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Best 10 Free & Paid Graphic Design Software in 2022

When starting your business there will come a point when it will be time to choose a graphic design software. This is because graphics are an integral part of starting a business, may it be designing your logo or creating a brochure.

Since every one of the software is varied in so many ways and we know every person has different requirements and skill levels. Choosing the right graphic design software tailored to your needs can get tough. This is where we come in.

This article will help a graphic or a web designer to find exactly what is necessary;

  • Find out which graphics design software is perfect for you
  • Understand how to choose a graphics design software
  • Learn about the top features in the best graphic design software

Coming up is our list and below that is your quick guide, let’s start!

List of the Best 10 Graphic Design Software

Here you will learn about the Top 10 Best Graphics Design Software in the market and their Top features.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the reigning champion of graphic designing software. It is the most widely used program on the market.

This is due to the fact that it comes with a full collection of tools for producing and editing drawings, 3D graphics, and photos.

It can also build online and mobile apps, as well as reproduce real-life artwork and edit movies. In essence, this software is utilized to bring any concept to life.

Since It has a steep learning curve and absolute beginners should avoid it.

Top Features:

  • The raster image tracing function –  It allows you to turn pixelated pictures into editable vectors with a single click.
  • It can be used to create almost anything. From modest logos and banners to large posters and packaging.
  • Adding movements, altering facial characteristics, and adding amusing filters and effects are all examples of intelligent editing.
  • Easy organizing, including auto-tagging to help you discover photographs faster.

Pros:

  • Ability to create 3D Design.
  • A stock library that is integrated.
  • Capabilities for color grading on a professional level.
  • Transferring files between applications is a breeze.
  • Editing multiple picture formats is simple.

Price: Free 7 day Trial. 3 different paid plans to choose from. Try Adobe Photoshop for Free Here

2. Canva

Canva is drag-and-drop graphic design software that allows even non-designers to simply and rapidly create designs.

It is your greatest buddy if you have no prior expertise with design or are just getting started and want something that is highly beginner-friendly.

It has a large collection of templates that can be used to make invitations, book covers, presentations, marketing materials, and more.

While Canva isn’t as sophisticated as Photoshop or Illustrator, it will more than suffice if you’re looking for a quick and easy design.

Top Features:

  • Most of its features are completely free.
  • Provides Android and iOS applications that allow you to design rapidly.
  • It offers a clutter-free interface and a full-screen view. This helps you to concentrate on what you’re seeking to do.
  • It’s a basic application with enough features and functions to enhance your creativity and help you create outstanding pieces of art.

Pros:

  • The majority of its features are free to use for life
  • No prior experience needed
  • A huge section of high-quality templates
  • Accessibility from any computer and device

Price: Free to use version available. Advanced paid plans have 2 types – Pro and Enterprise. Includes a 30-day free trial. Try Canva for Free Here

3. Adobe Illustrator.  

Adobe Illustrator is a graphics design software that is used to create advanced logos, images, and icons. It’s also a fantastic typographic tool.

Individual characters may be edited, effects can be added, and styles can be managed.

Experts use this for online and mobile graphics, building animations, book illustrations, logo designing, packaging, and more.

The Adobe Creative Cloud offers an excellent collaborative option.

Because it is vector-based, it can be used to generate visuals for everything from mobile phones to huge billboards. As you can see, it isn’t really aimed at beginners.

Top Features:

  • Has a dynamic interface allowing you to customize your dashboard. The toolbars’ size, location, tab lock, and opacity may all be adjusted.
  • When filling or choosing an item, it allows you to reduce the space between form shapes.
  • It has a limitless canvas size, solely limited by the device’s technological constraints.
  • It includes a variety of brushes that are similar in shape and function to many of the conventional brushes seen in real life.

Pros:

  • Easy user interface
  • Has smart guides
  • Supports precise editing
  • Wide variety of tools

Price: 7 Day Trial available, followed by 3 types of monthly payment options. Try Adobe Illustrator for Free Here

4. CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is professional graphic design software that uses all of the tools you’ll need for rapid vector drawing, picture editing, page layout, and typography.

