Whether you are a professional graphic designer or just a hobbyist, a good graphic design software makes it simple and hassle-free for you to set up excellent designs. Considering that artwork or designing is a unique activity, you need a specific tool to achieve the best results. To be precise, a dedicated vector-based software. We agree that an effective and feature-packed graphic design software is not cheap but having the right tool is a must-have for almost every creative and professional designer.
While there is a range of editing, painting, and designing software available in the market, it’s all about choosing the right one for your job. You need a reliable tool that caters to your design needs, including color editing options and other advanced features. We have prepared a list of the 6 best graphic design software that are meant for different purposes and offer varied subscription plans. Have a look:
Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with photo editing, used by millions of creative professionals around the world. It is the de-facto standard for almost all image work, from giving final touch up to paint and more, making it a go-to tool for 90% of graphic designers. The solution is packed with advanced features and tools to make creative and editing life easier, such as AI support to seamlessly replace parts of images you don’t want. Being one of the most popular editing platforms worldwide, it comes in a robust package with excellent graphic design capabilities.
Photoshop offers an impressive suite of tools that makes it perfect for drawing, painting, editing, and creating logos, photographs, banners, and websites. Users get access to retouching and editing capabilities along with sensational textures and brushes. For working professionals, an Adobe subscription is a must-have that provides regular updates without additional charges. It will let your creative side shine while empowering you to develop your skills at your own pace.
- A range of design tools for mobile apps and the web.
- Transform photos and illustrations with just one-click selections, easy masking, and unlimited layers.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Synchronization offers unique features, such as Content-Aware Crop, Artboards, Face-Aware Liquify, a glyph panel, the Design Space view, synced libraries, Cloud Documents, and stylus input support, etc.
- Continuous upgrades to offer a more customizable user interface.
- You get targeted workspace layouts, such as Graphic and Web, Motion, Painting, and Photography, 3D, and designers can easily create a custom layout of panels and windows.
Price: Creative Cloud All Apps- $29.99/mth
Creative Cloud Photography- $9.99/mth
Creative Cloud Single App- $20.99/mth
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a complete software bundle and not just a simple application. It is packed with amazing pro-level features and comes with a highly accessible and easy-to-use interface, it is one of the most influential and in-demand options today in the graphic design industry. The solution includes AfterShot to handle RAW files, Photo-Paint for photo manipulation, FontManager for organizing the text styles, and PowerTRACE to convert bitmap images into vectors. It covers bitmap and vector design, offering Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator functions in a combined package.
CorelDRAW is not just a vector-drawing package but offers a desktop publishing feature too to enable users to design projects with a multi-page layout. Its latest version includes several upgrades and improvements for editing vector effects, handling web graphics, and a simplified template menu. Also, it impresses users with its ability to search through their images as thumbnails. Although CorelDRAW took a break from Mac, it has returned to the device with a fully functional version. Choose CorelDRAW Graphics Suite for its veteran range of software that is always up-to-date.
- It offers an online digital library with thousands of high-resolution photographs and digital images.
- A customizable UI environment for desktops, icon sizing, toolboxes, and several options for how to open documents, and color scheme.
- Three payment plans so users can buy the software and have to pay nominal charges for regular upgrades.
- The new pointilizer offers variable parameters that are not limited to regular dots.
Price: Annual Subscription- $249
One-Time Purchase- $424
Many businesses and professionals shy away from using free software, surely they have valid reasons. However, considering that Vector can be pretty expensive based on the advanced features you require, Inkscape is certainly worth trying before committing to paid software. Inkscape is an open-source graphic design software that offers the best alternative to other pricey tools with its highly accessible and fantastic features. The solution is best known for smoothly creating vectors, and its range of vector editing and designing tools come in handy for professional designers. Its set of features includes cloned objects, markers, and alpha blending with support for various color modes so that you achieve desired results, be it designing or printing.
Inkscape is a vector design platform with extensive text manipulation, broad file support, and Bezier and Spiro curve types. Its extension model allows you to easily install new features. In addition, it has a community gallery that inspires professional designers with a ton of learning resources to help them get started. This software will import Illustrator files and enables you to trace bitmap images. Yes, there is one drawback that even on a powerful PC or laptop, it can be slow if a complicated process involves rendering. However, this doesn’t overpower a list of benefits it provides, making it a top choice for free graphic design software for producing sophisticated artwork.
- An impressive user experience and experienced designers who are familiar with Adobe can operate Inkscape efficiently.
- The robust Inkscape community constantly updates the platform with new features and functionality.
- Leverage the open-source code to change the code lines and enhance or personalize the software according to your requirement.
