How to choose the best design software d & # 39?
Graphic design is a term that describes the process of visual communication and problem solving through the use of typography, photography and illustration.
Graphics create logos, websites, posters, advertisements, etc. to help companies promote their products or services.
They can work in many sectors such as fashion or retail.
The graphic design extends to digital paintings and illustrations, reference pages, art, photography and personalized panels.
Many graphic designers use design software to create their works, but the level of expertise required for each program varies.
There are graphic design software for beginners as well as experts, as well as many online courses and free YouTube videos to learn any tool.
Some programs are for visual design, while others focus on web development or management tasks such as editing content.
Ready to go ?
What to take into account when choosing a Graphic Design Software ⁇
The software you need depends on what you create. There are certain elements that you should take into account when choosing a graphic design software.
- Check the tools and functions included in the different products. Will they help you achieve your goals ?
- Consider your skill level. Can you work with cloud applications or only with office functions ?
- What are your preferences ? Prefer to work on different devices and on the move ? Perhaps you will need a graphical design application for mobile.
- The budget. How much can you afford ? There are free options and subscription options, as well as single payment options.
- Suppose you want to learn gradually. In this case, you could consider a graphic design tool suitable for beginners, then switch to a more complex tool.
- You buy a product for a team ? If so, you will need an application that allows everyone to work and collaborate with simplicity.
Types of Graphic Design Software
Did you know that there are two main types of graphics ?
- Matrix graphics – made up of pixels
- Vector graphics – made up of geometric shapes
Each of them requires a specific type of graphic design software.
There are software that is aimed at both types of tools, as well as software mainly focused on the raster or vector format, in which case you can use the two tandem tools, passing from one platform to the other according to your needs.
There are many design needs, whether they are basic work-related tasks, such as presentations, or large-scale marketing, or editing and editing of professional photos.
The type of design and the design objective you are creating will determine the types of graphic design tools you will need.
The main categories are as follows:
- Frame graphics
- Vector graphics
- Computer-aided publication
- Data infography / visualization and other company related documents
- Messages on social media
- Editing photos
- Design of the logo
We will immerse ourselves in each of these categories below and suggest the best graphic design software for each need.
Companies that Choose Graphic Design Software
The purchase of graphic design software as a business is very different from the purchase for an individual.
You will need to consider items such as:
- Collaborative capacities
- Competency level of your team members
- Your design needs – marketing, professional documents or large-scale design projects ?
- Your budget. Most software has a separate plan for business, but it’s not necessarily the best option for you in the end. Business plans are sometimes more expensive than, for example, sharing an individual account between two employees.
Make sure you do all of your research as a business owner to find out the most informed way to make your purchase.
What are Matrix Graphics ?
Matrix graphics are two-dimensional images created in a variety of formats.
The matrix graphs consist of pixels, which gives them clear edges and facilitates reframing or resizing without loss of quality.
Graphics use matrix graphics software to create logos, product packaging, web pages, drawings and digital paintings, presentations for opening speeches, etc.
Best Graphics Software ♀ ⁇
The graphics design software sector is evolving rapidly and new technologies are emerging every day.
One of the most recent introductions is iPad and mobile applications that allow you to use advanced tools such as Photoshop directly on your mobile device.
Thanks to this technology, users can now work on graphic design projects wherever they are, without having to transport heavy laptops.
The latest version of Photoshop for iPad includes features such as layers and filters, perfect for creating professional quality designs from your tablet or phone.
There are also fantastic graphic design applications like Vectornator and Procreate, developed for smartphones.
Main Characteristics That All User Graphics Software Tools Should Have :
Each software varies in the functions it offers while sharing similar basic characteristics.
Here are the main points to watch
- Painting tools such as brushes, airbrush and pens – used to create the main elements of design, such as images or typography.
- Drawing tools that allow users to draw on their canvas using a variety of shapes and lines. The user can draw curves to make the effect more realistic.
- Text tools that allow the user to add text elements, such as titles and legends.
- Degraded is used to create backgrounds or add details to the shadows.
- Layers are used to stack different design elements and are particularly useful for creating digital collages.
- Reasons applied to the canvas or the layer to give it a more artistic aspect.