There are platform-specific variants of this drawing software. It allows for a smooth transition between desktop and online applications.

As a result, no matter what device you choose to create with, the application will always perform to its maximum capacity.

There are a plethora of functionality and customization options and only people with prior experience should choose this.

Top Features:

  • It gives you access to a large library of royalty-free material. Clipart, high-resolution digital artwork, graphics, and templates are just a few examples.
  • The MS Surface Dial and other stylus and wheel devices are fully supported.
  • Shadow effects manipulator, vector mosaic builder, and automated symmetrical design are just a few of the time-saving capabilities.
  • Vector illustrations via a web browser.

Pros: 

  • Payment options are varied.
  • Exporting files in up to 48 different file kinds is possible.
  • UI environment that may be customized
  • The shift from desktop to tablet mode is seamless.

Price: Available in two options: 1. One Time payment 2. Annual Payment. There is a free 15 days trial available.

5. Inkscape

Inkscape, like many of the other top graphic design software choices, employs the SVG format as its main file format.

This powerful editor supports many sophisticated features that aren’t usually accessible in other software, such as alpha blending, cloned objects, and markers.

With full support for multiple color modes, this is a suitable option for Illustrator both for print and online design.

Plus, despite the interface being a little simpler than Illustrator’s, it is still possible to create very intricate artwork.

Hence, in terms of experience required Inkscape is a good middle ground.

Top Features:

  • It has about 800 pre-built backdrops and tones that are free to use.
  • Allows for extremely fine control over bright colors.
  • It has sophisticated features, such as the Immersion blender, P3 Wide Color for accuracy, and an endless palette library.
  • The software can export your work to a variety of formats, including PSD, while keeping all layers, groups, and mixes intact. This will undoubtedly ensure the integrity of various formats.

Pros:

  • Has rare to find features like advanced grids, snapping, and diagonal alignment
  • Easy to use
  • Regular updates
  • Easy personalization of code

Price: Limited Free version available. Otherwise one-time payment.

6. GIMP – Best Free Graphic Design Software

GIMP is a GNU graphic design software that is free to use. It’s an open-source, advanced editor that works on any operating system.

You may also modify the source code and disseminate your modifications to a large user community.

High-quality picture alteration, creative artwork production, and graphic design are all possible with it.

For mock-ups, you may also create icons, logos, and user interface components. It also allows users to personalize their user interface.

This way, you may customize your workspace to meet your specific requirements and tastes.

Top Features:

  • Compatibility across several platforms. As a result, GIMP may be installed on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers.
  • Intelligent scaling may be used to create grid patterns and resize components. This comes in handy for generating backdrop effects.
  • The user interface is clear and easy to use.
  • There are a plethora of plugins available.

Pros:

  • Because GIMP is an Open Source software, you may modify its source code and add or remove features.
  • You may seek support from online forums with thousands of GIMP users.
  • For a free application, there are a lot of tools.
  • Tutorials for every feature.

Price: Totally Free

7. Clip Studio Paint

This sophisticated application is available for free and has a number of advanced features. For starters, Clip Studio Paint is strong enough to handle a 100-megapixel canvas while keeping the zoomed-in feel of traditional drawing.

In addition, it converts your camera into a scanner. As a result, you may ink and color your line work.

Predictive Stroke is a feature in Clip Studio Paint that corrects and smoothes out forms. The best part is that you don’t need prior experience to use this software to its capacity either.

Top Features:

  • It is a memory-efficient graphic editor that uses fewer resources, allowing it to be installed on older or slower machines.
  • The software enables the addition of timestamps, cinematic sequences, background music, and soundtrack to create animation.
  • It comes with a slew of useful features, including customizable shortcuts, grids, and file type compatibility.
  • You may export your work in a variety of formats, including PSD.

