What is Graphic Design Software?

Graphic design software and image editing tools are utilized by graphic designers to create and organize their work. Examples of graphic design software include design-based tools such as Freehand and Adobe Illustrator and layout tools such as Adobe InDesign and Quark Xpress. Many graphic designers also use photo-editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop. In addition, graphic designers who do web-based design can utilize tools such as Adobe Flash to take their designs to the internet by utilizing simple HTML language. Start by checking our leader Adobe Illustrator CC, and other recommended solutions in this category.

Graphic Design Software

Top 12 Most Popular Graphic Design Software

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Adobe Illustrator CC reviews
Adobe Illustrator CC

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 99%

An industry-standard vector graphics software, which supports Adobe Stock marketplace integration for users to access wide collection of design templates. Read Reviews

Adobe Photoshop CC reviews
Adobe Photoshop CC

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 98%

World's leading image and design manipulation platform. Read Reviews

Adobe InDesign CC reviews
Adobe InDesign CC

Our Score 9.5

User Satisfaction 98%

A page design and layout app for graphic artists and businesses who are creating and publishing documents for print and digital media such as brochures, magazines, eBooks, and PFDs. Read Reviews

Canva reviews

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 99%

Canva makes it amazingly simple for everyone to create professional quality graphic designs. Read Reviews

GIMP reviews

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 96%

GIMP (GNU image manipulation program) is a free, open-source image editing software. Read Reviews

Pixlr reviews

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 98%

PixIr is a family of web-based and native mobile image editing applications. Read Reviews

Inkscape reviews

Our Score 9.1

User Satisfaction 100%

A web-based vector graphics editing tool that is free to use. Read Reviews

Autodesk SketchBook reviews
Autodesk SketchBook

Our Score 9.1

User Satisfaction 96%

Cross-platform drawing and painting software for creatives, allows creating stunning illustrations in less time and staying productive on the go. Read Reviews

PaintShop Pro reviews
PaintShop Pro

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 100%

PaintShop Pro is an easy-to-use image editing software that offer a comprehensive suite of robust image drawing, correction, and editing tools. Read Reviews

Piktochart reviews

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 99%

Piktochart is easy to use, and it provides simple graphics tools which offer unlimited freedom to build or edit infographics. Read Reviews

Gravit Designer reviews
Gravit Designer

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 99%

Gravit Designer is a full-featured, vector graphics design software for product designers, graphic designers, and web designers. Read Reviews

Photoshop Elements 2018 reviews
Photoshop Elements 2018

Our Score 8.9

User Satisfaction 100%

Photo organization and editing software for professional photographers and individuals that makes photo management, editing and sharing easier. Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best Graphic Design Software

Graphic design tools are utilized by graphic designers to create attractive images and designs. There are numerous high-quality programs in this category. This begs the question: how do you do informed comparisons to select the best graphic design software product for your specific needs? We help you with this buyer’s guide which details the key features and factors you should consider in your search.

Get to know each product with free trial

A wonderful way to start your quest for the best among these graphic design tools is to find out if popular graphic design software providers offer a handy free trial or demo. You can visit the websites of the following top platforms to check the possibility of benefiting from a free trial: CorelDrawAffinity DesignerPaintShop ProPhotoshop Elements 2018, and Xara Designer Pro. These tools have been given high rankings in our graphic design software reviews that you can peruse to do a comparison of the features. 

Targeted Businesses

  • Freelance graphic designers can utilize this type of software for their individual needs.
  • Graphic design agencies can use these tools to create attractive designs for their clients.

Examples of Graphic Design Software

  • CorelDraw: Graphic design software for students, hobbyists, and beginners. You can use it to create social media content, photo projects, newsletters, logos, and more. The product includes useful learning resources. You can install up to 3 copies in your household (this tool is not for commercial use).
  • Affinity Designer: Touted as a complete graphic design product. It is a fast, smooth, and precise vector graphic design tool. All its functions, panels, tools, and features have been designed for the requirements of creative professionals. You can use it to exercise precise control over curves, colors, and performance to create stunning results.
  • PaintShop Pro: Affordable graphic design and photo editing software. You can create attractive designs using textures, patterns, gradients, brushes, and new color palettes. Make use of the simple user interface for fast navigation. The product includes improvements to popularly used tools and new workspaces for your expertise level.
  • Photoshop Elements 2018: Organize your images and improve them with smart photo editing tools. Convert them into striking creations and share your memories. Auto-organize by places, people, subject, and date. In addition, you can auto-curate your best photos based on subjects, faces, quality, and more.
  • Xara Designer Pro: Optimize your photos with detailed retouching. Combine text with images and graphics to create appealing social media posts, posters, and invitations. Experiment with filters, plug-ins, and creative design effects. You can even create your own illustrations and vector graphics from scratch. Finally, the application offers a vast collection of stock photos among which you can easily find the right image.