- Other elements include worn shadows, reflections, gleams, custom brushes and advanced selection tools.
Formats of Graphic Matrix Software
- Dynamic range: The lightest white and the darkest black of an image. A high dynamic range (HDR) is an HDR file that captures more details in the lightest and darkest options that are not available in ordinary photos. It seems almost three-dimensional to you, while a low dynamic range photo (LDR) does not show as much detail in the high lights and shadows.
- The HDR file format allows you to capture a much higher dynamic range than other formats. Not all software supports it, but Photoshop CS has integrated it as a publishing option.
- Unlossless compression: When you save your images or graphic files in JPEG, GIF, PNG or TIFF format, the size of the file decreases. However, you lose some quality and detail with each record, which is called loss-based compression. If you want to keep all of your original graphic data intact, use a RAW image format instead of JPEG or GIF formats: it creates an uncompressed 16-bit file that stores all of the color information in your photo.
- The color range is the range of colors that a device or system can produce. For example, the human eye has a wide range of colors and can collect about a billion different shades.
- The monthly plan costs $ 31.49 / month.
- The prepaid annual plan costs USD 239.88 / year.
- The annual plan paid monthly costs 20.99 USD / month.
- Simple interface for beginners and experts
- Several fonts, models and graphics to use
- Mobile and office versions
- Updates and new features regularly
- Beginners may not find the interface intuitive
- The application consumes a lot of storage space on your phone.
- The application can be difficult to use on a smaller screen.
- Less detailed toolbar
- Some may find the price binding, and the fact that it uses a lot of space on your device means that you also need to upgrade the type of device you are using.
King of Adobe Creative Cloud, and cultural icon, Photoshop is one of the most fantastic tools for graphic design, and a good option if you want the complete sequel with simple functionality.
It has a simple interface and powerful tools to bring any graphic design project to life.
This software is the norm in the graphic design and photography sector. It is therefore an obvious and useful investment for anyone wishing to become a professional.
Adobe Photoshop 2022 prices vary depending on whether you buy the monthly or annual plan.
For both subscriptions, you benefit from Photoshop on iPad and on computer, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, Adobe Spark, Adobe Fresco and 100 GB of online storage.
Adobe Photoshop is available on Windows, iPad Pro and macOS
- Mac device: single purchase of $ 24.99.
- Windows: single purchase of $ 24.99.
- iPad: single purchase of $ 9.99. You have the same functionalities as on the desk.
- Affinity photo offers a transparent workflow between the desktop application on your computer and the mobile application on your phone or tablet.
- The interface acts as a cohesive unit so that you can design anywhere and anytime without interruption of the workflow. Affinity also has no subscription.
- It takes a while to learn the software
- Laying can be frustrating
- Certain advanced functions may be difficult to use
The Affinity photo application is excellent if you are a professional designer who needs powerful software that can work for various design elements, such as creating logos, reference pages or photographs.
With a fairly steep learning curve, it can be a bit complicated for some people.
But if you want to get into graphic design without paying too much at the start, this is the ideal choice.
Features include PSD import / export, PSB import, unlimited number of layers, handling brushes, importing PSD smart objects and customizing keyboard shortcut on all devices.
Affinity Photo is compatible with macOS, iOS and Windows operating systems.
- 429 US dollars at once
- US $ 16.58 / month (approximately $ 199 per year)
- it is easy to simulate painting and draw textures that seem real
- This software is equipped with a large number of different brushes and artistic tools.
- The interface is not intuitive and it can be difficult to work with it.
- Delivered with bugs that have not yet been corrected.
Painter 2022 is software from Corel Corporation, used for graphic design purposes, mainly by art and craft lovers. Most people use this software to create digital art and watercolor paints.
This program has many advanced and basic functionalities and can emulate various aesthetics such as oils, pencils, etc.
The disadvantage of Painter 2022 is that the user experience is not very intuitive. Beginners may find it difficult to navigate the application.
Standard functions include customizable brushes and textures, photo art tools and professional painting.
Painter is compatible with macOS, iOS and Windows operating systems.
- $ 9.99
- A free version that offers essential tools
- A wide range of brushes, both vector and matrix.
