It is said that you should never judge a book by its cover, but the same doesn’t apply to a crudely designed website. According to studies, 94% of customers jump poorly designed webpages.
This is one of the reasons why in the US revenue generated from graphic designing alone was worth over $15 billion in 2021.
So, if you want to pursue graphic designing as a profession or merely as a side gig, it’s better to stay abreast with the best graphic design software that the market has to offer.
In this post, we will brief you about the best programs for graphic design and also walk you through their features and pricing structure. Read on!
Best Graphic Design Software in 2022
1. Adobe Photoshop
- Flaws like red eyes or dust on the lens can be repaired
- Any objects or person can be removed from an image
- Image RGB balance can be manipulated
- Pixel-level editing
Adobe Photoshop is one of the best graphic design software that provides active sync with Adobe Creative Cloud. Unique features like face-aware liquify, design for Space View, Artboards, Content-Aware Cropping, Glyph panel, and synced libraries are offered with an active Creative Cloud subscription.
This popular graphic design software provides you with a pool of designing and editing tools for editing on mobile, desktop, and even tablets. It also has easy syncing options so that you can import and export your projects across devices.
This creative graphic design application allows you to customize your workspace. It supports features like 3D painting, web & graphic designing, motion, photography, and other handy design tools. You can even customize the layout of designing tools and panels that suits you.
- Compatible on mobile and desktop.
- Photo management and library comes with Adobe Creative Cloud
- Has tons of drawing tools and typographies
- Video layers and animations have 3D design capabilities
- An overabundance of features might confuse new users
- Creative Cloud Photoshop bundle is quite expensive
- SVG files need to be updated
Pricing – Adobe Photoshop subscription starts from $20.99 per month
2. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
- Provides LiveSketch and Healing Clone tools
- Offers multi-monitor feature
- Touch-friendly interface
- Enhanced handles, vector previews, and nodes
- Has copy curve segments and blur feature
CorelDraw Graphics Suite provides a digital library for its registered users. The digital library lets you access tons of vehicle templates, fonts, gradients, and interactive frames.
The user interface of CorelDRAW is customizable. This design and illustration software provides icon sizing toolboxes for the desktop with a color scheme for the window border. Corel has a strong community of developers and designers, so you can choose from a ton of different templates for your workflow.
It supports different pricing models and payment options. You can go for a subscription plan or opt to buy a perpetual license. However, with a subscription plan, you will receive all their regular updates. One of the best graphic design software indeed.
- Customizable interface with enhanced performance
- Professional-level features
- Lag-free use of Surface Pen
- Files can be exported up to 48 types
- Transition is smooth from desktop to tablet mode to support touch features
- Not so user friendly for beginners
- No mobile application offered
- Multiple payment options may be confusing
Pricing- CorelDRAW Graphics Suite’s annual subscription will cost you $198, or $16.50/month.
Get CorelDRAW Graphics Suite here
- Anti-aliased display
- Bitmap tracing and boolean operations
- Grouping objects
Inkscape has a quite impressive user experience and is rated as one of the best programs for graphic design. If you are accustomed to Adobe tools you can easily transition to Inkscape.
Every now and then Inkscape developers try out new features and push them as updates. Currently, Inkscape will provide you with features like mesh gradients, measurement tools, improvement spray, and a transparency checkerboard background. Moreover, being an open-source application, you can personalize the software by changing its source code. But only if you dare!
You can get your hands on this graphic design program for free. It is a great alternative for Adobe Illustrator too.
- Free graphic design software
- Has a separate tool for creating complex combinations
- User can download and create ready-made plug-ins
- Offers a fully-featured tool to convert, edit, and create vectors.
- Nodes are smooth as they are equipped with Benzier Handles
- Mac version has errors
- Slow processing speed compared to other graphic designing software
Pricing – Free
4. Adobe Illustrator
- Easy syncing across devices
- Real-time drawing and editing
- Customizable artboard between documents
- SVG designing and editing
Adobe Illustrator is a user-friendly and highly customizable designing tool and editor. You can modify and customize the layout by simply dragging and dropping the tools anywhere on the screen. This graphic art software has in-panel editing features which allow you to edit multiple artboards at a time.
Adobe Illustrator is supported on both Windows, Mac, and other devices. This application offers space-saving features and also allows you to work on different devices by syncing your projects on Adobe Cloud.
You can check out this graphic design software for beginners free using its 7 day trial period. After that, you have to opt for an Adobe Illustrator or Creative Cloud subscription.