Pros:

  • Sports a dashboard that is simple to use and navigate.
  • It has a fully customizable user interface.
  • For Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, cross-platform portability is available.
  • Provides keyboard shortcuts that are easy to use.

Price: Only paid options available.

8. Affinity Designer

This is a powerful graphics and drawing software that can be used on both Windows and Mac computers. It is known for its speed, as it can pan and zoom at 60 frames per second and one million times, respectively.

You can also preview live contours, effects, mixture mode, transforms, curves, and adjustments thanks to its speed.

No matter your computer hardware, you’ll be able to add all of the minor details to your graphics.

You can also switch between vector and raster graphics with ease.

Top Features:

  • Thousands of objects are known to be handled without lagging.
  • Affinity can zoom up to 1,000,000% of the time. Yes, this isn’t a typing error! It has the ability to zoom up to a million times.
  • It offers the same features and file formats regardless of which device it is used on, resulting in a consistent user experience.

Pros:

  • LiveSketch is a tool that will aid in the creation of sketches rapidly.
  • Beginner’s friendly.
  • For designers on a budget, it’s powerful enough.
  • On-screen guides that change as you move around the screen

Price: 90 Day free trial, 3 paid plans available

9. Visme

You’re in luck if you’re looking for an easy-to-use graphics software because Visme surely meets the bill.

It is a wonderful choice for non-professionals because of its user-friendly platform. With a few short clicks, the software provides interactive flowcharts, icons, and other widgets to assist in visualizing data.

Presentations and infographics to digital marketing graphics are among the categories of ready-made layouts.

It also has a collaborative tool to help you include others in your work. Hence making it a great option for using it as a team for simpler projects.

Top Features:

  • It has a core tool that can handle documents of any size or complexity and thousands of objects with ease.
  • In particular – The brush blush pen, Norton paint, charcoal, and Texture pencils are some unique brush styles no other software has.
  • It has a wide range of possibilities like logo, banner, poster, t-shirt, and gift card design.

Pros:

  • Saves and synchronizes all work across platforms automatically.
  • Import and export of settings
  • It supports vector layers, allowing for easy resizing and editing of lines.
  • The ability to create and interact in one location

Price: Free 15 day Trial, after that 3 types of paid subscriptions are available.

10. Sketch

With this Mac-only application, you can create graphics and animations. It may also be used to create mobile apps, websites, and product mock-ups.

It comes with a large number of addons that allow you to personalize your workflow.

Sketch’s capabilities are substantially extended by these third-party applications, which range from prototyping to asset management.

It may be used to modify vector and bitmap objects as well.

Keep in mind it is not for picture editing, it’s ideal for creating icons and user interfaces for websites and mobile applications.

Top Features:

  • It features ‘How To’ instructions on the screen to help newcomers.
  • It allows you to import customizable 3D figures that exactly match the project. You can then sketch any position or angle with ease.
  • It has AI color creation with deep learning technology; all you have to do is select a suggested color for specific portions of the job

Pros:

  • Adobe products are integrated.
  • You can save your work in a variety of formats, including JPEG and PSD.
  • There are several add ons created by the public.
  • PNG files may be exported from any tier or block.

Price: 14 days free trial. One-Time or Monthly payment plans are available.

What is Graphic Design Software

Graphic design software is an application that will allow you to modify pictures and designs. This software lets you edit, develop, and publish your content.

Some software supports 2D designs, others allow for three-dimensional representation.

Nowadays the best of them also include collaboration capabilities that are ideal for design teams.

These platforms are utilized in a wide range of sectors, including advertising and game development. They’re also common in architectural and construction designs.

They are, however, mostly employed in media-related sectors like film and marketing.

Plus, they can also be utilized to make product prototypes and even beautiful artwork.

Some graphic design software can get so advanced that they include facilities of a project management software too.

Types of Graphic Design

Some graphic design software includes many features that designers will utilize others only serve one function.

