Graphic design software is an essential tool in every designer’s arsenal. Designers often use graphic design software for editing graphics, and vector graphics, working on Photoshop mockups, logo design, and sketching logo sketches. This software allows you to make beautiful designs with ease. Besides making creative work easier, graphic design software can save time and reduce errors.
Keeping this in mind, we have created a list of the 10 best graphic design software that will help you make the best decisions for your business. Read further to know about free graphic design software and how much it costs.
Best Graphic Design Software:
Here is a list of the top graphic design software for creatives, both free and paid versions that are perfect for producing amazing digital art.
- Adobe Illustrator
- Affinity Designer
- Affinity Photo
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphic design software that has been the industry standard for over three decades. It offers a wide range of tools and features for creating high-quality graphics, logos, illustrations, and much more. With its ability to create scalable artwork without sacrificing quality, Illustrator is perfect for creating graphics for a variety of mediums, including print, digital, and video. This app allows users to sketch on their devices and get the same level of editing capabilities as with desktop software. A subscription to Adobe creative cloud provides access to these tools, so you need not worry about breaking free from the app’s functionality and features.
- Adobe Illustrator offers a vector-based design platform for creating high-quality graphics and illustrations.
- You can also manipulate fonts, and adjust weight, slant, or width.
- Templates are available to save time for beginners.
- It offers customizable shapes, including a flexible pen tool and shape builder.
- Adobe Illustrator is scalable to any size and works with other Adobe tools, such as Photoshop.
- It has an intuitive user interface and a low learning curve, making it easy to use.
- It includes advanced typography tools for creating custom typefaces and font styles.
- Allows for customizable shapes, including a flexible pen tool and shape builder.
- Features Live Trace for converting raster images into vector graphics.
- Integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, making it easy to collaborate and share files with other Adobe products.
- Some users may find the learning curve steep and require time to master the software.
- Adobe Illustrator is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which can be expensive for some users.
- Adobe Illustrator can be resource-intensive, requiring a high-performance computer for optimal use.
- Adobe Illustrator has limited image editing capabilities compared to other Adobe products like Photoshop.
- Adobe Illustrator is only available for Mac and Windows, limiting accessibility for users on other platforms.
Affinity Designer is a powerful graphic design software tool for creating high-quality digital designs. Developed by Serif, Affinity Designer offers a vector-based design platform that is both intuitive and feature-rich. The software allows you to create stunning artwork using a variety of tools and features. It includes customizable grids and guides as well as floating-point accuracy when zooming. It’s perfect for designing logo symbols, photo retouching, vector artwork, graphic design, web design, and game development. You can even use it for desktop publishing with its wide range of publishing tools. The software offers professional-grade tools at an affordable price. It’s a creative tool that every designer should have on their computer.
- Affinity Designer offers customizable grids and guides with floating-point accuracy.
- Ability to purchase the Affinity creative suite for Mac, Windows, and iPad.
- Professional-level design tools for a low bundle price.
- Features live image tracing for converting raster images into vector graphics.
- Integrates with other Affinity products, making it easy to collaborate and share files.
- Affinity Designer is significantly more affordable compared to Adobe Illustrator, making it a great choice for individuals and small businesses on a tight budget.
- Affinity Designer is an award-winning vector graphics software setting the new industry standard in the world of design.
- Features a powerful array of vector-based tools making it a potential Adobe Illustrator alternative.
- The user interface of Affinity Designer is intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for users to learn and become productive quickly.
- Affinity Designer is available on both Windows and Mac platforms, allowing users to work on the platform of their choice, and ensuring that their work is compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
- Unlike Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer has limited integration with other software, such as Photoshop and InDesign, making it difficult to work seamlessly in a multi-software workflow.
- No true vector pattern making.
- Requires a one-time payment of $70 / £60 / AUI$105.
- Not as feature packed as some competing programs.
- It has a smaller user community compared to Adobe Illustrator, which means that there may be fewer resources available, such as tutorials and forums, for users to learn and find support.