- Used in displacement because it is easier to use on mobile or portable devices.
- More precise and more natural features
- Used with Adobe Photoshop
- Has a free version
- No possibility of adding text
- There are no customizable brushes
is used by artists who want to create graphic designs on the move, draw and paint simultaneously.
The advantage of Adobe Fresco is that there is a free version and that it is easy to use. The downside is that it doesn’t work very well on its own, unless you are associated with Adobe Photoshop.
It is compatible with Windows, MacOS, iPad and iPhone.
The software is primarily intended for Mac devices, although the Creative Cloud office for Windows can use it.
- $ 9.99 in the App Store.
- It is affordable, without monthly subscription
- It has a wide variety of customizable brushes.
- There are great learning materials to help you
- No text tool – You cannot add text descriptions to your creations.
- Non-intuitive layers – Layers are not labeled and can be difficult to find.
- Procreate is relatively slow software
Procreate is a design software for screened graphics created by Savage Interactive on which you can create illustrations, sketches and digital paintings.
Procreate is affordable and can be used on any iOS device. The downside is that it is only compatible with iOS and that it is slower than other software.
What are Vectorial Graphics ? ⁇
Vector graphics are graphic files that can be resized endlessly without loss of quality.
A vector graph is an image composed of points, lines and curves represented mathematically and scaled up according to the requirements of display on the screen or printing without loss of resolution.
Creations are made up of simple shapes, such as circles and lines, rather than pixels. Vector designs can take the form of logos, icons, drawings, graphics or other images with many details.
Why use vectors ? ⁇
Unlike photos, vector graphics can be resized without loss of quality.
Vector graphic design software includes Adobe Illustrator, Vectornator and Inkscape, sometimes called vector drawing software.
When using vector graphics, you can create a drawing using various tools. You draw paths which are then converted into
Vector graphics software is different from matrix images that work like pixels and should be scaled according to resolution.
The screened image files record the image as it appears in its natural size.
The Best Vectorial Graphics Software Tools
Vector graphic design software has the following basic functionalities:
- Design of graphics, models and illustrations
- Create logos or digital drawings such as cartoons for an animation company.
- Produce presentations with slideshows in PowerPoint or Keynote formats
- Touch up images to remove dust, scratches and imperfections.
Over the years, graphic designers have changed the way they work.
Most of them work as freelancers and prefer to work with a variety of devices, as needs change and mobile work becomes more popular.
Today, many designers and illustrators are interested in designing mobile applications for smartphones or tablets as an emerging domain of graphic design and are turning to vector software to bring these creations to life.
- Annual plan – $ 239.89 paid once a year
- Monthly plan – $ 39.49 per month
- The annual plan is paid monthly $ 251.88, and early cancellation fees apply.
- User interface user-friendly
- An intuitive design
- Detailed artistic creations
- You have the freedom of cardboard
- Conceptions sharing on several devices and with other users of Adobe Illustrator 2022.
- It takes time to learn
- It’s expensive.
Sometimes design doesn’t look as good on a mobile device.
Adobe Illustrator 2022 is part of the Adobe Creative suite. It is a vector graphics editor and a powerful design tool.
Illustrator is used to create illustrations, logos, icons or any other visual content. It is a powerful standard industry software, with one of the most advanced features of all vector design software.
Adobe Illustrator is compatible with Windows, macOS and mobile terminals.
- Free !
- It’s free.
- It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface
- The automatic tracking tool makes it easy to transform any graphic into a vector drawing in seconds.
- Synchronization of projects between devices – MacBook, iPad and iPhone
- Access to icons and free images of rights
- It is only compatible with Apple devices
- No info-bubble for quick actions
Vectornator is a vector graphics editor with one of the most intuitive interfaces, which allows for highly simplified design experience.
It is equipped with excellent collaboration tools and an automatic tracking tool which vectorizes the images with a single click.
Vectornator is used by graphic designers of all levels in different sectors such as newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies and book publishing.
The best part of the software is that it has an impeccable and intuitive user interface, which makes it easy to learn.
The downside is that the software only works on Mac computers, which means people with a Windows operating system can’t use it.
