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Best Graphic Design Tools

Written by: James Wan  | August 20, 2021

Graphic design is visual communication.

Designers are responsible for enhancing the perception of their audience by creating attractive images that are both informative and aesthetically pleasing. 

A designer might use color, illustrations, photographs, and typography as expression tools for carrying out this function.

Done right, graphic design is used to convey a sense of identity, place, or message - and of course to drive emotion that helps marketing, sales, and drive culture.

Our Top Picks Of Best Graphic Design Tools & Software

Hardware

Creative Resources

Software

Review Of The Best Graphic Design Hardware From Our Research

Best Computer For Graphic Design

A Mac computer is the best computer to use for graphic design. It has excellent color accuracy and displays high-quality graphics without distortion. 

A Mac provides good color accuracy, which is important because it allows you to see things more accurately when designing them. A Mac also does not distort images when scaling them up or down in size as many other computers do. 

Best Hard Drive For Graphic Design

SALE!
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD (MZ-V7S1T0B/AM)
  • INNOVATIVE V-NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology, the 970 EVO...
  • BREAKTHROUGH READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of...
  • PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION AND DATA SECURITY: Seamless cloning and file transfers...
  • SUPERIOR HEAT DISSIPATION: Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically...

Any type of solid-state hard drive is the best hard drive for graphic design because it's faster and has fewer moving parts. This also makes it less prone to errors as a result of physical fragility or electromagnetic interference. 

The solid-state hard drive will also allow you to work more quickly because it has faster writing speeds and allows for more multitasking.

Best Tablet and Stylus For Graphic Design

SALE!
2021 Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 1TB) - Space Gray
  • Apple M1 chip for next-level performance
  • Stunning 11-inch Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide...
  • TrueDepth camera system featuring Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
  • 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner for immersive AR
SALE!
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
  • Compatible with iPad mini (6th generation), iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Pro...
  • Apple Pencil (2nd generation) brings your work to life. With imperceptible lag,...
  • It makes painting, sketching, doodling, and even note-taking better than ever.
  • It magnetically attaches to iPad mini (6th generation), iPad Pro and iPad Air,...

The best tablet and stylus for graphic design are the Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro has excellent color accuracy, which will allow you to see your work more clearly and easily. 

It also allows you to create high-resolution graphics without distortion when scaling images up or down in size. The Apple Pencil is also a great tool because it allows you to draw smoothly and accurately with precision. This stylus will allow you to get the maximum results out of your drawing and editing tasks without any issues.

Best Smartphone For Graphic Design

The best smartphone for graphic design is the iPhone XS Max. This device has excellent color accuracy.

The color accuracy means that you will be able to see your work more clearly and easily without any distortion when scaling images up or down in size. It also has a wide gamut P3 display, which allows for fantastic color reproduction and a large viewing angle for people to share content with one another. 

The iPhone XS Max also boasts an A12 Bionic processor, which makes multitasking fast and easy because it can render graphics much quicker than other smartphones that are on the list.

Best Camera For Graphic Design

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Full frame 243 megapixel CMOS image sensor and expeed 4 image processor
  • Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
  • Built in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with the WT 5a plus UT 1...
  • Shoot up to 65 fps at full resolution frame size (pixels): 1920 x 1080

The best camera for graphic design is the Nikon D750. 

This camera has a full-frame CMOS sensor that allows you to take photos and videos with high quality. It also has an ISO range that ranges from 64 to 12,800, which means it can take pictures in nearly any environment. 

The Nikon D750 also has a 39 point AF system and an EXPEED 4 image processor, which will allow you to work quickly and easily without worrying about quality because it will have little distortion or errors. The camera also has video capability that supports 1080p at 30 fps or 60 fps, depending on what you need. 

Review Of The Best Creative Resources From Our Research

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing graphic design creative resources is the amount of experience you have. 