Affinity Photo is vector graphics software used by creative professionals to design concept art, logos, icons, UI designs, mock-ups, and more. It’s available on Windows, macOS, and iPad, and can be purchased with a Universal License for all operating systems. With its customizable tools and workflow, it offers high accuracy and productivity. Its tools include customizable grids, guides, floating-point accuracy when zooming, and more. Also included are snap options for locking objects to grids or shapes, as well as nodes. Its award-winning interface has garnered praise from graphic designers around the world. Whether you’re creating concept art or designing graphics for web projects, Affinity Photo is a great choice.
- Affinity Photo provides a wide range of toolsets for a high level of accuracy and productivity.
- It offers customizable grids and guides with floating-point accuracy.
- It can render images, add copyright information, edit metadata, and merge high-dynamic ranges.
- It is available on all major operating systems, including macOS, Windows, and iPad.
- It helps creative professionals edit images on a centralized platform.
- Provides powerful image editing tools.
- Supports vector and raster images.
- Lightweight and offers a generous 90-day free trial.
- Available for Windows, Mac, and iPad.
- Affinity Photo lacks features.
- Affinity Photo is limited in terms of image rendering and copyrighting.
- It is expensive compared to other software in the same class.
- Affinity Photo does not have a free version.
- Affinity Photo does not have a large customer base.
Procreate is a mobile app-based graphic design software used by illustrators and designers. It offers various tools for creating artwork, logos, icons, posters, packaging, and more. It has a great reputation within the artist community and is cheaper than Affinity Photo. However, it is also known for offering high-quality features. This software provides best-in-class design capabilities when compared to desktop software. It can help creative types work faster, produce better results, and save time and money while editing.
- Procreate is a versatile and powerful graphic design software that is perfect for both beginners and experienced users.
- It has a wide range of features that make it ideal for creating logos, illustrations, and graphics.
- Some of the key features of Procreate include a user-friendly interface, easy-to-use tools, and support for a variety of file formats.
- User-friendly interface.
- Wide range of features.
- Wide variety of templates and assets.
- Easy to use drag and drop tools.
- Many tutorials are available.
- Not as versatile as some other options.
- Some users feel that the software is too expensive.
- Procreate is one of the most popular free graphic design software options.
- It is available for both Mac and PC and has a user-friendly interface.
- The software is equipped with several features that are helpful for graphic designers.
- However, Procreate does have some limitations that may be difficult to overcome.
Adobe Photoshop offers tools for image editing, creating naturalistic artwork and composition, defining the size of your canvas, and working in 3D. Its features include Layers, Hue and Saturation, Levels, and Color Channels. Commonly used features in Adobe Photoshop include Lasso tools, Brush tools, Freeform Pencil tools, and text tools. It is available for both Windows and Mac platforms. The software also includes creative effects such as blur, multiply and pixelate. Apart from graphics editing capabilities, the software supports layers functionality that enables you to apply different types of effects on selected parts of an image easily. The app also has tracking functionality which enables you to outline an object using a vector path. Finally, it has support for web design functionality that enables you to view web page content or design in real-time on your desktop.
- Layers: allows stacking and organizing multiple images and effects.
- Selection Tools: precise selections of objects or parts of an image.
- Brush and Masking Tools: natural and customizable brushes and masks for retouching or creating.
- Filters and Effects: wide range of filters and effects to enhance or transform an image.
- Vector and Shape Tools: creation and editing of vector graphics and shapes with precision.
- It can be used for a wide range of tasks from simple photo editing to complex graphic design.
- It provides the tools and features for creating high-quality, professional-looking images and designs.
- It is widely used in the industry, with a vast community of users and resources available.
- It is compatible with a variety of image and document formats, making it easy to work with other programs and systems.
- It allows personalization of the workspace, shortcuts, and preferences to maximize efficiency and productivity.
- No uniformity of key commands with Photoshop and InDesign.
