Best graphic design software for photo editing. It comes with a user-friendly interface to sketch, edit and create photos.
Best for vector graphics / illustrations. It has Sensei AI features for you to create unique effects and recolor artwork.
Best for publishers and print design. It allows you to create beautiful layouts for your print work (and interactive PDFs).
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Anyone who wants to develop high-quality design needs the best graphic design software and tools.
Graphics design software has permanently transformed the way designers and fine artists work, whether you're a professional or a hobbyist.
What is the best graphic design software and tool?
The best graphic design software can help you achieve your goals in a variety of ways, such as producing logos, editing images, and website designing.
So, we explored the market for the best graphic design software, and we discovered 16 of the most promising options for bringing your artistic thoughts to reality.
When it comes to developing high-quality graphics and designs, picking the perfect graphic design software is crucial.
What are the factors to consider in choosing the right graphic design tool?
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best graphic design tool for you.
Graphic design software is a program or a collection of tools that allows users to create, edit, or manipulate visual representations made out of computer graphics.
To truly appreciate the advantages of these software solutions, you must first understand what to look for.
It should have a high rating of features and functionality.
It can be worthwhile to look into software that has scalable features so that you can add additional functionality as your skills develop.
It should be user-friendly and easy to use especially for beginners.
It is advisable to look for software that you'll feel at ease using on a frequent basis.
It should have high recommendations and satisfactory ratings.
It could be a suggestion from coworkers or colleagues who have been using the app for some time, or you could read or search for product reviews and suggestions online.
With the features and price listed, it is always up to you to decide what is best for you.
If you're a beginner, start with Canva or Xara which are both simple and easy to master.
If you're a professional, Adobe Apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are worth looking into.
A lesser feature selection is generally associated with a lower budget, but nevertheless, it must have a reasonable price.
Start with free trials and demonstrations, then upgrade once you've determined which program will provide you with the highest return on investment.
Adobe Photoshop is a great choice if you are looking for the most popular and flexible online graphic design software and tool.
Best for raster graphics and photo editing.
It is by far the most popular of all graphic design software tools—Used by 90% of the creative professionals in the world.
Adobe Photoshop has a large number of tools that may be used to paint, sketch, edit, and create photos, banners, logos, and websites.
For instance, it has features ranging from photo editing and retouching to incredible brushes and textures.
Additionally, Photoshop is constantly developing its interface to provide a more immersive design experience.
To do so, it incorporates a variety of workspace layouts for photography, painting, graphic design, web management, and more.
Adobe Photoshop also provides a wide range of design tools for both mobile and web applications.
Download Adobe Photoshop now
Adobe Illustrator is a perfect choice if you're looking for the best graphic design software for graphic illustrators.
Best for vector graphics / illustrations.
This Adobe app is still industry-standard software with the most comprehensive set of tools and functionality for vector editing.
Further, regarding vector editing, Illustrator is the king of graphic design applications.
For instance, it makes use of vectors rather than raster graphics made up of color blocks.
Illustrator's strengths include collaborative editing, improved graphic snapping, and cloud storage.
Additionally, you can recolor artwork with a single click, create unique effects, and much more with Adobe Sensei AI-powered features.
Designers can work more efficiently with the In-Panel Editing tool, which allows them to modify multiple artboards at once.
Download Adobe Illustrator now
If you are a digital publisher looking for the best graphic design software to create stunning layouts, Adobe InDesign is the best tool for you.
Best for page design—print or digital.
This tool has an outstanding capability for creating beautiful magazines, information sheets, newspapers, flyers, and brochures that can be simply exported to PDF or HTML.
Being a component of Photoshop CC, InDesign you get to enjoy most of the features, and you can access it separately or as part of the Adobe Creative Suite.
Additionally, the tool has become a household brand for ad agencies and publishing houses all over the world.
This is because of InDesign’s subject-aware text wrapping, convenient color location, Adobe Fonts auto-activation, HSB compatibility, and other features.
Further, managing design elements and generating immersive experiences in any format is a breeze with this tool.
So, if you want a tool for page design, whether print or digital, Adobe InDesign is the solution.
Download Adobe InDesign now
If you’re a graphic designer who focuses on creating website layouts and applications, Adobe XD is the tool you need.
Best for web design.
It comes with multiple templates, allowing you to see your designs on different devices and platforms, like phones and websites.
