If you’re a digital designer in 2022, the creative landscape has required you to use a variety of graphic design software and web design tools to complete your project. Whether you're creating graphics for a website or designing an advertising campaign, using the right design tool is essential to your success. In this post, I'll list some of the best graphic design tools available today. So whether you're a graphic designer, web designer, 3D designer, or photographer, read on for my top recommendations per category.
What Are the best graphic design softwares for digital designers?
The best graphic design software has its own unique set of features and tools that enable designers to precisely and efficiently produce design assets. If you are just starting out in digital design, you may want to consider less expensive options. As you become more experienced, you can upgrade to more powerful, paid tools.
Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard software for editing digital images. It has a wide range of features that can be used to improve the appearance of an image, or to create completely new images from scratch. With Photoshop, you can cropped and resize photos, add text or graphics to them, remove blemishes or unwanted objects, and much so much more. Whether you're a professional graphic designer or just someone who likes to play around with digital photos, Photoshop is an astronomically powerful tool that can help you create beautiful and unique images.
2. Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator provides an intuitive interface and editing environment for creating sophisticated vector graphics for print, web, interactive media, and mobile devices. With its comprehensive set of tools and features, it enables graphic designers to create any type of artwork they can imagine. It’s used across a wide range of industries, including advertising, fashion, product design, and web design. It is also a popular choice among hobbyists and amateurs who want to create vector graphics for personal use or for small businesses.
Sumopaint is another great alternative image editing tool like Adobe Photoshop. It works in your web browser, and the best part is, they have a free version. Whether you’re a photographer, web designer, or graphic designer, this comprehensive design tool flexible, and a great option if you’re looking for a free alternative to Photoshop.
Canva is a free online design platform that allows users to create professional designs for their businesses or personal use, without any prior design experience. With over 400k templates available, all of varying levels of complexity, users can create anything from a simple logo to Instagram posts to presentation decks. Canva offers both a drag-and-drop interface and more advanced features for those who want more control over their designs.
Sketch is a design prototyping tool that lets you create visual mock up designs of your projects. From iOS and Android app designs, website page design, and digital presentations, it’s a powerful graphic tool that lets you create a collaborative design project. With sketch, you can take your first napkin sketch and evolve it into a developer-ready package.
Vectr is another free-forever vector graphics editor for digital designers that works in the browser. It has a clean and easy to use interface with a variety of features that make it perfect for creating both simple and complex vector illustrations. Compared with advanced programs like Photoshop, Vectr has a lower learning curve.
Frontify is a software product that provides designers with the ability to, create and manage digital brand assets all in one single location. From logo files and brand guidelines to website banner images and custom templates, you can easily organize and share these assets with in house teams, remote collaborators, and clients.
8. Image optim
Image Optim is an image compression tool that lets you compress images for use on the web without losing quality, so that webpages in your project can load faster! It's a free tool that can be used for Mac OS or Windows, and as an added feature, you have the option to remove EXIF meta data such as camera info, GPS location, or color profile.
Figma is a cloud-based design and prototyping tool that enables designers to collaborate on the creation of digital products, from app designs to presentations, to website mock ups. It works just as well for individuals as it does for startups and Fortune 500 companies. The collaborative nature makes it very easy for teams to create product designs, user interfaces, illustrations, and more.
10. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is a powerful, user-friendly platform that helps you design and prototype websites, mobile apps, and more. With Adobe XD, you can easily create stunning visual designs, wireframes, and prototypes that help you communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. With this software being in the Adobe family, you can take advantage of Adobe Cloud. Adobe XD has everything you need to create beautiful and impactful digital experiences.
Bubble is a visual no-code design software that is used to create pixel perfect desktop web designs and mobile applications without code—you could build a website as powerful as Airbnb or Facebook. Designs in Bubble are created using a "drag-and-drop" interface; and the goal of the company is to make design and prototyping accessible to everyone, even those with no prior coding experience. That’s right, you don’t even need to know what html and css is!
Iconscout is a design asset marketplace that allows designers to purchase icons, illustrations, animations, third party plugins, and more. These assets are used by all design disciplines, whether digital or print. Iconscout has plugins for all several of the popular tools mentioned in this post, which allow you to drag and drop assets without leaving your design tool interface. The marketplaces contains millions of assets, and there is a growing community of designers who are always adding new designs.
13. Untitled UI (for Figma)
Untitled UI is a design system for Figma. The kit contains a massive icon library, a global style system, pre-made components, grid layouts, and so much more. It enables web designers to get started on their design quickly, with everything they need to build a complete design. The company claims that the kit can help designers design a website in minutes instead of weeks!
