Graphic design is an ever-evolving art and a valuable skill to have in the modern world. To keep up with the ever-changing landscape of graphic design, it is important to stay up-to-date with the best and most efficient tools available.
In this guide, we will cover the best graphic design tools and give an overview of their features and benefits as of the year 2023. Whether you are a professional graphic designer or just entering the scene, this guide will provide the information you need to make an informed decision about which graphic design tools to use.
Introduction to Graphic Designing Tools
Graphic design has become an ever-evolving art, both in terms of consumer demand and technological capabilities. As businesses and consumers rely on visuals and digital content more and more, the demand for high-quality graphic design has also increased. To meet that demand, many different tools have become available, each designed to help users achieve various results. In this guide, we will cover the 14 best graphic design tools that are currently available in 2023 and discuss their features and benefits.
1. GIMP: Open Source Graphic Designing Tool
GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a versatile and powerful open-source image editing software that has gained immense popularity among graphic designers, photographers, and digital artists. Its extensive features make it a formidable competitor to proprietary software like Adobe Photoshop. Here are six key features that set GIMP apart:
Multi-Platform Compatibility: GIMP is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to a wide range of users across different operating systems.
Customizable Interface: Users can tailor GIMP’s interface to their preferences, arranging tools and panels as needed for their workflow, thus enhancing productivity and user experience.
Advanced Image Editing: GIMP offers a plethora of tools for retouching, enhancing, and manipulating images, including layers, masks, filters, and a wide variety of brushes.
File Format Support: It supports a wide range of file formats, including popular ones like JPEG, PNG, and GIF, as well as more advanced formats like PSD, making it suitable for various creative projects.
Plugin and Script Support: GIMP’s functionality can be extended through plugins and scripts, allowing users to add new features and automate repetitive tasks.
Community and Support: GIMP benefits from a dedicated community of users and developers, providing ample online tutorials, documentation, and support forums.
2. Adobe Photoshop – The Most Popular and Versatile Design Tool
Adobe Photoshop is a versatile and powerful image editing software that has become a cornerstone in the world of digital design and photography. Its reputation as the industry standard for graphic editing is well-deserved, owing to its impressive array of features and user-friendly interface.
Advanced Editing Tools: Photoshop offers a vast selection of tools for image manipulation, including layers, masks, brushes, and filters. These tools allow users to retouch, enhance, or completely transform images with precision.
High-Quality Retouching: With features like the Healing Brush and Clone Stamp, Photoshop excels at retouching photos, removing imperfections, and restoring old images to their former glory.
Creative Filters: The software includes an extensive library of creative filters and effects, enabling users to apply artistic touches, create stunning visuals, and experiment with different styles.
Text and Typography: Photoshop isn’t just for images; it also offers powerful text and typography tools. Users can add, format, and manipulate text to create eye-catching graphics and designs.
Integration and Compatibility: Adobe Photoshop seamlessly integrates with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, allowing for easy file sharing and collaboration. It also supports a wide range of file formats for importing and exporting.
Continuous Updates: Adobe regularly updates Photoshop, adding new features and improving performance. This ensures that users have access to the latest tools and technologies for their creative endeavors.
3. CorelDraw – Reliable Graphic Designing Tool
CorelDRAW is a versatile graphic design software that has been a staple in the creative industry for decades. Its rich feature set and user-friendly interface make it a go-to choice for graphic designers, illustrators, and artists. Here are six key features that make CorelDRAW stand out:
Vector Graphics Mastery: CorelDRAW excels in handling vector graphics, allowing users to create scalable and high-quality artwork. This feature is essential for designing logos, icons, and illustrations that need to maintain crispness at any size.
Intuitive Interface: CorelDRAW’s user-friendly interface makes it accessible to both beginners and professionals. Its layout is organized logically, with a plethora of tools and options easily accessible for efficient workflow.
Powerful Typography Tools: The software offers a comprehensive set of typography tools, enabling users to manipulate text with precision. Kerning, tracking, and a wide range of fonts and styles are at your fingertips.
Multi-Platform Support: CorelDRAW is available for both Windows and Mac, ensuring flexibility for users across different operating systems.
Artistic Effects: Users can apply various artistic effects, such as shadows, blends, and transparencies, to enhance their designs and add depth to their artwork.
Integration with Other Software: CorelDRAW seamlessly integrates with other popular design programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, allowing for easy file sharing and collaboration.
4. Inkscape – Free Vector Graphics Editing Tool
Inkscape is a versatile vector graphics software that empowers users to create stunning illustrations, logos, and designs with precision and creativity. Here are six key features that make Inkscape a valuable tool for designers and artists:
Open-Source Excellence: Inkscape is an open-source program, making it freely available to all. This fosters a vibrant community of users and developers who continually enhance its capabilities.