- Infrequent updates with the free version.
- Large file sizes.
- Doesn’t play as nicely with other Adobe products.
- Dated UI in PhotoScape version.
InDesign is powerful and popular software for publishing that has been used for magazines and newspapers since 1999. The software supports Adobe fonts and adobe stock, as well as Sensei technology for the automatic arrangement and resizing of images. Apart from its creative features, it also provides a low learning curve, making it suitable for beginner to advanced users. InDesign is an industry standard, with countless features and tools making it a top choice among publishing professionals. It is free to use, but you can upgrade to the professional version if you have more complex workflows. Overall, InDesign is a great software for publishing that offers ample creative capabilities and a user-friendly interface.
- Adobe InDesign is a powerful publishing program used to lay out magazines and newspapers since 1999.
- Adobe InDesign has an ‘adjust layout’ option for changing text and the graphic will adjust accordingly.
- Adobe InDesign offers a wide range of layout and design tools that allow you to easily create professional-looking documents, such as books, magazines, and brochures.
- InDesign provides a comprehensive set of typographical features, including the ability to control line spacing, letter spacing, and word spacing.
- Extensive library of stock images, templates, fonts, videos, and icons.
- Excellent integration with other Adobe programs.
- Support for multiple file formats, including JPG and PNG.
- Difficult to migrate from other software.
- No uniformity of key commands with Photoshop and InDesign.
- Hard to organize recent template selections.
- Not immediately compatible with Extensis Suitcase Fusion font manager.
Figma is a graphic design software used by professionals to create artwork, logos, icons, posters, packaging, and more. It has features such as a library of filters and effects, cloning, and alpha-blending. Figma also offers advanced tools such as blends, gradients, and transparencies. This software can be used for creating high-quality graphics on vector or raster media. Its files can be exported to popular graphic design software such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud programs, Affinity Designer, and CorelDraw. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for creative graphic design work. You can find it for free on the app store or pay for it in the cloud version. Get your free trial version now!
- Figma offers unlimited cloud storage with the free version.
- It offers a variety of vector graphics tools.
- Figma allows businesses to customize their organization-level settings.
- Figma has an affordable professional plan.
- Figma allows users to create and administer private plugins.
- Easy to use with a simple and intuitive user interface.
- Intuitive and powerful design tools.
- Collaboration features for real-time editing and sharing.
- A comprehensive library of templates and plugins.
- Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
- Figma is a versatile and affordable graphics software that is used by professional graphic designers.
- It has a user-friendly interface and supports a wide range of design features.
- Some drawbacks of Figma include its lack of export options and its limited toolset.
- Overall, Figma is an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate graphic designers.
PhotoScape is a free photo editing software that allows users to create and edit graphics, logos, and other artwork. With the software, users can easily add creative effects to their photos, such as filters and frames. The software provides a wide variety of tools, including a mesh tool, pen tool, swatches, and color palette. Users can also use photo retouching tools in PhotoScape to adjust the brightness, contrast, and exposure of a photo. Additionally, photo editing features available in the software help make it easy for beginners to create professional-looking graphics. Popular alternatives include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator CC, and Gravit Designer. Each of these software programs offers similar editing features and capabilities as PhotoScape. Overall, photo editing software like PhotoScape is a great option for anyone looking for free photo editing software with plenty of professional-level features and capabilities.
- PhotoScape is a free image editor that offers basic editing tools, such as resizing and cropping.
- It also provides batch functions, animation effects, additional filters, and macros.
- PhotoScape offers a range of basic editing tools, including cropping, resizing, and color correction, making it a great option for simple photo adjustments.
- PhotoScape allows you to perform batch processing, which means you can apply the same editing actions to multiple photos at once, saving you time and effort.
- PhotoScape includes frames, HDR functions, and a drag-and-drop interface.
- Easy to use with an intuitive interface.
- PhotoScape has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.
- PhotoScape is a cost-effective option for photo editing, offering a range of features at a much lower price than some of its competitors.