Vectornator is free, which means you don’t pay a subscription for its use.
The software is used on iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.
- $ 24.99 single payment for the office
- $ 9.99 iPad application
- It is affordable
- It has excellent functions and tools and is compatible with all types of files.
- Fast start
- A relatively steep learning curve that requires additional learning.
- A complicated tool crossing
Affinity Designer is vector graphic design software with a multitude of powerful functions.
These include a choice of three drawing tools, a color mixer with live overview, innovative brushes, and much more.
It was created by Serif and is used by designers as an autonomous application or in conjunction with other design software.
Affinity Designer is an excellent choice for graphic designers who work on several projects simultaneously.
You can export your illustrations in formats such as PDF, SVG and PSD without having to use a third party.
The downside is that it is not as user-friendly and can be a complicated tool for beginners.
The software does not contain a subscription and is compatible with macOS, Windows and iPad.
- Free option
- Gravit Designer Pro: US $ 39
- Free 30-day trial for pro
- Compatible with many stylus
- Access to the google Police Library
- Choice of predefined canvas sizes
- Web and desktop versions available
- No live collaboration functions
- Font is only available online
- Limits of the free version
Gravit Designer and Gravit Designer Pro is an affordable and decent vector design application appreciated by many novice and professional designers.
Although it is not standard expert level software, it is a good way to familiarize yourself with graphic design software and an affordable and reliable tool for illustrations, animations and other visual content.
Gravit Designer is the free version and offers all the tools you need to immerse yourself in your graphic design process, while the paid version Gravit Designer Pro unlocks advanced functionality and unlimited storage.
Gravit designer is compatible with more than 100 file formats and on all devices, being a web-based design tool.
- Free option – Includes an unlimited number of files in drafts, unlimited cloud storage, an unlimited number of editors on the files of three teams, an unlimited number of spectators and commentators, a team project and a history of versions 30 days.
- Professional pack – $ 12 per editor / month. It can be billed annually or $ 15 per month. Private projects by invitation only, unlimited projects, complete version history, personalized authorizations for files and users.
- Organization package at $ 45 per editor / month Annual billing. You benefit from all the advantages of the Professional offer, as well as the centralization of teams, the administration of plugins, organization-wide design systems, analysis of design systems, private plugins, shared fonts and SSO + advanced security.
- Offers team collaboration
- Simply sharing and document management
- Useful automatic recording functionality
- Most functions are only available when working online.
- When you work as a team, anyone can claim your file as their own.
Figma is an online tool that works in your web browser.
Figma can be used to create interactive prototypes for web and mobile applications, websites, presentations or any other vector project.
The best part of this software is that it is very user-friendly and allows collaborative teamwork in real time.
Figma is a web application, but there are also office applications for macOS, Windows and even Linux.
- Standard option at $ 9 per editor
- Unlimited number of free viewers or $ 99 per year
- The business plan for organizations includes the characteristics of the standard plan, plus single authentication (SSO), security reviews and personalized conditions, priority assistance, responsible for customer success and billing. The price is adapted to the needs of your organization.
- Personalizable workflow and excellent plugins
- An influential community with many free resources
- A good price for a high quality + a fantastic user experience
- Some animation functionalities
- There is no 3D imagery
- Compatible only with macOS
Sketch is a popular design tool mainly used for the design of mobile websites and user interfaces.
Equipped with tools to bring your imagination to life, Sketch helps you create with absolute precision.
Sketch is great for prototyping in UX / IU design, not least because it is provided with screen models that greatly facilitate the design process.
- Free !
- A program very rich in functionalities, given its free nature.
- You can download and create plugins to improve your experience.
- You can customize the software using an open source code.
- It can be slow
- Each drawing must appear on a separate page
Inkscape is a vector graphics editor used for the creation of cartoons, logos, diagrams, art clip, logos, typography and flowcharts.
The advantage of this software is that it is free, but the interface can sometimes be messy. It is a bit difficult to navigate, especially for a beginner.
Inkscape is compatible with macOS, Windows and Linux.
What is Computer A Assisted Publication Software ?
Computer Aided Publication Software (CAD) is computer programs that allow you to create layout for print or online publication.