Vector Graphics: Inkscape is renowned for its robust vector editing tools. Users can create scalable and high-quality graphics, perfect for everything from web design to print media.
SVG Support: As a leading SVG editor, Inkscape provides seamless support for Scalable Vector Graphics. This format ensures your creations remain sharp and vibrant, no matter the size.
Wide Range of Features: Inkscape boasts a comprehensive set of features, including object manipulation, text support, path editing, and drawing tools. Its intuitive interface caters to both beginners and experienced designers.
Extensions and Plugins: The software allows users to expand its functionality with extensions and plugins, giving you the flexibility to customize your workspace and streamline your workflow.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: Inkscape is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, ensuring accessibility for users across different operating systems.
Inkscape’s combination of power, accessibility, and versatility makes it an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to bring their creative visions to life through vector graphics.
5. Vector – Easy to Use Free Vector Graphics Editor
Vector is a user-friendly, free vector graphics editor that empowers both beginners and professionals to unleash their creativity with ease. This innovative software offers a range of essential features that make graphic design accessible to everyone:
Intuitive Interface: Vector boasts a clean and intuitive interface, making it effortless for users to navigate and create stunning vector graphics. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced designer, you’ll feel at home.
Powerful Tools: With a comprehensive suite of drawing and editing tools, Vector ensures you have everything you need to bring your ideas to life. Create shapes, lines, and curves, and manipulate them effortlessly.
Versatile Compatibility: Vector supports a wide range of vector file formats, ensuring compatibility with other popular design software. Easily import and export your work without compatibility issues.
Customizable Templates: Jumpstart your projects with customizable templates for various design needs, from logos and illustrations to business cards and social media graphics.
Collaborative Features: Collaborate seamlessly with team members or clients by sharing and editing designs in real time, fostering creativity and efficient project management.
Regular Updates: Vector is committed to improving its features based on user feedback, ensuring you always have access to the latest tools and enhancements.
6. Sketch – Professional Graphic Design Tool
Sketch is a game-changing graphic design software that empowers designers to unleash their creativity and craft stunning visuals with ease. This dynamic tool offers a plethora of features tailored to meet the demands of professionals, making it an industry favorite. Here are six key features that set Sketch apart:
Vector Editing Excellence: Sketch’s robust vector editing capabilities allow designers to create precise, scalable graphics effortlessly. From icons to logos, every detail is crystal clear.
Intuitive Interface: Sketch boasts a user-friendly interface designed for efficiency. It streamlines your workflow, making design tasks feel like a breeze.
Powerful Plugins: A thriving community of developers has contributed a vast selection of plugins, expanding Sketch’s functionality. From prototyping to data populating, there’s a plugin for everything.
Responsive Design: Designing for multiple platforms? Sketch’s responsive design features help you create pixel-perfect designs for web, mobile, and more, all within a single project.
Real-time Collaboration: Collaborate seamlessly with team members, no matter where they are. Real-time collaboration ensures everyone is on the same page, boosting productivity.
Regular Updates: Sketch is committed to staying ahead of design trends. Regular updates bring new features and improvements, ensuring you always have the latest tools at your disposal.
7. Adobe Illustrator – Vector Graphics Design Tool
Adobe Illustrator is a versatile graphic design software known for its robust features and creative capabilities. It has become an essential tool for designers, illustrators, and artists worldwide. Here are six key features that make Adobe Illustrator stand out:
Vector Graphics: Illustrator is renowned for its vector-based approach, allowing users to create scalable and high-quality artwork. This means designs can be resized without losing clarity, making it perfect for logos, icons, and illustrations.
Precise Drawing Tools: Illustrator provides a wide range of precise drawing tools, such as the Pen Tool and Shape Builder, enabling users to create intricate and complex shapes with ease.
Typography Control: With a comprehensive set of typographic tools, Illustrator empowers designers to manipulate text creatively. Features like character and paragraph styles streamline text formatting.
Gradient Meshes: Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh tool allows for the creation of realistic and detailed gradients, ideal for producing lifelike illustrations and shading effects.
Artboards and Multiple Artboards: Users can work on multiple artboards within a single document, making it easy to create variations of a design or multi-page projects like brochures and posters.
Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud: Illustrator seamlessly integrates with other Adobe software like Photoshop and InDesign, enabling a smooth workflow for designers who use multiple Adobe applications.
8. OmniGraffle – Graphics Design Tool for macOS
OmniGraffle is a versatile and powerful diagramming and design tool that offers a wide range of features to help users create visually appealing and informative graphics. Here are six key features that make OmniGraffle stand out:
Intuitive Interface: OmniGraffle boasts a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for both beginners and professionals to navigate. Its drag-and-drop functionality simplifies the process of adding shapes, text, and images to your diagrams.
