists or beginners interested in vector drawing.
- User Experience: For free vector software, the user experience is quite impressive. Designers who are familiar with Adobe tools can efficiently operate Inkscape.
- Regular Updates: Inscape has a robust community of developers, enabling it to provide updates and new features regularly. Its latest update has mesh gradients, a checkerboard background to view transparency more comfortably, improved spray, and measurement tools.
- Free of Cost: It is one of the most robust and capable alternatives to Adobe Illustrator, available as a free tool.
- Manual Improvement: Users can leverage the open-source code to change the lines of code and enhance or personalize the software per the requirement.
Inkscape is easy to use if you’ve used other vector drawing software.
The interface is straightforward, and the tools are self-explanatory.
This software is intuitive, and you can easily create designs, illustrations, logos, and graphics.
A status bar also shows you information about the selected object, such as its size, position, and color.
Inkscape is an open-source platform that is available for free.
What I Like/Dislike About Inkscape:
- Users can easily make individual text lines without frames along with the paragraph type.
- It supports multiple gradients and uses a separate tool to create complex combinations.
- It comes equipped with Bezier handles to ensure more effortless movement of nodes.
- Inkscape offers several well-designed and full-featured tools to create, edit, and convert vectors.
- It is also capable of downloading or creating ready-made plugins.
- Users can leverage different preset categories of filters to save time and effort.
- Inkscapes’ streaming text must be converted into plain text, for instance, before export.
- The Mac version is not error-free.
- Processing is a bit slower than other graphics software.
- Compatibility with Illustrator is not bulletproof.
- Improves translations for 15 languages to make the software more accessible to a broader audience.
- The bugfix version solves nearly 60 issues, including some that could cause crashes.
Sketch is a vector-based graphic design tool for app, web, and interface design. It is best suited for creating interactive prototypes for UI/UX purposes.
- Low Cost: Sketch offers a yearly subscription that is significantly lower than other subscriptions
- Great For Mobile and Web: It leverages grids, snap-to-grid, and snap-to-pixel functionality to avoid half-pixel renders or imperfect alignment. These perfections are critical to ensure perfect responsive design/multiple screen sizes and resolutions.
- Screen Templates: It offers a library of artboard templates for iOS devices and responsive web design layouts. Designers need to select an artboard and the device.
- Custom Plugins: Designers can easily find custom plugins for specific tasks through robust community support
- It allows easy sharing and collaboration through the cloud. Designers can share the entire interface in the cloud through a simple file-sharing process.
- Users can mirror designs on larger devices for team viewing to identify how the design would look exactly on a particular device.
- Users can export any layer or group as a PNG file.
- Sketch autosaves all the changes in the design step by step to avoid any loss of design. Significant relief for designers, indeed!
- Users can leverage libraries with standard Android, iOS, and Mac icons.
- It requires a low learning curve.
- Being a new design tool, it is not entirely polished and requires a lot of enhancement.
- It offers limited illustration capabilities that can hamper intricate illustration work.
- Screens don’t render in high resolution while accessing from the cloud.
- Available only for Mac users.
- Absence of automatic layout flowing option.
The yearly subscription costs $10 monthly for the Standard Plan, $20 for the Business Plan, and the Mac-only License for $120.
8. Affinity Designer.
Affinity Designer is a clean, capable, and cheaper alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It offers an excellent budget proposition that is easier to use and faster than Illustrator.
- Grid Systems: Its versatile grid system lets designers set up grids while creating isometric video game graphics and icons. This feature helps users acquire total control over angles, gutters, spacing, and subdivisions to create accurate layouts.
- Snapping Option: It allows designers to lock and position objects and elements depending on multiple things, including grids, alignment guides, shapes, and nodes of other objects.
- Dual Environment: Through Affinity Designer, users can work in pixel and vector art environments without opening any other application.
- Zoom Feature: Its zoom feature can go as far as 1,000,000 percent enabling designers to design with utmost precision and accuracy.
- Designers can leverage dynamic on-screen guides to ensure objects and designs are laid out with accurate measurement and alignment
- Users can create smooth and accurate curves through rope and window stabilizers to create beautiful vector illustrations
- Boolean operation is not only capable of combining shapes, but it is also capable of efficiently moving and editing some parts
- It offers a wide selection of colors to enhance designs.
- Users are also allowed to put their work on one project to multiple artboards
- Its Apple iPad app is as powerful as its desktop application
- Doesn’t export files in AI
- Absence of natural perspective grid
- Absence of vector eraser in Designer Persona
Designers can buy Affinity Designer software for a one-time $69.99 on a desktop or $19.99 on an iPad.
9. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).
GIMP is more than just a photo editor offering many incredible Photoshop features for free. It provides multiple professional-quality functions to fine-tune snaps and create artwork from scratch.
Some would even consider it one of the best free graphic design software.
Check out my GIMP vs. Photoshop review to compare this software.
- Flexibility: The photo editing tool’s user interface is highly customizable, and the GIMP community has developed several incredible plugins for added features free of cost. People who know coding can customize it to higher levels per the requirement.
- Regular Updates: Its active community of developers means it keeps getting regular updates and adding new features.
- GEGL Scripts: It is one of the best features of GIMP, making it an open image processing platform.
- Compatibility: It is compatible with a plethora of operating systems, including macOS, Linux, Windows, Solaris, and BDS
- It enables users to sketch the drawing by leveraging tools, including cloning, pencil, and airbrush
- GIMP offers tutorials for every feature to help out the users
- Its Layers feature allows designers to design an image under an existing image
- The clean and easy-to-use user interface for users who are new to the world of image editing
- It offers the option of working on a modular and single-window interface
- It is very lightweight and uses the computing resources optimally, leading to ensure speedy performance
- The user interface is not perfect for Mac users
- Adjustment layers come with a non-destructive way of combining multiple photo manipulations
- The developer community is not significant. As a result, it gets updated at a much slower pace.
Since it’s an open-source platform, it’s an entirely free design software version.
10. Xara Designer Pro X.
Xara offers advanced features and tools that provide advanced design elements. The software is used extensively for web and print design solutions to create illustrations, edit photos, and design web pages.
- Direct Action Tools: The ‘direct action’ tools offer robust features and stable functionalities for general use.
- Drag and Drop Feature: This time-saving and intuitive feature allows designers to zoom up to 25,000 percent and leverage direct action tools easily for faster execution of the job. It also allows placing any item on the page simply by dragging and dropping.
- Performance: It offers faster performance and allows users to implement creativity quickly. It also allows users to make numerous modifications through unlimited redo and undo options.
- Super Fast: Xara boasts one of the fastest and most sophisticated vector rendering engines. This allows it to deliver more complex and professional graphic designs efficiently.
- Xara Designer Pro offers substantial editing options, including solid dragging, scaling, and rotating of objects to achieve the best editing results.
- It offers anti-aliasing that helps improve the quality of on-screen images by softening objects’ edges by blending them with the background.
- It comes with cloud capabilities to view, edit, and update documents through a web browser on any computer or tablet
- The zoom tool is capable of zooming up to 25,601% to enable designers to take a closer look
- Designer Pro is capable of syncing files with Dropbox and Google Drive
- It offers support to an extensive range of file formats, including bitmap types like JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF, and PSD, and allows the import of photos such as RAW or JPEG XR
- It also supports importing and exporting Adobe PSD files, including layer support, alpha channel, and 16-bit color and CMYK layer conversion
- It is available only on Windows
- Requires a steep learning curve to use all the features efficiently
- The masking feature is cumbersome and difficult to understand
The Xara Designer Pro+ is available at a monthly subscription of $16.95 per month.
The Team+ plan costs $9.98 per month.
11. Corel Vector.
Corel Vector is an HTML-based graphic design app that delivers high-quality vector graphics.
It is a suitable professional graphics, product, or web designer tool.
- Corel Vector Dashboard: The dashboard is easy to navigate and allows you to easily switch between tabs or dark themes. Users can also easily set the width and height of the document through the dashboard.
- Pages: Its pages feature a perfect blend of artboards and pages that comes with its canvas settings.
- Tools and Effects: It offers several tools, including the Bezigon tool, Lasso tools, and Pen tool, among others. It also allows adding multiple fills to an element.
- Portability: It offers absolute cross-platform portability for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS to enable the designer to work from any machine efficiently.
- It offers a modern user interface that is entirely customizable, engaging, and easy to use.
- Corel Vector offers an implicit way to design social media posts for various platforms, including Instagram and Facebook.
- It offers natural flexibility through web and desktop versions of the software.
- It supports multiple file formats for export as well as import.
- It allows the editing of scalable vector graphics.
- Users get knife and tool support for non-destructive Boolean, which makes it a potent tool for user interface design.
- Designers can easily open multiple documents and go to the papers on the tab.
- Its Pro version offers unlimited cloud storage.
- There is not much information about the software from official resources.
- A real-time collaboration feature is absent.
- Designers can’t run prototypes on smartphones to find out how they look.
- Fonts need an active internet connection to work.
Corel Vector comes entirely free of cost with limited features. Gravit Designer Pro is available for $69.99 for your first year and $99.99 for each following year.