- The touch and type feature is excellent
- Adobe stock provides you access to over a 90million images, templates, and graphics
- Graphic files stored in small sizes help during email attachment
- Compatible with other Adobe products
- Takes a lot of storage space
- A perpetual license cannot be purchased
- Has a steep learning curve
Pricing- Adobe Illustrator subscription starts from $20.99 per month
5. Affinity Designer
- Create stunning designs
- Highly customizable
- Over 1,000,000 percent zoom
- User friendly
Affinity Designer consists of a grid system that is useful for designers to create good graphic design and icons for video games. It helps in creating accurate layouts by providing you control over angles, spacing, and subdivisions.
This graphic software program allows various snapping options. Designers can lock and position objects depending on alignment guides, grids, shapes, and nodes.
Affinity Designer has a zoom feature of 1,000,000 percent, which allows you to design with 100% accuracy. The interface also provides a dual environment feature that enables you to work on both vector art and pixel art on the same application. This might be the best software for graphic design even though it is a bit expensive.
- With rope and window curves, users can create accurate and smooth curves for vector illustrations
- Provides a robust selection of colors for designing
- Supports on both Windows and Mac
- Can apply for work on one project to multiple artboards
- No natural perspective grids
- No vector eraser
- Cannot export files to Adobe Illustrator
Pricing- Affinity Designer subscription starts from $54.99 per year
6. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
- Clone, airbrush paintings
- Various animation options
- Open-source and supported on multiple platforms
GIMP is a user-friendly photo editing tool. You can also get tons of extra features from the GIMP community. Being an open-source application you can add on to its designing features or customize existing tools and design components. However, you need good coding skills to do so.
It receives regular updates from the GIMP community which adds new features to the application. It has a lightweight architecture that allows digital image processing without hoarding on your system’s processing power.
GIMP is compatible with a wide range of operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, BDS, and Solaris. You can use this graphic design software for beginners free of cost.
- Free of cost software
- Features tools like airbrush, cloning, and pencil for drawing sketches
- Provides tutorial for beginners
- Has layers that allow designers to design under an image
- Very lightweight software
- Can work on the modular or single-window workspace
- User interface not suitable for Mac
- Slow update rates
- Adjusting of layers needs to be developed
Pricing – Free
7. Gravit Designer
- Features around 19 different preset dimensions for a print
- SVG editing tools
- Wide range of presentation options
Gravit Designer is also one of the best graphic design software. Its dashboard presents a ton of features and is easy to locate designing tools. You can even switch between different themes for your editor.
The interface looks great with proper artboards and pages that come in premium canvas settings. Gravit Designer offers a wide range of design tools like Lasso tools, Bezigon tools, Pen tools, etc.
Gravit Designer is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. Thanks to its ease of use and great set of intuitive tools, this software is considered by many as one of the best graphic design software for designing website mockups and creative designing.
- Subscription to Pro versions provides unlimited cloud storage
- Can edit scalable vector graphics
- Smart and easy to use user interface
- Intuitive printing options
- Needs a stable internet connection to work
- No real-time collaboration feature
- Can’t run prototypes on mobile devices
Pricing – Gravit Designer subscription starts from $49.58 per year
8. Adobe InDesign
- Supports EPUB and HTML files
- Liquid and linked contents
- Digital publishing
- Content conveyer with alternative layouts
Adobe InDesign features a user-friendly interface that can be learned quickly. Due to its low learning curve InDesign is perfect for beginners and marketers who are more concerned about the end result than the designing process.
Adobe InDesign offers an adjusted layout feature that allows you to change the text of different templates and designs and use it for creating infographics.
Adobe InDesign AI sensor automatically resizes and arranges images. Moreover, it can be used for creating 3D graphics designs too. You can leverage your work to other members by sharing color, text, and graphics within InDesign.
- Smart automatic global page adjustments
- User-friendly interface
- Supports HTML exporting options
- Designers can easily combine texts and graphics
- Access to contextual guides
- PDF comment integration needs to be updated
- Suited for enterprise use only
Pricing – Adobe InDesign subscription starts from $20.99 per month
- Provides Code Export
- Vector editing
- Plug-ins and toolsets
- Export presets
Sketch consists of grids, and features snap to pixel and snap to grid functionality. This program for graphic design helps to avoid imperfect alignment and half-pixel rendering.
This graphic design app for Mac offers a library of artboard templates. Sketch also has a wide range of web design layouts. All you need to do is select the artboard and device of your choice and Sketch will do the rest.
This might be the best design software from a pricing point of view in comparison with other graphic designing software in the market. Its subscription plans are moderately priced.
- Provides easy sharing and collaboration on the cloud.