Computer-aided publication allows users to format text, images and graphics in a variety of ways, such as changing the weight of the font, creating columns and adding worn shadows.
Editing software creates web pages, business cards, banners, posters and many other types of designs.
Best Computer Aided Publication Software Tools
There are many types of desktop publishing tools, from very simple applications to complex professional publishing software to create different models such as online magazines, business cards, greeting cards, posters and books.
The programs we have listed below are among the best.
- Annual plan, prepaid at US $ 239.88 / year. ($ 19.99 / month)
- The annual plan is paid monthly at US $ 251.88 / year. ($ 20.99 / month) with early cancellation fees.
- Monthly plan at 31.49 USD / month.
- Produce more excellent quality designs, both for digital and for printing.
- Excellent collaboration and sharing functions
- It saves time because it facilitates the design of projects and is excellent when working on large documents
- Access to Adobe fonts, new products and updates, the Adobe portfolio and Adobe Spark functionality.
- 100 GB of online storage
- There is no automatic spelling corrector.
- Not intuitive for certain functions
- Too many tools and functionality, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
Adobe InDesign is the most famous and widely used computer-aided publishing software for designing web pages, publications and presentations.
It can be used with other Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects.
The downside is the cost, and it may take a while for a beginner to understand all of the functionality.
InDesign is compatible with macOS and Windows desktops.
- Free package – access more than 250,000 free models. Thousands of free photos, invite members to your team, 5 GB cloud storage and more than 100 types of models.
- Pro Package – $ 119.99 a year – includes everything you get in the free package. Extras include the unlimited use of the background suppression function, programming social media content on 7 platforms, 100 GB of cloud storage, resizing designs with Magic Resize, more than 420,000 free models with new designs every day, and more than 75 million photos, videos, audio and graphic files.
- The Enterprise formula – $ 30 per person per month – includes everything in the Pro version and much more, such as additional support systems and team download control.
- Photo editing functions
- It has a large library of police
- A large library of photos, videos and models to use in your design.
- Little personalization, you work with models already built.
- Not a lot of experience on small screens
Canva is an online graphic design application used to create visual content. Based on a simple sliding and dropping editor and requiring no design skills, Canva is a fantastic and easy-to-use solution to create visual content.
Canva is the perfect software for beginners and professionals to create graphics for social media quickly and simply.
It is perfect for professional design elements such as presentations, flyers, invitations and much more.
Canva is not exactly the ideal platform for large-scale graphic design projects, such as designing a billboard, but it is perfect for your basic design needs and is one of the tools most popular online design software.
- Free formula – includes an unlimited number of photos and documents. You can work on a maximum of three documents and three pages per document.
- Pro Package – $ 10 – includes extras such as documents and pages to work on and a lock on of the main model.
- Team Package – used by a minimum of three users at a cost of $ 12 per user. Additional features include advanced account management and model locking.
- A commercial package is adaptable to the needs of the company.
- A simple interface allowing to work easily
- Ideal for the publication of any document
- Great features for collaboration
- Useful tools to maintain the consistency of the brand
- Limited printing options
- Small interface making it difficult to correct errors
- Difficult size creations
Lucidpress is a web-based design tool developed by Lucid Software. This tool is mainly used for graphic design, web development and drawing.
Its unique non-destructive editing, parametric shapes and live fit functions distinguish it from other programs currently on the market.
However, even with an easy-to-use interface, it can present glitches, especially when resizing documents.
Lucidpress is compatible with macOS and Windows.
- Free subscription – five designs and five image downloads.
- Premium Formula – $ 19 per month per user – 50 image downloads, unlimited number of top quality designs, graphics and icons.
- Pack Business – $ 49 / month / user – Unlimited number of designs, 500 image downloads, premium models for businesses and personalized brand image.
- The business formula – adapted to your needs.
- High quality infographics with tons of models of your choice
- Excellent collaboration functions
- Produce presentations quickly
- It sometimes takes a while to find a particular tool / preset.
- Slow to edit or return to previous editions
Venngage is a communication and information design platform that helps you visually communicate more engaging and meaningful data.