Types of Graphic Design Software

  • Word processors. Besides text, modern word processors also include graphics tools allowing you to combine text and graphics to create attractive postcards, flyers, booklets, and brochures.
  • Publishing software. Also known as desktop publishing software. They also combine text and graphics but are more advanced. These tools enable you to precisely control image editing functions, kerning, leading, and graphics and text placement. Sophisticated publishing software tools enable you to handle layouts for magazines, books, and other publications.
  • Illustration software. Include text manipulation and word processing features. They allow you to adjust line spacing and kerning, and check grammar and spelling. You can use illustration software for page layout on small projects such as small booklets, letterheads, business cards, brochures, greeting cards, and postcards.
  • Creative printing software. This tool has become popular as inkjet printers have become cheaper to buy. You can use it to create crafts such as t-shirt designs, posters, signs, business cards, postcards, and greeting cards.
  • Presentation software. You can use it to create slideshows, overhead transparencies, reports, and on-screen presentations.
  • Web publishing software. All the above types of software allow you to publish your designs on the internet. Low-end software offer basics like simple web page creation tools, enable you to create animated greetings, and send your files through email. Advanced software offer sophisticated web publishing features for exporting to PDF or HTML. In addition, there are numerous dedicated web publishing platforms.

Key Features of Graphic Design Software

  • Colors. Use colors to attract the attention of the viewer and create striking signage and ads.
  • Shapes. Enhance the visual effect of your project by manipulating or exaggerating shapes to create a stunning image.
  • Lines. Organize the graphics and text, divide an image, and create boxes to highlight text within graphics.
  • Mass. Create the optimum amount of contrast to attract the viewer’s interest. This enhances the overall impact of the image.
  • Textures. They can add dimension and depth to graphics. Textures are utilized in website design to include background contrast in web pages. They can create an in-depth, layered effect for ads and websites.

Benefits of Graphic Design Software

  • Enhances employee pride. You can use graphic design software to create a strong brand identity that reflects your organization’s vision in all things including staff apparel, business cards, and company communications and websites.
  • Helps to save time. Graphic designers can save time by easily identifying the best file format to use for your business cards, website images and photos, and more.
  • Helps to save money. Poorly designed graphics can prove to be costly for your company. So, do not hesitate to pay for a good graphic design software program to produce high-quality output and save money in the long run.
  • Improves viewer interaction. Graphic design software enables you to create stunning visuals that can help to increase your organization’s social media views, followers, and shares. You can include appealing visuals in your printed materials, social media posts, blogs, websites, and e-newsletters to grab and engage readers’ attention.
  • Differentiate yourself. Create a unique identity that gets attention, differentiates your products and services, and ensures your followers keep coming back for fresh content.
  • Bolster your brand. Strong companies and brands have highly recognizable typefaces, color schemes, and logos. Use graphic design software to create an easily identifiable face for your company and brand that helps you to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Latest Trends

  • Brighter and louder colors. The era of muted and safe colors is over. Now, companies are experimenting with bold colors combined with professionally edited images to create stunning in-your-face designs. Check out the work of the music experts at Spotify to understand what we are talking about.
  • Bold typography. Another notable trend is the use of bold typography to attract reader attention and fight content saturation. Daring and big fonts are being used to grab eyeballs. For example, Wired magazine uses a bold mix of fonts to place emphasis on individual titles and important info on the page.

Potential Issues

  • Adapting to new technology. It is a challenge for graphic designers to anticipate changes in software and technology, adapt to and master them, and at the same time be open to fresh influences that can help to improve their work.
  • The need to be multi-skilled. Graphic designers need more than just expertise in typography and design to excel in their field. They also require conceptual thinking and execution skills, and expertise in a range of areas such as interaction design, motion graphics, and more. Plus, they should develop the ability to effectively utilize the latest technology and software to improve their output.

List of Graphic Design Software Companies


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Post by Alex Hillsberg