If you are new to graphic design, you should be trying to find resources that will be suitable for a beginner as opposed to if you have years of experience and know exactly what you're looking for. You should also try to find resources that are compatible with your budget.

Best Sketchbook or Notebook For Graphic Design

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Full frame 243 megapixel CMOS image sensor and expeed 4 image processor
  • Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
  • Built in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with the WT 5a plus UT 1...
  • Shoot up to 65 fps at full resolution frame size (pixels): 1920 x 1080

If you are looking for the best sketchbook or notebook for graphic design, then one of your best bets is to choose a Moleskine sketchbook. 

Moleskine has been around making these types of products since 1988 and has an emphasis on quality and durability. These types of sketchbooks and notebooks have a soft cover with acid-free paper, so they will last longer than others. 

They also offer a variety of different sizes, styles, and colors, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs. 

Best Pantone Swatch Book For Graphic Design

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Pantone Formula Guide Set and Color Book, GP1601A, Latest...
  • INDISPENSABLE COLOR REFERENCE: Quickly select, communicate, and compare colors...
  • DESIGNED FOR 2020: The Pantone Formula Guide includes 294 new, trend, and...
  • ENHANCED PRINTING: These colors have been designed with an enhanced printing...
  • HIGH-QUALITY COLOR FAN GUIDE: Printing on coated and uncoated paper stock, the...

A graphic designer will want to find a Pantone swatch book that has enough room for all of the different colors they are going to need but does not take up too much space. 

The Pantone TPX Swatch Book 36-Page is perfect for this because it comes in 48 different colors and takes up less space in your bag than other swatch books. It also includes a light table which can be helpful when you're looking at the color accurately.

Best Graphics Repository For Graphic Design

We mentioned it earlier, but the best graphic repository for graphic design is Mockplus. There are many benefits to using this repository, including its interactive components and built-in prototyping tool.

Mockplus also offers a variety of icons that can be used in your designs and prototypes to make them even better. They also have a library of different types of elements that you can use in your designs without any issues.

It's an awesome tool because it allows you to create interactive prototypes before starting out on the graphics so you can start designing something even before you get started on it.

Snag your quote for Mockplus.

Best Design Course For Graphic Design

Graphic designers that are new will be able to find the best design courses at GoSkills. There are many reasons why design courses at GoSkills are the best courses to learn from.

First off, they are focused solely on teaching about design and design principles and how you can improve your skills in it. If you’re new to graphic design, this is perfect as it will help you start your graphic design career.

They also have a variety of different courses that teach new skills, so you're not just learning about something you already know. 

Most importantly, they offer lifetime access, so even if you aren't satisfied with your course, it won't matter because you'll still have access to everything, which will allow for unlimited learning!

Review Of The Best Graphic Design Software From Our Research

Adobe Photoshop

Simply put, Adobe Photoshop is the king of all graphic design programs. For graphic designers, it's the one program that they need to have or at least have an expert level understanding of how to operate it.

It's compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac platforms, making it one of the best graphic design tools.

Photoshop is an industry-standard photo editing software that every designer needs to master. It comes with a wealth of powerful image editing tools that allow designers to manipulate their graphics in a number of different ways. 

Photoshop makes a designer’s job much more efficient and can cut down on their workload. Its advanced features are unmatched by any other graphic design software, and frequent updates to its software ensure that designers are always getting the best from Adobe.

Key Features:

  • Can work with multiple layers.
  • Easily manipulate photos by erasing or 'cutting out' parts of the photo.
  • Enhanced features like adjustment layers, transparency, and blend modes.
  • Ability to import a wide variety of graphic format files, such as JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and more.

Pros:

  • Layers allow you to combine or work on images separately.
  • Adjustment layers, transparency, and blend modes are heavily used functions.
  • Compatible on both Windows and Mac computers.
  • It offers the most comprehensive editing tools for manipulating graphics.
  • Regular and often frequent updates to the software.

Cons:

  • The steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Requires significant investment of time to become an expert at using it.

