|Pricing model||Per User|
When it comes to design, it’s very important to have the right software at hand. However, there are many different graphic design solutions available. The best graphic design software really does depend on what you need to use it for. This is because different software has different functionalities and specialties. This means that it’s important to select a graphic design software package that meets the specific needs of the business. This article provides a solution for those looking to purchase graphic design software and offers up a comparison of such software. Keep reading to find out more information on graphic design software and the most popular options out there.
How we have ranked graphic design software
To create this list we spent time looking at all the paid-for and free graphic design software options out there. We looked at the rankings of different graphic design apps and packages from several software-ranking services. Importantly, we then selected out the top options, around 100, for a deeper analysis.
Next, we considered user reviews for each of the chosen graphic design software options. We feel this is always an important consideration as users have a stronger grasp of the best features in relation to what these graphic design apps can provide. Finally, we tested out each of the graphic design solutions ourselves by taking on trials or demos. We listed the top features available and checked them all out as well as the user interface, design, and compatibility.
By taking into consideration all of these factors, we created a score for each product enabling them to be ranked. This means that only the best of the best graphic design software packages and tools are listed here. So, whatever your needs, whether you are looking for the best free graphic design software, the best interior design software, or the best logo design software, you’ll find our top recommendations right here.
Almost everything is created online. On top of that, a lot of online content, especially relating to marketing and sales, revolves around the digital image. As such, there are a growing number of free graphic design software options available. But, not all of them are all that great. For anyone looking for graphic design apps, it can be very hard to actually find software that meets their needs.
Surprisingly, some software for graphic design doesn’t even provide the basics. Often, people will simply choose the most popular option never pausing to consider whether it is the best logo design software out there or not. With this in mind, we rank all the best interior design software and graphic design apps by their functionality, not their design. All the solutions provided here are selected from the top 100 software options and are the best you will find in each of the graphic design niches.
Graphic design software overview
Creating digital images, paintings, marketing material, and the like for printing, publishing, or other distribution has never been easier thanks to graphic design apps. If you want to do something online, then having even the most basic, free graphic design software is now pretty much a necessity.
What is graphic design software?
Graphic design is an art where visual content is created to communicate a message. In order to do this, graphic design software is needed. This is because this software can provide artists with a range of tools in order to create their designs. This can include typography, vector images, and the like. Additionally, graphic design apps can help users to meet their specific needs when it comes to creating elements within their designs.
Each solution does come with a range of different options though. For instance, the best logo design software will offer more painting and colorization options than the best interior design software, which will focus more on vector images and line work. This makes it important for users to carefully select the software they need. On top of that, it’s not only big businesses using this type of software, but individuals too. As such, there is a range of different options out there from free graphic design software with only basic functions to more costly graphic design software with a huge array of features.
What does graphic design software do?
It is an incredibly useful software solution that can edit images. Images can be created from scratch, manipulated, and typography added. Here we quickly outline the different functions that the best graphic design software can do.
- Photo editing — Most graphic design apps will allow photo editing even in basic form. This means changing colors, adding textures, text, additional images, creating layers, vector masks, and more.
- Vector art — The best logo design software will utilize vector image editing as this will allow users to adjust objects and elements without losing their shape or size. It’s perfect for creating multiple versions of the same thing without having to redraw.
- Typography — Adding in text and notations is a must in the best interior design software in order to enable the diagrams to be understood. Most free graphic design software will offer a range of different fonts and text options.
- Page layout — Top software will also provide options for page layout including different page sizes, and the option for layers, transparency, and masks. All of this makes design so much easier.
Graphic design software meaning
In short, free graphic design software can do almost anything in terms of manipulating a digital image. Graphic design apps are able to edit photos, create images, allow you to paint and create from scratch. And, all of these can be combined into a final product. Not all packages have the same features though, but the best logo design software will have all of this and more.