14. Font Awesome
Font Awesome is a no frills website that provides digital designers direct access to a library of icons to use on their websites or apps. The icons are available to download as SVG and ready to implement and customize into your web projects with some basic coding. In addition to offering icons for free, they provide a larger selection of icon styles with a paid subscription and the ability to upload your own icons.
Onshape is an online 3D CAD (computer aided design) platform that works in the cloud. Used for product design, engineering, and part manufacturing, Onshape helps companies speed up product development and bring products to market faster. Onshape provides real-time collaboration—designers and engineers can work together on the same 3D model, from anywhere, at any time. It allows you to export an array of industry file formats, including STL, which is used for 3D printers and additive manufacturing. This a powerful tool for product designers and can be used for hobbyists and makers.
Created by Autodesk, Fusion 360 is a 3D CAD/CAM (computer aided manufacturing) tool for product and mechanical designers. It offers an integrated workspace that lets you design, simulate, and fabricate your products in a single platform. Fusion 360 also provides real-time collaboration and data management tools, so you can work with colleagues on complex projects.
SolidWorks is the standard in 3D CAD software. It let users to create and edit 3D models. SolidWorks is used in many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and consumer products. It is also used in the manufacturing process of making prototypes and products. SolidWorks has many features that allow users to create complex models and assemblies and is constantly being updated with new features and enhancements.
Blender is a free, open source 3D computer graphics software used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender's features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering into various file formats including .avi and .mkv movies and image sequences such as .png and .jpg images. Learning how to use Blender is not for the faint of heart, as it has a steep learning curve.
19. Shapr 3D
Shapr3D is a user-friendly powerful 3D modeling software that enables you to create complex 3D models with ease. It offers a wide range of features that make it perfect for both beginners and experienced users. Shapr3D is available for macOS, Windows, and iPadOS, so you can work on your 3D models on the go. The software offers all 3D modeling tools for free but with some export limits, and paid tiers with additional features.
<span class="post-section-heading">Photography and video software</span>
20. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom is the photographer’s go-to photo editing software for viewing, organizing, and retouching digital photos. Lightroom provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing and editing digital photos. It provides an extensive set of tools for editing individual photos, including cropping, exposure adjustment, white balance correction, sharpening, and noise reduction. One of the best features is its use of presets which allow you to batch edit. Photographers will always pair Lightroom with Photoshop for the ultimate editing toolkit.
21. Adobe Premiere
Adobe Premiere Pro is a widely used video editing software that enables you to create professional-quality videos. With Premiere Pro, you can edit video and audio, add effects, titles, transitions, and more. Whether you're a beginning YouTuber or a professional video editor, Premiere Pro is one of the best tools for creating stunning videos.
22. Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects is used to create motion graphics and visual effects for film, television, and the web. After Effects has a wide range of features that make it possible to create anything from simple logo animations to complex visual effects like fireballs and lightsabers. There are many different ways to use After Effects, and it all just depends on what you want to achieve with your project!
Cinema4D is an advanced 3D modeling and animation software used by professionals in the film and gaming industry. It is known for its powerful tools and advanced features that allow users to create high-quality 3D models and animations. Adobe Cinema4D has been used in many popular films and video games, such as Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, and Uncharted 4.
Coda is the next-generation spreadsheet designed to make working with data easier, faster, and more enjoyable. With Coda, you can quickly build custom tools without code, and easily collaborate with anyone in your organization. It’s the first shared doc that acts like a real app. In contrast to Google docs, a single Coda doc can contain word documents, spreadsheets with formulas, calendars, and more.
Airtable is a cloud-based, collaborative work management platform that enables organizations to create workflows and get more done. Airtable's flexible, visual platform enables teams to easily create and share workflows, spreadsheets, track progress, and collaborate on projects. It also integrates with a number of popular productivity tools, making it easy for teams to work together.
Miro is a free digital whiteboard collaboration tool that works in the browser. You can use Miro to brainstorm ideas, work on projects, create user flow diagrams, mind maps, and more. It comes equipped with tons of pre-built templates, which allow you to get to work faster. It also integrates with a lot of common design and productivity tools, so you can present your boards to coworkers or clients, and give them the ability to contribute as well.
What Are graphic designs tools?
Graphic design tools help digital designers of all disciplines to create visual design projects. These tools allow designers to create visuals that can be used for business and personal reasons, including print, web, and video. Whether you are drawing on a tablet or a personal computer, by using a robust toolkit, designers have the power to see their creative visions come to fruition.
Digital designers in 2022 will need to be proficient in a variety of graphic design software and web design tools. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, we hope that at least one of these programs will help make your creative process a little bit easier and more efficient.
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