For example, Both game creators and business consultants will require visuals for their work. One set of requirements, however, differs from the other.

They are divided into three groups depending on their purpose:

  • Publishing software: These applications enable designers to produce visual communication materials such as page layouts, business cards, and brochures for use on the web or in print.
  • Photo Editing software: Designers use photo editing software to make changes to digital pictures, drawings, and prints. Cropping undesirable sections, changing brightness and contrast, replacing appearance, and other functions are included.
  • Drawing Software: These tools, often known as drawing software, assist designers in the creation of art and illustrations.

They enable exact dimensioning and placement, and they’re simple to transfer to other systems.

It’s worth mentioning that all the 10 best graphic design software options listed above will assist you in publishing your work online.

Must-have features of Graphic Design Software

Graphic design software comes with a variety of functions. However, there are certain features that the graphic design software you choose should have.

In this part, we’ll go over some of them;

  • Text Editor – This tool allows you to create text and characters in many languages using various fonts, sizes, colors, and other effects. It also lets you play with various text characteristics like forms and kerning.
  • Image Editor – A module that lets you modify pictures and graphics, which is generally found in both low-end and high-end software. Color filters, textures, and other effects are among them.
  • Drawing – You can draw freehand with your mouse or digital pen on almost all graphic design systems. Drawing software solutions, on the other hand, provide the greatest capabilities to allow you to produce realistic photos, artworks, and models.
  • Templates – This module provides you with a variety of pre-built examples for what you want to build. Ready-made brochures, ebooks, periodicals, and business cards for editing are all examples of templates.
  • Media Database – A collection of royalty-free pictures and design tools is frequently included with graphic design software. Cookie-cutter shapes, lines, brushes, pencils, and other design tools are just a few examples.

How to Choose The Perfect Graphic Design Software

With so many alternatives available, deciding on the best graphic design software tailored for your needs will be difficult we know.

Hence, as promised earlier here are three factors to consider that might help you make a more informed decision:

  • Features Needed – You should first and foremost look at what features these software offer based on your requirements and the sort of work you want to perform so that you can make the best decision.
  • Cost – Make sure you find a balance between price and functionality, and don’t spend too much on a product simply because it’s popular. There are always alternative free or less expensive options available.
  • Usability – What’s more essential than the design itself is how you’ll use it once you’ve completed your tasks.
  • Examine how you can export these images if you can readily share them online and if you can print them without sacrificing quality, depending on your demands.

It is important to consider these three factors while choosing your graphic design software. This will help you in narrowing down your search and assist you to find the correct one.

Tips and Tricks to Find Best Graphic Design Software As Per Needs

Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you decide;

  • Make a list of what you’ll need the software for and how many people will utilize it in your organization.
  • Check to see if the software solution is compatible with your current devices.
  • Sign up for free trials and demonstrations to try out alternative options. Examine the user-friendliness of the product.
  • Make a payment scheme cost forecast and choose the best ones that match your budget.
  • Look for sentiment, problems, and defects in online user communities.
  • View user-generated material and instructive videos. This will give you an idea of what the program can accomplish for you.

Summary

We hope the above guide has been helpful for you to learn about the best graphic design software, its types, top features, prices, etc.

However, we want to help you further.

Here is a one-line answer for the Best Graphic Design Software category wise;

  • Canva: Best For Beginners
  • Affinity Designer: Best For Intermediates
  • CorelDraw: Best For Experts
  • Adobe Photoshop CC: Best Paid
  • Canva & GIMP: Best Free
  • Adobe Illustrator: Best For Motion Editing
  • Adobe Photoshop CC: Best For Picture Editing
  • Inkscape: Best For Drawing

This is the roundup of what we feel to be the Best Graphics Design Software for each kind.

Conclusion

In case you are confused, please remember that even the most basic graphic design software can assist you in simple projects such as logo creation, creating advertisements, etc.

We hope you have had fun and learned a few things from reading this article. We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming graphic projects!