Additionally, if you’ve had a prior experience with other Adobe software, operating Adobe XD should be a breeze.
Even better, the software is compatible with Mac and Windows, making it a great option for all users.
Further, the availability of iOS and Android apps means you’ll always have access to your Adobe XD designs.
If you are in a dilemma on whether the software is good enough, you can always subscribe for the 7-day free trial.
So, these outstanding features make Adobe XD one of the best graphic design tools.
Download Adobe XD now
If you are looking for a product designed for users with little or no experience with graphic design, Canva is the perfect option for you.
Great for photo editing.
It is a web-based app that is also available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.
Canva is an excellent tool for both newbies and pros who want to produce sophisticated art projects in a matter of minutes.
Primarily, it's ideal for quickly cropping and resizing photographs, as well as adding filters, frames, text, and effects.
Canva is even more impressive because of the straightforward navigation, user-friendly, and clean design.
When you incorporate these properties with its pre-made templates, it becomes so enticing.
So, if you’re a beginner looking for the best graphic design software for your needs, you can't go wrong with Canva.
Download Canva now
If you're looking for the best paid graphic design software for your vector-based projects, CorelDraw is certainly the perfect match for you.
Great for vector illustrations.
This graphic design software is a full-featured graphics program for Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, iPad, and other mobile devices.
CorelDraw has features like advanced image editing and enhanced color replacement, useful when adding your brand colors to content.
Additionally, the tool gives you access to a digital collection with thousands of high-resolution photos available online.
CorelDraw also includes templates, fonts, professionally designed templates, interactive frames, gradients, vectors, and bitmap fills.
Further, it has a customizable desktop UI environment, including icon scaling, toolboxes, and a window border color scheme.
When you combine these features, CorelDraw stands out as one of the best graphic design software for vector graphics.
Download CorelDraw now
Are you looking for the best and most affordable graphic design software to use for iPads and Mac?—If so, Sketch is for you.
Great for web design.
It is a useful web-based graphic design tool that is available as a web-based solution as well as a downloadable app.
When it comes to generating outstanding visual elements for a website, app, or product design, Sketch can compete with more expensive editing applications.
For instance, it includes an iOS artboard collection as well as responsive web design templates.
Additionally, Sketch has hundreds of custom plugins available for designers to employ on a project-by-project basis.
So, as a Mac user, there’s no better tool to use for your graphic design work than Sketch.
However, Sketch is not designed for photo editing, unlike Photoshop and other image editing software.
Download Sketch now
If you're an all-around designer who requires a little bit of everything, Xara Designer can do the tricks for you.
Great for publishers/books/PDFs.
It's the ideal graphic design software for those looking for a one-stop shop for all design chores.
Xara is widely used to make graphics, edit pictures, and build web pages for web and print design solutions.
The software is also convenient for beginners, thanks to its user-friendly interface and publishing ability.
Further, Xara comes with a number of templates to assist you when getting started.
However, it lacks some of the professional features required to produce higher-quality work.
Nonetheless, Xara still ranks as one of the best graphic design software.
Download Xara Designer Pro now
If you are looking for the less expensive version of Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer is the perfect alternative.
Good alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
The "snap" function in Affinity is similar to Illustrator's and allows you to lock items in place.
Additionally, Affinity Designer incorporates a lot of functionalities to play around with, like easy color swatching.
It is also compatible with various tools, including Illustrator and Photoshop PSD files, which promotes convenience.
Can you get Affinity Designer for free?—No, but it offers great value for money and is also easy to use.
Further, you can use rope and window stabilizers to generate smooth and accurate curves, resulting in attractive vector graphics.
So, when you combine these features and the easy-to-use ability, Affinity Designer becomes an excellent choice for beginners.
Download Affinity Designer now
Are you looking for a good Adobe Photoshop online alternative?—Adobe Creative Cloud Express is the best option.
Good Adobe Photoshop online alternative.
The software allows you to tap into Adobe’s extensive template depth to create attractive images quickly.
Even better, you don’t necessarily have to pay to access these templates, as Adobe Express’s free version offers thousands.
Additionally, the software is compatible with Windows and Mac, making it a convenient option.
Further, with Adobe Express, you get a user-friendly interface so that you quickly become accustomed to it.
For those always on the go, they can keep an eye on their graphic design work, thanks to the software’s compatibility with Android and iOS devices.
These features make Adobe Express stand out and become a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop and Canva.