Pricing Plans:

The best graphic design software is not free, nor is it cheap either. The price of Photoshop depends on the plan you choose to purchase.

For example, the Photography Plan costs $9.99 per month ($119.88 annually), while the regular Photoshop plan costs $20.99 per month ($251.88 annually).

Professional designers are also able to get access to Photoshop but also InDesign and Illustrator by purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud package. This plan costs $52.99 per month and gives you access to over 20 Adobe programs, free fonts, cloud storage space, and more.

Snag your quote for Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a program used for creating professional-looking documents like brochures, flyers, and magazines. Like Photoshop, InDesign is the best graphic design software when designing for print. 

With InDesign's Layout, Type & Lettering panels, you can adjust type on the fly with Character Styles, Fonts & Paragraph Styles. You can also quickly drag and drop content to create new pages in your document without ever leaving your document window.

Key Features:

  • Clean and Easy-to-See Layout - Set up the page size, orientation, and other important aspects of your design.
  • Working with Text - Change fonts, size, color, and more in text frames.
  • Graphics - Drag graphics into the document to use them on any page.
  • Page View - See how your design looks by previewing it in different sizes.

Pros:

  • Best graphic and text editor for print-focused documents.
  • Easy to manipulate your designs into any print-format document.
  • The drag and drop feature is helpful for creating new pages without leaving your document window.
  • Intuitive and easy to adjust the type on the fly with the Character Styles, Fonts & Paragraph Styles.

Cons:

  • Difficult to convert from print-focused design into web-friendly or digital document formats.
  • Lack of templates for quick design projects.
  • No photo editing features.

Pricing Plans:

Like Photoshop, InDesign offers different pricing tiers.

InDesign’s pricing ranges from $19.99 to $31.49 per month, and you have the option of paying either monthly or annually.

Snag your quote for Adobe InDesign.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite

CorelDraw Graphics Suite is a design application that includes the latest technology and improved tools. It has a user-friendly interface, is compatible with Windows operating systems, and includes Corel's exclusive Transform Grabber. 

You can use the application to create flyers, logos, posters, or any other design. It also includes various new advanced graphic functions like support for scalable vector graphics (SVG), dynamic linking of objects and images, and a tool for creating designs in 2D projections on complex surfaces that are similar to an architectural blueprint.

Key Features:

  • Features industry-standard graphics formats such as AI and PSD.
  • Supports user-created plugins like the Advanced Text Renderer plugin, which extends the application's capabilities.
  • Supports bitmap images and SVG vector graphics, integrates with other CorelDraw applications.
  • Supports 3D modeling with Rhinoceros, PhotoPaint, and Draw X4.
  • Includes advanced features such as vertical flow control of multicolumn text frames.
  • Fairly easy to learn and use for beginner and novice designers.

Pros:

  • The interface is user-friendly and easy to use.
  • Can import a wide range of file formats.
  • Ability to use third-party plugins.

Cons:

  • Graphic files can be damaged when worked on in a different version of CorelDraw Graphics Suite.
  • Requires a powerful computer to operate it at optimal levels.
  • Customer support is not very helpful.

Pricing Plans:

The CorelDraw Graphics Suite is available for purchase on the company's website for $499 for a one-year subscription.

You can also download a free, 30-day trial to see how this software works and if it's right for you.

Snag your quote for CorelDraw.

Inkscape

Inkscape is a free vector software graphics editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. 

Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) that are not supported in Adobe Illustrator. 

Inkscape can import various file formats such as PostScript and PDF, which makes it useful for editable raster graphics (e.g., graphics in Adobe Illustrator files), but its main strength lies in the ability to work with vector graphics. 

Key Features:

  • Path creation and editing functions: Including bezier curves, ellipses, rectangles, etc.
  • Path operations: Including Boolean operations like union and difference.
  • Text editing capabilities: Includes horizontal & vertical text options as well as support for true type fonts.
  • SVG file format support: This allows the importing of various other formats such as PostScript and PDF.
  • It supports transparency and can render sophisticated effects.