The mission of the platform is to help people communicate better based on design principles, powerful optimization functions and an evolving library of models that allow everyone to easily create convincing visualizations.
The downside is that the platform is not as easy to navigate.
Venngage is compatible with Windows and macOS
- Free plan – access to a maximum of 5 projects, limited models, 100 MB of storage.
- Standard formula – 15 dollars per month, invoiced annually, to manage up to 15 projects, with 250 MB of storage.
- Pack Business – $ 29 a month
- A company adapted to the needs of your company
- Easy navigation and simplicity of creation
- Access many features that make your documents interactive
- Create audio and video
- Difficulty in dimensioning documents
- Some animated icons
Visme is a platform that changes the way teams share their projects in professional presentations and it is for data visualization.
This infographic tool is designed to get rid of the complexity of the design and focus on what you mean.
Features allow easy manipulation of images, animations, colors, shapes and fonts. Professionals from all walks of life use it.
The main advantage is that it is very user-friendly software, with the possibility of starting from scratch or choosing to use one of its models.
The downside is that it is sometimes frustrating to modify the texts.
Visme is compatible with macOS, Windows and iPad.
- $ 24.99 once
- Advanced functions of grids and guides
- has a wide variety of text tools
- You can share models on multiple devices
- Abrupt learning curve
- Certain types of files are not supported
Affinity Publisher is computer-aided publishing software whose main objective is to help people create professional publications.
It has all the tools necessary to make layouts, adjust images and fonts, personalize colors and fonts, as well as more advanced functionalities such as adding interactive elements. It is an affordable alternative to InDesign.
Affinity Designer is compatible with macOS and Windows.
Best Photos Editing Software
Over the past two decades, people’s interest in photography has increased considerably.
Almost everyone uses photo editing tools on their mobile devices, and developers have risen to the challenge, offering all kinds of simple and complex image editing tools.
There are so many tools that it is good to know some of them you can count on, so as not to complicate your life.
- US $ 9.99
- Limited free version available
- Many learning supports
- Access to a community where you can share photos and exchange ideas.
- You can work with Photoshop and Lightroom interchangeably according to your needs.
- Limits of the free version
- No possibility of adding plugins
Adobe Lightroom is one of the most used and reliable photo editing programs by professional photographers and novices in photography.
Lightroom makes photo storage and sharing a simplified and pleasant process.
This photography tool also provides access to a great community of creatives through which you can share photos, take inspiration from each other, and buy and sell preselections.
Adobe Lightroom integrates practical advice and teaching materials so that both beginners and professionals can improve their skills in photo editing.
Lightroom is compatible with macOS and Windows desktops, the web, the mobile application for iOS and Android.
- Free !
- Rich in functionalities, with advanced tools
- Friendly interface
- It can edit raw files
- Exporting an image and saving it in your phone gallery is not the most intuitive and user-friendly experience. Make sure you do some research on how to do this.
- There is a slight learning curve
Snapseed is one of the best mobile photo editing applications, appreciated by professionals and novices.
You have free access to a series of basic and advanced functions, filters and even professional editing tools.
Snapseed is a very high quality, functionally rich free mobile application for photo editing.
Snapseed is compatible with iOs and Android mobile devices.
Other Resources On Graphic Design Software
The more you learn about graphic design software, the more you realize that there is a lot to know and that it is a world of seemingly endless discoveries.
You may still be curious about certain things. We have therefore listed below some additional resources which could be useful to you.
- How to use InDesign and Photoshop together. It is not a question of opposing each other. These programs work wonderfully well in tandem and it is worth knowing how to use them together.
- Understand the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop. Again – both are Adobe products, and they work well together !
- Graphic design course you may need to master the software you are buying.
- The best design blogs you should follow to find out the latest trends in the graphic design sector.
You may want to try a few different tools and applications before choosing the software that best suits you.
Fortunately, most of them offer a free test option so that you can have fun before making your purchase.
It is good to change things from time to time and stay at the forefront of trends and developments in graphic design software to be sure you are equipped with all the functionality you need to create as much as possible. of your abilities !
This article was written by Kaylin Sullivan. Kaylin is a lover of good content and brand image. She writes of everything. A poetic soul. Obsessed with breakfast ⁇