Download Adobe Express now
Gravit Designer, from the makers of CorelDraw, offers great services to illustrators and web designers.
Good for vector graphics.
Also known as Designer.io, it is a full-featured vector design tool that runs on all major platforms.
Additionally, Gravit Designer is free and user-friendly, making it one of the best online graphic editors.
Another unique feature is that it uses scalable vector graphics and specializes in vector illustrations.
As a result, Gravit Designer helps you to draw predefined objects and convert them into editable vectors using smart shapes, anchors, and paths.
You can also export files as PDF, SVG, or bitmap with the free edition, and you can retrieve your work from anywhere via the Gravit Cloud.
Hence, Gravit Designer is a good design software for vector graphics.
Download Gravit Designer now
Are you looking for software to perform your open-source 3D graphic design work?—If so, Blender is what you need.
Good for video editing and game creation.
Professionals utilize the software’s features, including API, for app customization.
Other than video editing and game creation, Blender offers other services, including modeling, rigging, and lighting.
So, it is a perfect fit, regardless of whether you want to deal with static models or animations.
Additionally, despite Blender’s unique features, it’s free and easily accessible without a complicated registration process.
Further, you don’t necessarily have to install it in your computer; instead, you can run it off a USB drive.
This saves space and makes Blender a convenient option for graphic designers.
Download Blender now for free
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Project) is a well-known free alternative to Photoshop for those creatives on a budget.
FREE alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
Many of the same capabilities are present in the product, such as the ability to work with professional layers and fine-tune snap functionality.
Additionally, GIMP has a wide range of design tools that may help you with a variety of tasks, including digital art.
It is also light and efficiently utilizes computing resources, resulting in fast performance.
Is GIMP better than Photoshop?—Photoshop is more powerful than GIMP, although the latter’s layers system helps create unique design elements.
Further, the software is highly compatible and can run on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac.
So, if you’re looking for Adobe Photoshop’s better alternative, GIMP is the answer.
Download GIMP now for free
Vectr is a web-based software application that lets you create stunning vector-based graphics and illustrations.
FREE Adobe Illustrator alternative.
It is the best editing software for live collaboration.
This is because Vectr features a superb collection of live collaboration and synchronization possibilities.
So, you can collaborate with colleagues or clients, allowing them to see what you're working on and provide input.
Moreover, with Vectr, you may modify photo layers, create web pages, and access a variety of tutorials to help you get started.
Even better, it comes with simple vector editing, which is particularly great if you’re a newbie.
How much does Vectr cost?—It is the best free design software, making it a great fit if you’re a newbie on a tight budget.
However, it is only compatible with Chrome and lacks certain complex features.
Download Vectr now for free
If you’re a publisher looking for a good InDesign alternative, Scribus is the software you need.
FREE InDesign alternative.
Its user interface is similar to InDesign, including features that you'd not expect to find in a free program.
For instance, Scribus supports DTP features like OpenType, CMYK colors, and PDF creation.
You can also take advantage of vector drawing tools, a surprising extra feature in the software.
Further, with multiple templates, Scribus makes creating brochures, business cards, and other publications a breeze.
With these features, Scribus ranks among the best graphic design software, and it’s free!
Download Scribus now for free
Despite having a paid professional plan, Figma also offers you a free option with many features.
FREE Adobe XD alternative.
The free plan is unlimited, so you don’t have to worry about forced payments when utilizing the tool.
Being a web-based platform, Figma has the advantage of having an "Always On" policy.
As a result, you can work with your team anytime, edit in real-time, and access your work from any device.
Additionally, Figma offers a preview feature that allows you to simulate the user experience and look for errors or UX enhancements.
If you want to engage with your team, Figma incorporates FigJam, an interactive platform where you can share ideas.
For these reasons, Figma ranks as one of the best graphic design software you can choose from, and you get it for free!
Download Figma now for free
On any list of the best graphic design software, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator are always included, being Photoshop, always at the top.
What is the best graphic design software for you?
These products are the industry standard and by investing in other Adobe Creative Cloud components, you may enhance your skills even further.
Canva and Xara are great options for beginners because it makes it simple to create graphics for any occasion.
In the end, the greatest graphic design software depends on your needs, usage, budget, and skills.
Look over our list of the 16 best graphic design software and tools, and don't be afraid to try out the different possibilities, I am sure you will find the perfect match for you.