Pros:

  • Free and open source means anyone can use this software.
  • It supports transparency and can render sophisticated effects.
  • It can be used for various applications such as print, web design, and illustrations.

Cons:

  • Developed by a small team of developers, so progress is slow.
  • Has a steeper learning curve.

Pricing Plans:

Inkscape is currently free to use.

Snag your quote for Inkscape.

Sketch

Sketch is a vector graphics design app that is available on almost every operating system. It's known for its incredible ease of use and powerful drawing tools.

It's been designed to feel like a lightweight, bare-bones application that can be more stress-free for designers. Sketch offers the ability to create shapes using paths, draw with pixel-perfect precision and even create imagery using Boolean operations.

You can also bring your designs into other programs like Photoshop when needed.

Key Features:

  • Vector shape tool offers the ability to draw paths, create shapes and even change the dimensions of images without losing quality.
  • Pixel perfect precision enables you to draw with careful precision and use a variety of effects.
  • Powerful drawing tools that are easy to use.
  • Real-time feedback - Sketch is designed to feel like a lightweight, bare-bones application which results in a more tactile experience for the user.
  • Plugins and add ons can be downloaded within the app or via the GitHub page.
  • Export to PDF allows you to quickly export your work.

Pros:

  • Compatible with almost every operating system and type of computer.
  • Can export to many different file formats.
  • A clean and intuitive user interface makes it less overwhelming to learn how to use.
  • It offers the ability to change shapes and images dimensions without losing quality.

Cons:

  • Has a slight learning curve.
  • It can be rather buggy when it comes to exporting files (this has been improved, however, and feature updates are regularly released).
  • You cannot paste images into the software. You have to copy them onto your computer first, which can cause problems as sometimes this fails.

Pricing Plans:

With a starting price of $99 per year, Sketch is a cheaper alternative to other big-name design programs.

Snag your quote for Sketch.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a professional graphics editor that makes the work of professional designers easier and more enjoyable. It is used to create both two-dimensional or three-dimensional vector art and illustrations.

It is also often used to create logos, pictures, typefaces, posters, greetings cards, and web graphics. 

It allows graphic designers to work at high speeds without sacrificing quality or creativity. The software makes it possible to create different effects like 3D objects, shadows, gradients, and blends.

Key Features:

  • Vector drawing - create designs from scratch, and modify or change them without any loss of quality.
  • Transformations - perform geometric transformations like scaling, skewing, rotating, and warping.
  • Great brush selection - over 25 brushes available that can apply artistic texture, distort images, and create shadows for a more realistic effect.
  • 3D rendering allows designers to incorporate 3D objects within their designs.
  • Gradients and blend modes allow professional designers to internally colorize illustrations or blur out certain parts of an image.

Pros:

  • The one-to-one ratio enables designers to work without sacrificing quality or creativity.
  • Vector drawing provides the best quality offered in illustration software.
  • A most comprehensive collection of brushes for designers to enhance their images.
  • Strong and advanced 3D rendering capability.
  • Can make graphics as scalable as you prefer.

Cons:

  • A one-to-one ratio may cause graphic designers to work at a slower pace.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • Transformations may also cause graphic designers to lose precision and detail in their work.

Pricing Plans:

Similar to Photoshop and InDesign, Adobe Illustrator also follows a subscription model.

The price ranges from $20.99 per month to $31.49 per month, and the price depends on if you pay monthly or annually.

Snag your quote for Adobe Illustrator.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is designed to be fast and intuitive while also providing powerful functionality such as SVG import, smart shape building, and masking.

Affinity Designer comes with Affinity Photo, built for professional photo editing. It’s packed with an arsenal of tools that allow you to make quick and precise adjustments to your images. 

It also includes a variety of features to enhance your workflow with batch processing and a Photoshop compatible plugin.

