Graphic design software are no longer strictly limited to PC or Mac operating system. You’ll find many that also have iOS & Android mobile apps, with support for Linux & Chrome OS.
The dizzying array of editing tool can make it difficults to choose the best graphic design software. Our roundup focuses on some good oldies, like Adobe Photoshop, as well as some new ones, like Affinity Photo.
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Adobe Illustrator wrote the book on vectors graphics software. It sets the standard for professionally designed logos, illustration, infographic, icon, and more. You can work from a freehand sketch to a vector image scalable to any size. Adobe Illustrator works with graphic differently, using mathematical formula instead of pixels for seamless resizing. (graphic design software)
Adobe Illustrator offers a seven-day free trial, but you must provide a credit card to get started. If you select the annual plan, paid monthly, it costs $20.99 per month. Otherwise, you’ll pay $31.49 per month for the monthly plan. Either way, it’s expensive. However, Adobe Illustrator is one of those product that will have you learning something new all the time, even if it’s not the most user friendly software available.
Affinity Designer is a great choice for personal project or novice graphic designer with its intuitive user interface. It’s a worthy competitor to Adobe Illustrator, with a similar set of design tools & additional easy to use features. It’s a good option for people who want an affordable alternative without sacrificing functionality.
Affinity Designer features a 1,000,000% zoom, putting it squarely in the realm of CAD. If that’s too fine a resolutions, you can set whatever levels you prefer. The other notable feature is its version history. It can go back up to 8,000 step, making it a greats option when working with client. That & zoom put you in charge of review.
Procreate bills itself as a complete art studio, made exclusively for iPad & Apple Pencil. It is a one time purchase with no trial or version available. You dive right into its wide range of customizable templates, font, and brushes. You can also bring your favorite Photoshop into the app, which will work better with the Valkyrie engine. The developers went the extra mile to make it easy to use. (graphic design software)
One of its outstanding features is its ability to work in 3D & preview it in real time in AR. If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at animations, Procreate provides a great starting point. However, the app has so many tools & feature that it can seem overwhelming for beginners. If you select a brush type, you will find several to choose from. You will learn something every time you use it.
Adobe Photoshop has long been the industry standard for desktop publishing. It’s a populars favorite with graphic designer for a reason. Its variety of image editing tool supports beginner & professionals with a user friendly interface & a host of well written tutorial. Graphic design software puts you in controls, from canvas size to art filter.
Like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop offers a seven day free trials. Interestingly, you can get Photoshop & Adobe Lightroom at a cheaper cost. The Photoshop trial includes 100 GB of cloud storage, and Lightroom includes 1 TB. It also has some extra features with its painting app, Adobe Fresco, and its storytelling program, Adobe Spark. The collaboration between the program is outstanding.
Affinity Photo is an affordable alternative to Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for retouching existing images. It work with layers & filters to create amazing effect with both vector & raster images. The software also support SVG file format like CorelDRAW. Although you can create templates, none are included with the programs. However, it is lightweight with a generous 90 day free trials.
Affinity Photo has garnered much praise over the years due to its versatility & functionality. It has a lot of features for the price. You can do sophisticated editing with its 360 degree image editing, panorama stitching, and HDR blending. Provides real time editing without the bloat. You can also works with PSD files. It also support non destructive live filter layer for the ultimate in creativity.
Canva is a one stop solutions for creating a variety of project, like infographic, web design, or t-shirts. It uses an intuitive drag & drop interface that is easy to use for people with no previous graphic design experience. The program has a huge selection of images, templates, background, and font to get the ball rolling. While Canva offers several of these item for free, many of the images and graphic require in app purchases.
Canva shines because it can works with a wide range of industries, thank to its huge gallery of templates. The sample we saw looked professional & offered great starting point for brainstorming. There are three pricing plan, including a free one for individuals and small team. Paid plans offers the full set of benefit, albeit only 100GB of cloud storage.
Choosing the best graphic design software
When looking for the best graphics design software, you’ll find everything from free, open source, and web-based offerings to full fledged image editing program with steep learning curves that make them suitable for professional, and everything in between.
When considering which software to use, start with your current need and the capabilities you anticipate as your business & skills set grow. Many software packages are expensive, particularly those that use subscription model. Shop for what you needs to find the best value with these program.
Features like real-time collaboration, version history, and master page settings are very helpful for businesses to works efficiently with their customers. Most of the platforms on our list include basic design tool functionality, such as the ability to resize, edit images, gradient, and overlays.