Main features of graphic design software
The best interior design software has a wide array of different functions and features. It should not only be solely for image editing. The best graphic design apps will have a lot more, as well. Not only should it enable drawing and vector art manipulation, but it should enable individuals and companies to create and maintain brands through consistent software tools. Below are some main features found in the best graphic design software.
All free graphic design software has the basics of photo editing in its arsenal. This includes the option to actually create images from scratch. However, not all solutions give the option to actually paint and draw within their tools.
Vectors are the digital shapes that make up images in software. They are made up of lines and curves based on mathematical algorithms. Also known as paths, these are the lines that enable users to scale images without losing the overall shape and design. Particularly when it comes to the best logo design software, having this feature is hugely important. Some software also provides the option to convert bitmap images into vectors, which is an additional plus.
As part of the photo editing process, it’s important for users to be able to employ color editing too. This is particularly noticeable in the best interior design software options out there, which often also have a massive array of different color and tonal options to employ.
Benefits of using graphic design software
Before getting into using the best design software, it is important to understand what the benefits are from using such software. Of course, this will depend on your needs as the programs and software available all have different features and, subsequently, benefits. Large publishing companies for instance will need the best logo design software, while an individual house designer will be searching for the best interior design software. Small businesses and charities with limited budgets will want the best free graphic design software that still offers the most features.
There are almost endless benefits to picking the top graphic design solutions. Here we will take a look at the different use-cases for each product. So, no matter if you’re a big business or a freelancer, here are some of the best reasons to get graphic design software.
Excitingly, most graphic design tools are geared towards branding. Creating your images and logos in such software has never been easier. This is because the software can save designs, rescale them, edit them, and everything else. Complex design work is also possible, although some software is a little slower in this area.
Helping to make processes faster and more streamlined are shortcuts. Most software will have various shortcuts giving you faster access to the necessary tools for your design work.
Being able to create images from scratch is a must in graphic design. Most solutions will have a wide array of drawing tools for this reason. These will include simple line tools, paintbrushes, erasers, and much more.
Resizing and arranging images
With vector image options, resizing, moving, and layering elements and images has never been easier. This makes it very easy to create complex, layered designs. Better yet, these can be repeated for adding to various different projects. Additionally, software that can create templates and that includes desktop publishing for multi-page layouts can provide a whole new set of features for users.
File size and exporting
Being able to cope with a variety of file sizes is a must. These days, the top graphic design solutions can handle RAW files easily. Additionally, they can save files and images in a range of different file types so that they can be easily exported.
All software needs to be easy to use. This means that the interface is understandable and allows you to access the tools you need efficiently. Some software also has customization options which makes it even easier.
Nowadays, all software must be mobile optimized too. This means that not only can the designs be used on a mobile device, but the software can too. There are now smaller app versions of these types of software so that it’s possible to get editing on the go as well.
Which companies should use popular graphic design software
The type of software you need will depend, not only on the size of the company but also on the level of proficiency and what users specialize in. This is because there is some graphic design software that specializes in certain elements of design such as focusing on interior design, while others focus on painting. What you plan to use the software for is the first thing you should be thinking about. In the section below, we take a look at some of the companies that need to carefully consider what software they need to use.
There is a growing number of freelancers out there in the world of graphic design. This means that these professionals need to be able to access good quality software programs. However, they won’t need quite the same level as a business or studio. This means that it’s possible to take on a smaller package geared towards individual use.
One of the larger groups that create digital graphics, companies, and businesses such as this often need a much more comprehensive software. The best interior design software programs will offer the company the chance to store huge file sizes in a range of file types for export, as well as integrate a wider range of different editing tools into their solution.
Publishers and marketing
Similarly, publishers, sales, and marketing artists also require a lot of extras in the best logo design software. It’s important that the software can handle large files and complex designs, It should offer the ability to draw, and to use vectors for rescaling, repeating, and repurposing the same designs in different formats.
What does the best graphic design software cost?
Depending on the software and the level of the business, the best graphic design software can actually be quite pricey. Many options do have lengthy trial periods allowing you to test out the product for free, usually for a couple of months. However, for some packages, you don’t get the full version. For the most part, buying this type of software is going to set you back, usually around at least $500.