Key Features:

  • SVG import allows you to work with print-ready artwork without needing to recreate it.
  • Masking is very easy in the design process.
  • Using smart objects allows you to build up and create complex designs with layers and layer groups that are controlled by a master group.

Pros:

  • Is designed for speed and efficiency.
  • The masking feature makes it very easy to work with layouts.
  • Unmatched zoom function (up to 1,000,000%).
  • The stroke and fill function can be applied multiple times to one graphic, which gives it more layers and depth.

Cons:

  • Does not have the accessibility to use scripts.
  • The user interface is not as intuitive as other design software, and it might take some time to get used to it.
  • Unable to export AI files.

Pricing Plans:

Affinity Designer costs $54.99 if you use a Windows or Mac computer, and it costs $21.99 if you want to use it on an iPad.

Snag your quote for Affinity Designer.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, conversion between different file formats, and more specialized tasks. It has many capabilities. With GIMP, you can create simple or complex illustrations, add text, paint on a canvas with many different natural media brushes, create 3D animations, modify digital photos, and much more.

GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop and has been reviewed by many professionals, including graphic practitioners, writers in online publications, and educators who appreciate the functionality of this free tool. 

Key Features:

  • It is a free, open-source platform that anybody can use.
  • Extensive file format support.
  • GIMP includes layers functionality to supply professional-level image manipulation to create different parts of the whole picture.
  • It can use across different operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Excellent multi-language support (including right-to-left languages via UTF8).
  • Variable preview size to see how the final result will look like when printed out or displayed on screen or in a slide show.

Pros:

  • It is a feature-rich alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
  • It contains all the basic tools a graphic artist might need, including a wide variety of filters, resources, and brushes.
  • It is completely free to use.
  • Very easy to use, especially if you’re familiar with Photoshop.

Cons:

  • Difficult to make gradients with GIMP because it doesn't have the gradient tool.
  • GIMP's interface can be confusing to a beginner or novice graphic designer.

Pricing Plans:

As we mentioned already, GIMP is free graphic design software.

Snag your quote for GIMP.

Xara Designer Pro X

Xara Designer Pro X is powerful yet affordable design software that delivers a complete range of functionality for graphic designers.

Xara Designer Pro X is used by both graphic designers and web designers. This graphics software was designed for creating vector graphics from photographs.

This program has all the tools a graphic artist could need to produce original artwork or reproduce any kind of image, including line, shape, text, and gradient fill.

Key Features:

  • Auto-Width & Height allows you to create a document based on the print size you specify.
  • Bring in Line Art enables you to transform scanned artwork into vectors.
  • Export Vector Files means you can easily change the type of file or size for your final output.
  • Sketch graphics with realistic pen strokes with the freehand drawing tool.
  • The Object Envelope Tool allows you to create irregular shapes.
  • Simply trace an area using the one-stroke pen tool for instant graphic designs.

Pros:

  • Affordably priced software.
  • Somewhat easy to use software for graphic designers and web designers.
  • You have access to over 1,000 vector shapes, fonts, ribbons, templates that are all accessible in the program.
  • Compatible with Windows and macOS systems

Cons:

  • Does not offer an infinite amount of resources and fonts.
  • Is not compatible with some external graphic editing programs, such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW.
  • Difficult to find specific, user-generated tutorials that teach you how to use certain functions with Xara Designer Pro X.

Pricing Plans:

The price of Xara Designer Pro X is a one-time cost of $299.

A word of caution is to not confuse the Xara Designer Pro X with the Xara Designer Pro+, which charges customers a monthly rate.  

Snag your quote for Xara Designer Pro X.

Canva

screenshot of canva photo editing scuba lessons piece

Canva is a design tool that makes it easy for beginners to use. It is the best graphic design software for anyone that has next to no experience creating graphics. You can create designs in minutes and do it all from your computer.