Photoscape offers indispensable features for editing and managing photo archives. It positions itself as a tremendous free graphic design tool for beginners and professionals who don’t want to buy expensive subscriptions.
- Editing Tools: Photoscape offers numerous image editors, including page, batch editor, editor, viewer, print, combine, print, screen capture, animated GIF, print, connect, etc. Its editing toolkit offers a set of distinct and well-labeled features for beginners.
- Multi-lingual: It comes loaded with English and Korean. However, designers can gain access to more than 30 languages through downloadable modules.
- User Interface: It offers a simple and easy-to-use interface that helps beginners to use the software efficiently.
- Design Module: Its design module and image editing capabilities pack a lot of features, including color adjustments, size, gamma, backlight, resolution, brightness, and so forth. It also comes with text, design, and drawing tools, including an effects brush, filters, paintbrush, and clone stamp.
- The batch editor feature is a boon for designers who edit images regularly. Users can resize, convert, or rename multiple pictures with a single mouse click.
- It can open RAW photos and has a converter that easily converts RAW images to JPEG images.
- It is a cross-platform design app compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux machines.
- It comes with a PhotoScapeX edition for Windows 10 machines that is free of cost.
- Offers integrated editing and graphic solutions
- It is highly responsive and lightweight that leverages computer hardware smartly
- It doesn’t provide advanced image editing capabilities like Photoshop
- Not available on Linux
Photoscape is available free of cost.
Genially allows you to turn your content into professional graphics on a website, blog, Pinterest, or Facebook in just a few minutes.
You can share your creations across all social media channels without using additional plugins for each page.
- Choose from many templates, and your content is pushed into that template. If you want to, you can customize the color and design further.
- The graphics it produces are simple yet effective. It’s easy to use and makes good-quality graphics for business, social media posts, and more.
- Create presentations, infographics, and interactive images, turning content into a powerful marketing tool.
- If you want to create gamification and visual and interactive quizzes, then Genially can help you do that.
- This app also caters for Video Presentations.
- You can create presentations to upload.
- You have the power to choose from several templates or design one yourself.
- You can also customize it further with your content, videos, images, and other media formats if you want to.
- Training Material is available so you can learn how to use the app.
- With so many features, it sometimes tries to do too much, and the interface is confusing.
- The free version doesn’t allow you to import PowerPoint files from your computer.
The pricing plans are as follows:
- Pro: $7.49 per month (billed annually)
- Master: $20.82 per month (billed annually)
- Team: $79.15 per month (billed annually)
Step into the realm of Vectr, an excellent yet straightforward Free graphics program that lets you create stunning vector art and designs, edit images and customize projects for web and print.
They also offer a free Chrome plugin to enhance your experience while designing your graphics.
If you’re a beginner, it’s not an issue since the user interface is simple and easy to navigate.
In addition, if you have no experience designing graphics software, you will find it effortless to set up the various tools for drawing your vector artwork or modifying images or photos.
Real-time sharing allows you to invite anyone and work on a document accessible to the public.
The design tools are intuitive and user-friendly, with various popular fonts, graphics, effects, and shapes available for you to use in your documents.
Resize without losing the clarity and quality of your graphics.
- Make scalable vector images without losing quality.
- Share projects online with your team or clients to work on together.
- Free forever plan that gives you access to all the features
- AI-powered image resizing will ensure you always get an image that is the right size.
- Laid-back and easy-to-use user interface
There is no desktop version, so you must use their online interface.
Vectr is free forever.
Note: Some other best graphic design apps not reviewed in this list include Vectr, Microsoft DrawPad, and Pixlr.
What Is Graphic Design Software?
Graphic design software is a computer program that allows users to create, manipulate, and modify digital images.
One can use it for various tasks, including creating unique logos, posters, flyers, websites, and other graphic art.
With the advancement of technology over the years, paid graphic design software has become increasingly powerful and sophisticated.
The best graphic design software provides users with various tools to help them achieve professional-looking results.
These packages often include vector drawing tools for creating shapes and designing typography.
Additionally, most programs offer photo editing capabilities to help make photos look more vivid and professional.
Many packages also include 3D modeling tools for creating more complex images in three dimensions.
Several free options are available for those just getting started in graphic design.
More advanced users may find these applications need improvement; however, they are still helpful in getting acquainted with graphic design before investing in a paid solution.
For those looking for a comprehensive package that includes all the bells and whistles necessary for advanced graphic design workflows, paid solutions offer potent tools designed specifically for professionals.
From custom brushes and textures to automated layers and integrated printing options – these packages are jam-packed with features that will significantly simplify even the most complex graphic design projects.
