Discover the top graphic design applications, both free and paid
The best graphic design software is more diverse than ever, giving experts and amateurs alike a wide choice of alternatives to create in the manner that best matches their demands and workflow.
What you need to do will determine which graphic design program is ideal for you. Professionals that require the freedom to produce concepts for a variety of clientele will demand fully developed desktop applications. Frequently, that means industry-standard products like Illustrator and Photoshop from Adobe. However, if you have the greatest free graphic design software, people working on personal projects might be able to get by with more constrained applications.
Check out the questions area at the bottom for tips on how to pick the best graphic design program for you. While you wait, check out our list of the top graphic design books for inspiration. Check out our guides to the top programs for digital art creation and video editing if you need any more applications.
The top graphic design software
01. Adobe Photoshop
90% of the creative professionals in the world rely on Adobe Photoshop, the most popular graphic design software program. Adobe is the de facto industry standard for graphic design software.
The best tool for graphic design in Photoshop, which includes excellent brushes and textures in addition to photo editing and retouching features. Thanks to its extensive collection of the top graphic design software, Adobe will provide you the ability to unleash your creative side at a scale that works for you.
Characteristics of Adobe Photoshop:
- High-Level Photo Editing – Your photographs can be edited, replaced, and blended using moving elements, robust editing software, and clever effects options.
- Simple Control: With infinite layers, one-click selects, and simple masking, transform images and artwork.
- A huge number of custom brushes – With the largest library of brushes in the world, you can create any texture or pattern you can think of.
- Setup Sync: To work on projects on your laptop, desktop, tablet, and other devices, set your preferences on any of them.
- Collaboration: Use the convenient “share” tab in Photoshop to collaborate with others on the same creations.
- Take on the basics: You can find a ton of tutorials, videos, and knowledge-base articles to assist you in learning Photoshop.
- Access synced libraries, content-aware cropping, artboards, facial recognition smoothies, design space views, and much more with Creative Cloud.
02. Adobe InDesign
The best design software is available for editors and publishers. You could find that Adobe InDesign is your best choice for producing eye-catching, useful outcomes.
Laying out texts and photos will be easier for you. Layouts for magazines, books, newspapers, and other forms work well with it. This design program can be useful if you need to produce interactive PDFs or digital magazines, or if you want to make your first eBook.
Characteristics of Adobe InDesign:
- Mix Elements: Graphic designers can efficiently mix text and visuals to simplify file optimization.
- Creating links or hyperlinks: Users can add index tags, keywords, anchor text frames, footnotes, tables of contents, and hyperlinked legends.
- Export to HTML: It is supported, enabling web developers to export clear, straightforward code while putting website designs into practice.
- Code optimization: It can assist you in removing unnecessary div tags from HTML files as well as some content bundling.
- Popularity: In the publishing sector, it is one of the most well-known graphic design programs.
03. Adobe Illustrator
The finest design application for your project or business idea is Adobe Illustrator if it involves illustrations, page layouts, logos, typography, or 3D animation. For creating expert designs, this software is the market leader for vector graphics.
It is well known that Adobe Illustrator is a graphics application for creating illustrations, page layouts, company logos, website mockups, and nearly anything else as needed.
Characteristics of Adobe Illustrator:
- Optimizes weight and space: It develops pictures based on mathematical calculations to provide clear, crisp lines that may be reproduced in any dimension.
- Simple and light sharing: Create graphic files that are quite small in size so that designers may simply share them through a straightforward email attachment.
- Exclusive resources: Adobe Stock provides access to over 90 million photos, graphics, templates, and movies.
- Utilize text typefaces: Use Adobe’s font integration to choose from thousands of options and use the one that best suits your project.
The most well-known Australian-made internet design tool is Canva. Given the generous nature of its free plan, it has grown to rank among the most functional and widely used free graphic design programs. Every single one of its numerous templates, resources, and graphics can be customized to meet the demands of the customer.
One of the most user-friendly graphic design tools available is Canva. Additionally, it offers thousands of graphic resources for dynamic infographics and tables. Unquestionably, one of its main benefits is the ability to use it entirely online with one of the largest cloud storage capacities. Additionally, it enables completely collaborative team mode use.