Customizable Templates: The software provides a plethora of customizable templates for flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, and more. Users can save time by starting with a pre-designed template and tailoring it to their specific needs.
Smart Connectors: OmniGraffle’s smart connectors automatically adjust and route themselves, ensuring that your diagrams maintain a clean and organized appearance. This feature saves users from the hassle of manually arranging and aligning elements.
Vector Graphics: OmniGraffle uses vector graphics, allowing for precise scaling without loss of quality. This is essential for creating graphics that look sharp on screens of all sizes.
Interactivity and Prototyping: It’s not just about static diagrams. OmniGraffle allows users to add interactivity and create prototypes, making it an excellent tool for designing user interfaces and web layouts.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: OmniGraffle is available for macOS and iOS, ensuring seamless compatibility between your desktop and mobile devices. This flexibility enables users to work on their projects anytime, anywhere.
9. Affinity – Budget-Friendly Design Tool
Introducing Affinity, your ultimate solution for budget-friendly design needs. Affinity is a versatile design tool that combines affordability with professional-grade features, making it the ideal choice for both beginners and seasoned designers. Here are six key features that set Affinity apart:
Affordable Excellence: Affinity offers a cost-effective alternative to high-end design software without compromising on quality. Say goodbye to expensive subscriptions and hello to budget-friendly creativity.
Powerful Tools: With a wide range of tools and features, Affinity empowers users to create stunning graphics, illustrations, and layouts. From photo editing to vector design, it’s a one-stop shop for all your design needs.
Intuitive Interface: Designed with user-friendliness in mind, Affinity boasts an intuitive interface that ensures a smooth learning curve. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll feel right at home.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: Affinity is available for Windows, macOS, and even iPad, ensuring you can work seamlessly across devices. Your projects are always at your fingertips.
Non-Destructive Editing: Make changes without fear of losing your original work. Affinity’s non-destructive editing capabilities allow you to experiment freely, making it perfect for creative exploration.
Regular Updates: Affinity is committed to continuous improvement. Enjoy regular updates and new features, keeping your design tool at the cutting edge of technology.
10. Gravit Designer – Cloud-Based Vector Graphic Design Tool
Gravit Designer is a versatile and powerful graphic design software that caters to both beginners and professionals alike. Its user-friendly interface and extensive features make it a standout tool in the design world.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: Gravit Designer is accessible on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and even through a web-based version. This flexibility ensures users can work seamlessly across various devices.
Vector Editing: With its robust vector editing capabilities, Gravit Designer allows users to create precise and scalable graphics. Whether it’s logos, icons, or illustrations, the software offers a wide range of tools for vector manipulation.
Rich Design Toolkit: The software boasts an extensive library of design elements, including shapes, fonts, and pre-made templates. This feature significantly expedites the design process and sparks creativity.
Real-Time Collaboration: Gravit Designer enables real-time collaboration on projects, facilitating teamwork and creative brainstorming, regardless of geographic location.
Exporting and Sharing: Users can export their designs in various formats, ensuring compatibility with other software. Additionally, easy sharing options make it simple to collaborate or showcase work to clients and peers.
Offline Editing: While it offers cloud-based collaboration, Gravit Designer also allows for offline editing, ensuring users can work without an internet connection.
11. Autodesk Graphic Design – Software for 3D Modeling and Design
Autodesk Graphic Design is a powerful software suite that empowers designers and artists with a versatile set of tools to create stunning visuals. Here are six key features that make Autodesk Graphic Design a must-have for graphic designers:
Intuitive Interface: Autodesk Graphic Design boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it accessible for both beginners and seasoned professionals. Its well-organized workspace allows for efficient workflow, ensuring that designers can focus on their creativity rather than navigating complex menus.
Vector Illustration: One of its standout features is its robust vector illustration capabilities. Users can create scalable, high-resolution artwork with precision, making it ideal for logo design, iconography, and typography.
Raster Editing: It seamlessly combines vector and raster editing tools, enabling users to work on both pixel-based and vector graphics within the same platform. This flexibility is essential for tasks like photo editing and digital painting.
Typography Tools: Autodesk Graphic Design provides a rich set of typography tools, facilitating the creation of eye-catching text elements. It supports OpenType fonts, kerning, tracking, and more, allowing for detailed typographic control.
Asset Management: The software offers a robust asset management system, simplifying the organization and retrieval of design elements. Designers can easily manage colors, brushes, symbols, and styles for efficient reuse across projects.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: Autodesk Graphic Design is available on multiple platforms, including macOS and iOS, ensuring seamless collaboration and synchronization across devices. This feature is invaluable for designers on the go.