- Free version available.
- PhotoScape offers a comprehensive set of editing tools, including basic editing options as well as fun and creative effects.
- Dated UI in PhotoScape version.
- Platforms supported are limited to Windows and Mac (PhotoScape X and X Pro).
- PhotoScape does not support the editing of raw image files, which can limit its utility for professional photographers and advanced photo editors.
- While PhotoScape provides a range of essential and creative editing tools, it lacks some of the advanced features available in other photo editing software, such as more advanced color correction and selective adjustments.
Canva is a graphic design software tool that allows users to easily create stunning visual designs. It offers a user-friendly interface that enables anyone, regardless of their design skills, to produce high-quality graphics, social media posts, presentations, and much more. The platform features a massive library of templates, icons, images, and other design elements, all of which can be customized to suit the specific needs of each user. The software also integrates with a variety of third-party apps, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, making it an ideal choice for teams that need to collaborate on designs. Whether you are a marketer, entrepreneur, or simply someone looking to enhance your online presence, Canva is an excellent tool for creating professional-looking designs quickly and easily.
- Canva offers a massive library of templates, icons, images, and other design elements that users can utilize in their designs.
- Users can easily customize the design elements in Canva to suit their specific needs. The platform offers a variety of tools and options for customizing colors, fonts, images, and more.
- Canva integrates with a variety of third-party apps, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, making it an ideal choice for teams that need to collaborate on designs.
- Canva offers a wide range of design options, including graphic designs, social media posts, presentations, and much more. Whether you are looking to create a logo, poster, or any other type of design, Canva has everything you need to get started.
- Easy to use for all skill levels, with a drag-and-drop editor.
- It offers a vast library of templates, icons, images, and other design elements.
- Allows for easy customization of colors, fonts, images, and more.
- It offers a wide range of design options, including graphics, social media posts, presentations, and more.
- Some users may find that the design options available in Canva are limited compared to other graphic design software.
- Canva only offers limited export options, such as PNG, JPG, and PDF.
- Some advanced features and design elements are only available with a paid subscription.
- Users may find that they are limited in terms of branding customization in Canva.
- Canva heavily relies on templates, so users who want more creative freedom may find it limiting.
Sketch is a professional graphic design software tool that is specifically designed for digital product design. It offers a powerful vector-based design platform that enables designers to create high-quality user interfaces, icons, web designs, and other digital products. The software offers a range of features, including a vector-based workflow, layer styles, reusable elements, and more. One of the key benefits of Sketch is its flexibility, as it allows designers to quickly and easily create wireframes, prototypes, and high-fidelity designs. Its vector-based approach and focus on digital product design make it an ideal choice for those looking to create modern and innovative designs.
- It offers a vector-based workflow for creating high-quality digital designs.
- It Includes layer styles for easy customization and consistency in designs.
- Allows for the creation of reusable elements for improved efficiency.
- Integrates with third-party plugins and tools for increased functionality.
- Specifically designed for digital product design, with a focus on modern and innovative designs.
- Allows for quick and easy creation of wireframes, prototypes, and high-fidelity designs.
- Features reusable elements for improved efficiency and consistency in designs.
- Integrates with a variety of third-party plugins and tools, such as Sketch Runner.
- Some users may find the learning curve steep and require time to master the software.
- Sketch only offers limited export options, such as PNG, JPG, and SVG.
- The sketch is only available for Mac users, limiting its accessibility for Windows users.
- Sketch is more expensive compared to other graphic design software, making it a less accessible option for some users.
- The text editing tools in Sketch are limited, making it less suitable for more complex typography projects.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the best graphic design software. It all depends on your specific needs and design preferences. If you are a beginner, free options like Canva or GIMP may be a good place to start, while professional graphic designers may prefer more advanced tools like Adobe Creative Cloud or Sketch. Ultimately, the best graphic design software for you is the one that allows you to bring your creative vision to life.