Top 10 Graphic Design Tools Every Designer Should Know

Top 10 Graphic Design Tools Every Designer Should Know

In the fast-paced world of graphic design, staying updated with the latest tools is crucial for creating stunning visuals and maintaining a competitive edge. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a budding designer, having the right tools in your arsenal can make all the difference. In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 graphic design tools every designer should know, ensuring you have everything you need to succeed.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with graphic design. As one of the most well-known and widely used tools in the industry, Photoshop offers a comprehensive suite of features for everything from photo editing to digital painting.

Key Features:

  • Advanced photo manipulation
  • Layer-based editing
  • Extensive selection of brushes
  • Integration with other Adobe products

According to a 2021 study, over 90% of creative professionals use Adobe Photoshop as a key part of their design toolkit. If you’re serious about graphic design, mastering Photoshop is a must.

2. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is another powerhouse from the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. This vector graphics editor is essential for creating logos, icons, sketches, typography, and complex illustrations.

Key Features:

  • Scalable vector graphics
  • Precision drawing tools
  • Extensive font and typography options
  • Integration with Adobe Stock

Vector graphics have become increasingly important, especially with the rise of responsive web design. Illustrator’s ability to create scalable artwork without losing quality makes it indispensable.

3. Sketch

Sketch is a digital design toolkit focused on user interface and user experience design. It’s particularly popular among web and mobile designers due to its intuitive interface and powerful features.

Key Features:

  • Artboards for designing multiple screens
  • Vector editing tools
  • Symbols for reusable elements
  • Collaboration and sharing capabilities

With over one million designers using Sketch, it’s a tool that continues to shape the future of UI/UX design. According to a recent survey, 80% of professional UI/UX designers prefer Sketch over other tools.

4. CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is a versatile graphic design software that’s been around for decades. Known for its user-friendly interface and robust feature set, it’s a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Key Features:

  • Vector illustration tools
  • Page layout capabilities
  • Photo editing
  • Typography tools

CorelDRAW’s flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of design tasks, from print to digital media. Its affordability also makes it an attractive option for designers on a budget.

5. Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor that’s quickly gaining popularity as a cost-effective alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It offers a range of professional-grade features without the subscription model.

Key Features:

  • Real-time performance
  • Advanced vector and raster tools
  • Unlimited artboards
  • Precision guides and grids

With its one-time purchase model and powerful features, Affinity Designer is a fantastic tool for designers looking to break free from subscription fees. It’s also known for its speed and efficiency, making it a favorite among professionals.

6. Canva

Canva is an online graphic design tool that’s perfect for beginners and non-designers. Its drag-and-drop interface and extensive library of templates make it easy to create professional-quality designs in minutes.

Key Features:

  • Thousands of customizable templates
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Extensive library of stock photos and graphics
  • Collaboration features

Canva’s user base has grown exponentially, with over 60 million active users as of 2021. It’s an excellent tool for creating social media graphics, presentations, posters, and more.

7. Figma

Figma is a cloud-based design tool that’s revolutionizing the way teams collaborate on design projects. With real-time collaboration features, Figma allows multiple designers to work on a project simultaneously.

Key Features:

  • Real-time collaboration
  • Vector networks
  • Prototyping tools
  • Component libraries

Figma’s collaborative features make it an ideal choice for design teams. According to a 2021 report, 77% of designers working in teams prefer Figma for its seamless collaboration capabilities.

8. Inkscape

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that’s a great alternative for those who need a powerful tool without the cost. It’s widely used by designers, illustrators, and web developers.

Key Features:

  • Free and open-source
  • Advanced vector editing tools
  • Text tools and support for SVG
  • Extensive file format compatibility

Inkscape’s open-source nature means it’s continuously evolving, with contributions from a global community of developers. It’s a fantastic option for designers who prefer open-source solutions.

9. Procreate

Procreate is a digital painting app designed specifically for the iPad. It’s renowned for its natural drawing experience, making it a favorite among illustrators and digital artists.

Key Features:

  • High-resolution canvases
  • Extensive brush library
  • Layer-based editing
  • Time-lapse recording

Procreate’s intuitive interface and powerful features have made it a go-to tool for artists. According to a 2021 survey, 75% of digital artists use Procreate for their creative projects.

10. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a versatile vector design app that’s available both online and as a desktop application. It’s known for its modern interface and comprehensive set of design tools.

Key Features:

  • Vector and raster editing tools
  • Cloud integration
  • Precision layout tools
  • Extensive asset library

Gravit Designer’s cross-platform availability and robust features make it a great choice for designers who need a flexible tool that works both online and offline. Its free version is also quite powerful, making it accessible to a wide audience.


The world of graphic design is constantly evolving, and having the right tools can significantly impact your workflow and the quality of your work. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your toolkit, the tools listed above are essential for any designer. From industry staples like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to innovative newcomers like Figma and Procreate, each tool offers unique features that cater to different aspects of design.

By familiarizing yourself with these top graphic design tools, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any design challenge that comes your way. Happy designing!

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