12. Blender – Software for 3D Graphics and Animation
Blender is a versatile and powerful software application that has gained immense popularity in recent years. Its diverse range of features makes it an essential tool for various creative endeavors. Here are six key features that set Blender apart:
3D Modeling: Blender excels in 3D modeling, allowing users to create intricate, detailed 3D objects with precision. Its intuitive interface makes it accessible to both beginners and experienced designers.
Animation: With a robust animation toolkit, Blender is widely used in the film and gaming industries. It supports rigging, keyframing, and even physics simulations, making it a go-to choice for animators.
Rendering: Blender’s rendering capabilities are impressive, offering realistic visualizations through Cycles and real-time rendering with Eevee. Users can achieve stunning visual effects and lifelike scenes.
VFX and Compositing: It’s not just about creating; Blender also excels in post-production. Its compositing tools allow for seamless integration of 3D elements into live-action footage, making it ideal for visual effects work.
Sculpting and Texturing: Artists can sculpt organic shapes and textures with ease using Blender’s sculpting tools. This feature is invaluable for character design and creating intricate surfaces.
Open Source and Community: Blender is open-source, which means it’s free to use and has a passionate global community. Regular updates and a vast library of add-ons and tutorials ensure continuous growth and support.
13. Adobe InDesign – Professional Desktop Publishing Tool
Adobe InDesign is a versatile desktop publishing software that has become a staple in the world of graphic design and document layout. With a plethora of features, it empowers users to create stunning print and digital publications with ease. Here are six key features that make Adobe InDesign an indispensable tool:
Layout Precision: InDesign offers precise control over layout elements, including text, images, and graphics. Its grid and snap-to guides ensure pixel-perfect alignment, making it ideal for designing magazines, brochures, and books.
Typography Mastery: This software excels in handling typography. Users can access an extensive library of fonts, paragraph styles, and character formatting options. Kerning, tracking, and leading controls allow for customizing text to perfection.
Effortless Image Handling: InDesign simplifies image placement and manipulation. Features like image scaling, clipping paths, and transparency settings provide creative freedom when integrating visuals into your projects.
Interactive Digital Publications: It’s not just for print. InDesign enables the creation of interactive PDFs, e-books, and digital magazines. You can embed multimedia elements, hyperlinks, and interactive buttons for engaging digital content.
Data Merge: Automate repetitive tasks with data merge functionality. This feature lets you import and format data from spreadsheets or databases to generate multiple variations of documents, such as personalized letters or labels.
Collaboration and Integration: Adobe InDesign seamlessly integrates with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. It also supports collaboration through Adobe’s cloud-based services, making it easy to work with a team on design projects.
14. Canva – Online Graphic Design Tool
Canva is a versatile and user-friendly graphic design platform that empowers individuals and businesses to create stunning visual content effortlessly. With its intuitive interface and robust set of features, Canva has become a go-to tool for graphic design, whether you’re a seasoned designer or a novice.
Here are six key features that make Canva stand out:
User-Friendly Interface: Canva’s interface is designed with simplicity in mind. It offers drag-and-drop functionality, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. You can create designs quickly and efficiently.
Vast Template Library: Canva boasts a vast collection of templates for various purposes, from social media posts and presentations to flyers and business cards. These templates serve as creative starting points for your projects.
Customization Tools: Canva provides a wide range of design elements, including images, icons, fonts, and colors. You can easily customize every aspect of your design to match your brand or personal style.
Collaboration Features: Collaborate seamlessly with team members or clients by sharing designs, commenting, and editing in real time. Canva streamlines the review and approval process.
Print and Digital Outputs: Canva supports both print and digital projects. You can create high-quality prints, export designs for websites, or share them on social media directly from the platform.
Mobile Accessibility: Canva offers a mobile app, that allows you to design on the go. You can start a project on your computer and continue editing it on your smartphone or tablet.
Conclusion – The Most Popular Graphic Designing Tools for 2023
In conclusion, the world of graphic design is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the most popular graphic designing tools is essential for any designer looking to thrive in this dynamic field. In this blog, we’ve explored a range of tools, each with its unique strengths and capabilities.
Adobe Creative Cloud remains a powerhouse in the industry, offering a comprehensive suite of software for all design needs. Meanwhile, Canva has democratized design, making it accessible to everyone with its user-friendly interface and templates.
Figma and Sketch cater to the needs of interface and UX designers, with collaborative features that enhance teamwork. Affinity Designer and CorelDRAW provide robust alternatives to Adobe’s offerings, giving designers more choices and cost-effective options.
Ultimately, the choice of graphic design tools depends on your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences. Keep experimenting, learning, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of graphic design, and you’ll be well-equipped to create stunning visuals that captivate and inspire.