Characteristics of Canva:
- Pick from a huge selection of templates: Canva designs are simple to use and modify. Additionally, you can make your own templates and save them for later use.
- Make use of free fonts and images: Canva has a library of graphics and images you can use to create your designs.
- Edit pictures: You can cut away extraneous areas, add filters, change colors, and manage contrast with the photo editor.
- Download the graphics: You may save and download content from Canva in a variety of formats without the use of watermarks (advertising).You could also discuss it with your loved ones and friends.
- Online text graphic design creation: Make logos and utilize a variety of text fonts.
Only available for Mac, Sketch is a vector-based design program. It is a course that is largely concerned with interface, web, and app design.
Sketch is excellent for creating the icons and user interfaces you see on websites and mobile apps, while not being designed for picture editing or print tasks.
To see how their designs will appear after publication, graphic artists can also tap or swipe to preview them.
Characteristics of Sketch:
- Share right away: enables simple sharing and teamwork through the cloud. Through an easy file-sharing procedure, designers can distribute the whole user interface.
- Test various gadgets: Users can use larger devices to reflect designs so that the team can see how they would appear on each one.
- Simple export: Designers can create PNG files from any layer or group.
- Access numerous revisions: To prevent design loss, Sketch automatically saves all changes to designs step-by-step.
- Access to icon libraries: Users have access to the common icon libraries for Android, iOS, and Mac.
- Learn quickly: Has a short learning curve.
05. Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is often regarded as the first significant challenger in a market that is mostly controlled by Adobe. Like Illustrator, Affinity Designer is designed for creating vector images. But with just a one-time fee of $49.99, it works out to be far less expensive.
Affinity Designer is also a lot more user-friendly for beginners. It’s perfect for people who are just getting started in design or even independent graphic designers who don’t have the money for Adobe CC.
However, hardly many platforms can deliver robust performance for both depth of features and novice friendliness, and this is where Affinity Designer starts to fall short. Hardcore Illustrator aficionados will notice the lack of some capabilities, such as the perspective grid and the column graph tool, even though the selection and organization of the tools will save time for people who currently switch between Photoshop and Illustrator.
Characteristics of Affinity Designer:
- Vector and Raster Editing: Affinity Designer supports both vector and raster graphics, allowing users to create and edit artwork in various formats.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: Affinity Designer is available for multiple platforms, including macOS, Windows, and iOS.
- Professional-Grade Tools: Affinity Designer provides a wide range of professional-grade tools that empower designers to create high-quality artwork.
- Design Precision and Performance: Affinity Designer is known for its precision and performance.
- Seamless Integration: Affinity Designer integrates well with other software in the Affinity suite, such as Affinity Photo (for advanced photo editing) and Affinity Publisher (for desktop publishing).
- Affordability: Affinity Designer offers a one-time purchase model, making it a cost-effective choice compared to subscription-based design software.
You can make presentation graphics with the aid of the well-liked visual design application Visme. Infographics, charts, and graphs can all be produced to generate social media posts. Given that it doesn’t require any prior design knowledge, this tool is suitable for beginners. It guides you through the design process and is simple to use.
You can build your photos using a choice of templates provided by Visme. You’ll find the ideal template for your presentation because the templates are arranged by industry. Explore the Visme Gallery to see what other people have produced.
Characteristics of Visme:
- Fantastic tool for creating flowcharts
- Excellent collection of marketing tool connectors.
- Dependable real-time collaboration tools
- Premade data visualization widgets that look good
- Visme Gallery can help you get more creative and design work done faster.
Your best tool for improving your company’s image, increasing your marketing efforts, and creating complete, expert social media postings may be graphic design software.
One of the greatest options for both beginners and experts is Adobe Photoshop if you’re seeking for an all-in-one, user-friendly graphic design program. Numerous features and a sizable community are available to assist you with any issues. On the other hand, if you want to design pages online, you can check out Canva, where you can easily make any design without spending any money.