Whether you're making presentations, creating artwork for blog posts, or sharing social media images, Canva is the perfect design tool for you.

Plus, with Canva's free-to-use and professionally designed templates, stock photos, and icons, anyone can make an amazing design without needing expensive software or skills.

Key Features:

  • Free to use.
  • Create designs in minutes without the need for expensive programs or technical skills.
  • Offers a robust collection of free templates, stock photos, and icons to help anyone create a graphic quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Anybody can use it to make quick graphics.
  • It only requires an internet connection to use Canva.
  • Provides a good selection of templates to choose from to help create your graphics.
  • Can create a professionally designed graphic in as little as a few minutes.

Cons:

  • It doesn't work offline for free plan users.
  • It lacks the premium image quality you would get from Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
  • It lacks most of the powerful features that a more comprehensive graphic design software possesses.

Pricing Plans:

There are two pricing plans for Canva. The free version and the paid version.

The free version, which is Canva's most popular plan, includes everything you need to design your first professional graphic without spending a penny.

You can also upgrade to the Canva Pro version for access to more templates, stock photos, icons, and fonts, all for one low, $12.99 monthly price.

Snag your quote for Canva.

Buyer's Guide for Graphic Design Tools

What Are The Benefits of Graphic Design Tools?

Graphic design tools are all the things that a designer needs in order to create images. These tools might include design programs, brushes, fonts, textures, etc.

Graphic design tools can help you become a better designer by providing you with the best equipment for the job. The best design resources will make your work easier and quicker to do, which is sometimes more than half the battle.

1. Flexibility and Scalability

One of the best things about graphic design tools is their flexibility. The most effective tools will be flexible enough to meet all your needs in the creative process for design. 

This means that you don't need to be limited with anyone's design program, and you can work on both large and small projects as needed.

Flexibility also offers scalability, which is a huge benefit when it comes to designing. You can create images at any size without worrying about losing detail or having distortion because you don't need to go through a long, laborious step-by-step process.

2. Cost Efficient

Another massive benefit is cost efficiency. Designers should be able to use any type of tool and not have to worry about spending an exorbitant amount of money on one software program. 

This means that you don't need to buy the most expensive version of Photoshop to make it easier when working with photos.

3. Branding

Tools and resources that offer a branding function can help you establish your brand. 

This is one of the best benefits because it allows you to create an understanding of your company or product in a way that isn't possible otherwise.

4. Increased Engagement

Increased engagement is another huge benefit. Many people don't realize it, but when you use graphic design tools, they create an emotional connection with the consumer, and this connection helps to increase brand loyalty.

What Tools Does A Graphic Designer Need?

A designer needs design hardware, software, and today, an internet connection. They will likely also need a mouse and keyboard. 

There are many other types of tools that might include things such as brushes, fonts, textures, and more.

Hardware

Hardware can be expensive, but one of the best things about it is its ability to provide scalability. Aside from the graphic design software itself, hardware is the most important thing to have.

Different Types of Graphic Design Hardware

  • Computer - The computer is the most important piece of hardware you will need. Graphic design programs are only as good as your computer, which means that you need a good one to be able to work efficiently.  A good, modern computer will also allow you to easily scale your images and reduce distortion.
  • Reliable Hard Drive - A reliable hard drive is another important piece of hardware for designers. A reliable hard drive provides a non-distorted image when scaling and ensures that you are able to work on multiple projects at once. It can also store all the images, fonts, textures, and other documents so that they can be accessed at any time.
  • Graphics Tablet and Stylus - A graphics tablet and stylus are important for graphic design because they allow you to work on the computer without using a mouse or keyboard. They offer a hands-on approach that many people prefer. This is especially true if the person has an injury or disability which prevents them from using a traditional computer. It also offers more precision when working with graphics.
  • Smartphone - A smartphone is important for designers because it allows them to work onsite with clients. The benefits of using a smartphone include better communication and reduced wear and tear on your laptop or computer. 
  • Camera - A good camera is necessary because it allows you to take photos of your work. This will allow you to share your work with clients and customers in the most professional way possible. In addition, it will allow you to create a portfolio that demonstrates exactly what kind of work you do.