No matter your skill level – from beginner to expert – there’s a plethora of graphic design software available today to suit your needs.
Whether you’re looking to create stunning illustrations or want an easy way to spruce up the latest flyer or advertisement, taking advantage of the latest advancements in this field could prove invaluable when presenting your work professionally!
A capable design software tool enables a graphic designer to create visually stunning graphics and images.
Here are a few essential benefits that capable graphic design software brings to the table:
It allows you to create visually stunning images and graphics without shooting them.
Aside from this, the user can get the file exported into multiple file formats instantly for easy distribution to other marketing platforms.
Apart from paid tools that offer great value for money, it is a free, open-source graphic design software designers can leverage to create beautiful designs.
It helps in saving a lot of expenses on shooting natural objects.
Graphic design tools help organizations maintain brand positioning by embedding logos and watermarks on marketing collaterals.
Users can save templates in the software that they can use every time to maintain image size and design consistency.
High-quality visuals created through graphic design software help in enhancing brand engagement.
It helps in sending the message to the audience more clearly.
Using graphic design software helps in saving a lot of time you would have otherwise spent on shooting photos and videos.
It also allows users to create bulk images in minutes, ready for immediate upload and distribution.
6. Minimum Human Intervention.
It helps get the required visuals by leveraging artificial intelligence algorithms to edit photos and videos without human intervention instantly.
Furthermore, it enables marketers to get high-quality graphics edited within seconds and seconds that one can share across multiple platforms, like social media, websites, etc., at once.
7. Custom Branding.
Graphic design software allows users to create custom branding for marketing collaterals like images, infographics, videos, etc., according to the brand’s requirements.
With this, brands can promote brands that are unique and differentiated from the competition.
Several graphic design software tools are available in the market with their unique capabilities.
However, their main goal is to create stunning artwork.
Hence, their basic functionalities are the same.
Here are some steps to help you get the hang of some of the essential functions of graphic design software work.
For instance, you are using Adobe Photoshop to create graphics.
You must launch Photoshop first, click the “File” option, and then “New Document.”
The designer can either select a template or customize the size of the document manually.
Next, you can see what the camera raw panel looks like in Photoshop.
Here, you can select the crop tool available in the sidebar to resize your design.
Workspace overview displays the project you are working on.
It may have multiple tabs depending on the number of projects you are working on simultaneously.
Have a look at the workspace from Adobe Photoshop.
Before you move further, you should know the meaning of the vital tools you’ll use for graphic design.
Here is the list of tool icons you must know by heart to use any graphic design platform efficiently.
Playing with layers at the right spot will help create visually appealing designs.
To create a new layer, click ‘Layer > New > Layer’ or tick the box with the folded corner at the bottom right of the window.
You can also lock the layers to avoid editing them accidentally.
Users can leverage many tools to create simple images into stunning visuals that they can use as high-resolution wallpapers.
Going From Amateur To Pro Using Graphic Design Software
The skills you will learn when using graphic design software can help you go from an amateur to a professional.
First, you’ll need to learn the basics of design principles and how to apply them to create a visually appealing design.
You will also need to understand the technical aspects of graphics software, such as color theory, typography, grids, and layers.
Once you understand these concepts, it is time to explore the tools available in your chosen graphic design software.
You should become familiar with the main menus and toolbar functions to find what you want when working on projects quickly.
You should also practice creating illustrations or manipulating images with various filters and effects.
You’ll be able to master subtle yet important techniques like photo retouching and adding texture to your work.
Additionally, depending on the project, you will learn how to add appropriate font and text styling.
You should also take the time to experiment and explore the software.
Different features can help you develop your aesthetic sense and hone your technical skills.
Finding the best graphic design software that meets all your requirements can be overwhelming.
If you want to make the right decision, ponder over a few essential points, including:
- Budget – Analyze whether you can afford a paid tool or whether paying a subscription for graphic design software is feasible. Decide by weighing the features you can get from open-source tools and what USPs paid tools offer.
- Features – Use a quality tool like Adobe Photoshop only if you require intricate vector designs regularly. Otherwise, free software tools like Inkscape are more than enough to manage essential editing work.
- Collaboration – If your work methodology includes frequent partnerships, look for a graphic design platform equipped with cloud capabilities for seamless collaboration and sharing of files.
These points can help you make the right decision without much confusion.
Further Reading on AdamEnfroy.com: For more software reviews, check out my reviews of the best image editing software, the top choices for video editing software, and my complete guide to starting a blog for beginners.
Our reviews are made by a team of experts before being written and come from real-world experience. Read our editorial process here.