- Designs can be mirrored to larger devices for viewing and editing
- Files of any groups or layers can be converted to PNG format
- Supports Mac, and iOS devices.
- Autosaves all works to prevent loss
- Only for Mac Users
- No layout flowing options
- Steep learning curve
Pricing- Sketch subscription starts from $9 per month
10. Xara Designer Pro X
- DTP and web designing features
- Photo and graphic design rendering tool
- Photo editing
- Web designer
- Layout and page designer
Xara Designer Pro X has direct action tools that offer numerous features and functions for everyday graphics designing. You can drag and drop the tools and arrange them for swift access while designing. It has a zooming capability of up to 25,000 percent for fine magnifying.
Xara Designer Pro X will enthrall you with its performance and features an easy-to-use interface to breathe life into your creative designs. The software provides unlimited undo and redo options and tons of other customizations.
Xara Designer Pro X is one of the best programs for graphic design that has one of the fastest vector rendering tools. However, a lifetime license isn’t available and you have to choose from their subscription plans to use it.
- Offers substantial options like dragging, editing, and rotation of images.
- Comes with Cloud Storage options for browsing documents from any device.
- Designer Pro X can scan and sync files from Google Drive or Dropbox.
- It provides an anti-aliasing feature for on-screen images.
- Supports bitmap and other file formats.
- Only supports Windows
- Masking options aren’t as intuitive
- Steep learning process.
Pricing- Xara Designer Pro X subscription starts from $16.95 per month
What software do graphic designers use?
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are considered to be the gold standard when it comes to graphic designing and editing. That means if you are a graphic designer by profession companies and agencies will most likely ask you to work on either of these Adobe products.
So it makes sense to get accustomed to the features and tools of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Don’t worry, most of the tools and design workflow used in Adobe are somewhat similar to other graphic software programs even though the tools might have a different name.
So even if you transition to other graphic design apps you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in terms of learning.
But if you are a freelancer, artist, or individual content creator, you can go for other design and illustration software.
If you are just getting started, keep an eye on the best free graphic design software like Inkscape and GIMP.
If you want to leverage existing templates, intuitive tools and speed up your designing process then you can opt for Gravit Designer or Affinity designer.
All the above-mentioned graphic design programs have a decent user base and you can easily find paid and free graphic design courses for your reference.
Learn how to buy photoshop and other adobe plans here.
Now that you have looked at some of the best graphic design software, here’s a gist of what we have learned so far.
- You can choose from paid or free graphic software programs. Paid software has a ton of additional features and helpful tools that can speed up your designing process.
- Make sure you check platform compatibility and designing sharing & exporting options before zeroing in on a graphic designing app. Sketch for example is one of the graphic design apps for Mac, which doesn’t work on the Windows platform.
- While working with a team, look out for graphic software programs that have cloud syncing and collaboration ability.
- Adobe Illustrator, & Photoshop is still considered as a benchmark application for creating professional graphics and design.
What software do most graphic designers use?
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the most popular programs for graphic design. When you are looking for pixel-level editing you can go for Photoshop while for SVG designs you can resort to Illustrator.
In case you want to avoid Adobe’s recurring subscription charges, you can opt for a lifetime license of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite.
What is the best graphic design software for beginners?
Adobe Illustrator being the market standard, we will recommend you to go for it if you want to take up graphic designing professionally. If you don’t want to shell subscription charges and still want to learn and do hands-on exercises for creating logos and designs, go for open-source applications like GIMP and Inkscape.
Is Canva good for graphic design?
If you are looking for creating a good graphic design for your social media campaign, posters, cards, and thumbnails, Canva is the right application for you. You can leverage thousands of design templates and share your designs on social media platforms with ease.
However, while creating logos and creative graphic design, Canva lacks the advanced tools and features. So it’s better to go for Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, or other professional graphics and design tools.
Which Adobe is best for graphic design?
If you are looking to edit graphics and designs in SVG, Adobe Illustrator is the right application for you. On the other hand, you should go for Adobe Photoshop to edit images, and emphasize on pixel-level editing.
Adobe InDesign is perfect for creating typesetting for infographics, templates, flyers, and posters.
Which Adobe program is used for typesetting?
Adobe InDesign has all the necessary features for creating optimal typesetting. You can create and publish ebooks, flyers, brochures and set your own signature font, spacing to make your typesetting stand out from the rest.
What software do logo designers use?
Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW Studio, and Sketch are some of the best programs for graphic design and logo creation. However as all of them are paid applications, you can check out GIMP and Inkscape if you want to start designing logos for free.