Creative Resources

Graphic design creative resources are basically anything you can use to help make your work or workflow better. These are different from hardware in that they may not necessarily be a specific piece of equipment.

Different Types of Graphic Design Creative Resources

  • Sketchbook or Notebook - A sketchbook or notebook are both important resources for graphic designers. Sketchbooks, for example, may be used to draw inspiration from or draw out their ideas which they can then use to create a finished product.  A good notebook is also useful because it allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas in a more organized manner. You can also use the notes that you take to create better graphics later on if you choose not to throw them away when you're done.
  • Pantone Swatch Book - A Pantone swatch book is a helpful, creative resource because it can help you find the perfect colors for your project. It has 48 different shades of red, green, and blue, so it can be used to create a more accurate color representation of your designs. 
  • Graphic Repositories - A graphic repository is a place that houses a wide inventory of different elements that designers may find helpful. Mockplus is one of the best repositories available to graphic designers. It offers a great library of different types of interactive components and icons which can be used in your designs and prototypes without any issues. 
  • Design Courses - Graphic design courses are really helpful because they teach you about the fundamental principles of design. You will learn important concepts such as layout, typography, color theory, and aesthetics, to name a few. It also teaches you the different best practices that designers should follow as well as what they are doing wrong in their work. This is really beneficial because you will be able to see what mistakes you are making in your own work so that you can improve on them.

Software

Graphic design software is what the designer will use to actually create their work, this is similar to photo editing software.

Different Types of Graphic Design Softwares

  • Offline Graphic Design Software - Offline graphic design software is where the design software is stored on the computer and is limited to the devices you use to work on it. The graphics are saved on your device and are not always accessible when offline. Cloud-based graphic design software, however, can be accessed through the internet from any device.
  • Cloud-Based Graphic Design Software - The benefit of cloud-based software is that artists can access their designs from any location as long as they have an internet connection. 

What To Consider When Choosing A Graphic Design Software

A graphic designer will want to take several important factors into consideration when choosing the best graphic design software. 

First off, graphic designers will need a blend of the right tools and should consider whether they are more comfortable working offline or in an online environment. As we just mentioned, cloud-based software offers better protection for the files stored.

Here are some other important considerations to think about when choosing the best graphic design software.

  • Intuitive GUI - Intuitive GUI stands for the graphical user interface. A graphic designer would want to have an intuitive graphical user interface to make the program easier to use. A graphic designer wants to avoid any difficulties when using the software in order to allow them to focus on designing.
  • Easy to Learn - Arguably, the best graphic design software for designers is one that is easy to learn.  One reason why graphic design software needs to be easy to learn is that graphic designers need to be focused on designing and not how to use the software. Designers will need to make a lot of changes quickly and without any difficulties. It should also be able to offer help and tutorials when it isn't intuitive enough for you.
  • Updates and Upgrades - Updates and upgrades are important to graphic design software because, as new programs are released, you'll want to make sure that the latest version is compatible with it. You'll also want to find out if your current software has any available updates that would allow you to use certain features. These features might make it easier for you to create designs or could improve your workflow. The Adobe suite of design products has consistently shown its dedication to upgrading and improving its software. This has made it hard for anyone to top their products as the best graphic design software.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of great graphic design tools out there to get you started in your designing career. While it's important to find the right graphic design software for you, there are plenty of other things you'll want to consider.

Having the right smartphone, notepad, or sketchbook, and even learning from the right courses can help set you up for success. But most importantly, be sure that however you choose to go about your graphic design path, that it is comfortable for you.

You don't have to learn Photoshop if you feel like it is too daunting for you when there are other graphic design programs out there for you to learn. Carve out a design path that is right for you and not necessarily what others are telling you.

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