- It is an impressive vector creation tool, offering free-hand drawing options, embedded bitmaps, a text tool, shape creation, and clones.
Price: Absolutely free to use.
Adobe Illustrator is not merely a graphic design tool but an industry-leading platform that is perfect for page layouts, illustrative artwork, website mockups, corporate logos, and everything else that you require with a fun and informal feel. It has set a high standard in vector creation tools and users can create 100% scalable drawings. One brilliant feature about Illustrator is that you can create amazing logos with multi-layered artwork. It is the vector version of Photoshop with two sharing various common tools and functions to help designers who use both platforms.
Since 2000, Adobe Illustrator can be used to work on an iPad app along with a desktop. It makes it super easy to transfer your projects to and from iPad to desktop, making it more profitable than ever. Adobe Illustrator is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, so you have to pay for a subscription, which is not cheap. We know that sometimes paying for a tool can be upsetting but with Illustrator, it is surely worth it. Also, subscription-based plans get the latest updates automatically for free. However, one downfall is that for designs that can be rescaled, be it a billboard or postage stamp, Illustrator is not a preferred choice.
- Highly customizable with multiple preset layouts. Use the drag-and-drop feature to move panels anywhere on a screen.
- Drawing and editing allow you to draw, scale, move, and rotate an object in real-time.
- Designers use the in-panel editing feature to edit multiple artboards simultaneously and work with more efficiency.
- Connect Adobe Illustrator with other features of Adobe’s Creative Cloud to access them through Photoshop, and similar products.
- Using custom viewing and space-saving features, you can work on any machine.
Price: Adobe Illustrator- $20.99/ month
While looking for the right graphic design software, you have to be meticulous to make sure that it has all the right tools to meet your requirements. For this, Affinity Designers and Illustrator can be overwhelming options if you only want software for UI design, icons, or prototyping. Therefore, you might want to consider Sketch, a convenient vector-based platform for designers that is available as a downloadable app and a web-based solution. Rather than adopting the scatter-gun approach of other applications, Sketch is built to address relatively narrow requirements. For designers planning on creating an interactive prototype or sketching plans of new products, Sketch is the best option.
Sketch mainly focuses on screen designs, used to create icons and interface elements for applications and websites. As this software is exclusively meant for Apple Mac, most designers working on macOS, iPad, and iPhone find it useful. Sketch comes with several streamlined and easy-to-use tools. If you want to use the software to design a website instead of a detailed vector illustration, then this software is perfect for you. Sketch can be used for more general purposes but its strength is its slick user interfaces. It is available for a single-user license, which can be used for multiple devices.
- Its yearly subscription is significantly lower than other software.
- A great library of artboard templates, compatible with iOS devices and used for responsive web design layouts.
- Add plugins to the Sketch experience with the assistance from the surrounding community and customize the workflow with native integrations.
- Custom plugins are available for specific tasks through robust community support.
- Share designs with anyone online through a cloud-based platform.
Price: Standard- $9/ editor, monthly
Adobe Illustrator’s subscription fee can be a bit expensive but that doesn’t imply you can’t use a pro-level software for graphic design. Hence, we introduce you to Affinity Designer, which is a capable, clean, and affordable alternative to Illustrator, offering an excellent budget proposition and is faster and easier to use. The solution is not a rehash and is built from scratch over a 5-year development project by Serif. One amazing thing about Affinity Designer is that the platform works seamlessly with PSD files and AI, taking off your worries regarding its compatibility. Moreover, with the right hardware, it can run faster and deliver better results than Illustrator.
Affinity Designer is primarily meant for professional designers and their way of working. Hence, it can deal with a wide range of design tasks, such as branding, web, typography, concept art, and repeating patterns as you need on wallpapers, ceramics, and soft furnishings. It also offers an array of cool features and tools that are not available in Illustrator, such as the one million percent zoom and the infinite redos. Its inherent cloud functionality makes it a good choice for design teams working toward a common goal. The best part is that all this functionality can be yours with a one-off payment.
- Versatile grid system to set up grids and create isometric video game graphics and icons.
- Work in both vector art and pixel art environments in a single place.
- Compatible with Mac, iPad, Windows, and all other operating systems.
- Designers can lock and position objects and elements based on multiple things, such as grids, shapes, alignment guides, and nodes of other objects.
- Can zoom up to 1,000,000% so that designers can work with incredible precision.
Price: Mac- $54.99
This was our top 6 software for graphic designers. Make sure that you select the one that suits your requirements, budget, and other specifications. Do your research carefully so that you invest your money in the right direction and seek the best outputs.