Types of popular graphic design software
Generally, graphic designers are looking for similar functions across any discipline. Essentially, they all need to be able to manipulate the image in some way. However, there are different options when it comes to graphic design software. There are two main areas of design and these are creating images from scratch and manipulating pre-existing images.
Painting and drawing
Some graphic designers need to be able to create images from the start. For instance, logo creation requires the best logo design software to offer a range of drawing tools. This means that there needs to be the option to start with a clean slate and work from that.
Design and image manipulation
In contrast, there are designers who need to work from an existing image. For instance, photo manipulation and editing is important, particularly when it comes to marketing or posters for instance. Similarly, when it comes to designing a space, the best interior design software needs to offer vectors, templates, layers, and more. All the while, the user should be able to save previous versions of the design so that comparisons can be made.
Trends in the best graphic design software
The most popular graphic design solutions are those that have the best features and a range of different options. These include large file support and a range of different editing tools for both image creation and manipulation. However, technology is changing rapidly, which means that the software is also changing constantly as well. As such, it is very important to check out what the latest trends are when it comes to the best graphic design software. This is because it can have a massive effect on what software is appropriate. Here are some of the current trends:
- Learning curve — Even for those who are proficient in graphic design and familiar with a range of different packages, the learning curve is always important to consider. Each software option is slightly different with some being not quite as easy to learn and get to grips with as others. Design tools with a steep learning curve often have excellent features. But, the time it takes to get to grips with it may not be worth it, particularly for a beginner or freelancer.
- Understandable UI — Similarly, graphic design software should have an easy-to-use interface. This means that the layout of all the tools should be straightforward. Even in a mobile app form, the layout should be intuitive so that the user can find all the tools they need, literally at the click of a button. This can be extra important for larger teams that don’t have time to figure everything out.
- Large file size support — Graphic design files are often very large. As such, the software needs to be able to support this. Not only when it comes to saving and storing the final image, but also in processing too. It’s important not to have software that can’t handle large or complex files as this can slow the entire design process down while the software struggles to keep up.
- Flexibility — This is also key as good software will be able to change and be adjusted. Some of the best graphic design software packages out there even allow users to be flexible. Toolbars can be customized and the layout of the software adjusted to suit the user’s own needs and preferences. This can be particularly helpful for professionals switching from one software to another who have got used to a specific setup and layout.
Which is the best graphic design software?
Choosing which of the many graphic design apps to choose from can be hard. There are many top-notch options out there. On top of that, many have specialties which means you need to know exactly what you intend to use the software for. However, there are a few easy ways to find out which one is the best for you. As we mentioned earlier, you can simply test out some of the ones that look suitable via a free trial. But, we do recommend starting out with the ones on our top list as they have a great selection of quality features and a highly usable interface.
How to choose the best graphic design software
Whether you’re looking for free graphic design software or the best logo design software, you need to carefully select the right solution for the job at hand. We’re here to help with that. Not only do we carefully check out all the options and create the top 10 list for you, but you can take a look at the different solutions for yourself.
Most of these do offer trial versions, so you can test out all the features for yourself and make sure they have the tools you need for your work. Take a look at the photo editing options, the file size and compatibility it offers, the support, and, of course, the learning curve.
Additionally, you need to look at other features such as whether it supports vector art, what are the color editing options, is it compatible with your operating system, affordability, and more. If it can’t handle the work you need it for then it’s not the best interior design software. If you find it doesn’t meet your needs, then end the trial and test out another option.
In order to create beautiful digital images, whether they are for your own personal benefit or for mass distribution through publishing, selecting the best graphic design software for your needs is the first place to start. Some options are available for free, but others can be rather expensive. No matter whether you are a business or a beginner, choosing the right graphic design software solution is incredibly important. To that end, this article gives you all the necessary information when it comes to choosing the best graphic design software and lists the top 10 we think you should consider.