Graphic Design

Last updated: February 2023

Compare different graphic design software, explore our in-depth reviews & informative articles, and choose the best solution for you.

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How to Choose The Best Graphic Design Software

In the digital age, graphic design has become an essential communication mode for businesses. In fact, visual aesthetics and design elements have the power to bridge the gap between your audience and your business.

It is no secret that businesses harness the power of graphic design to influence purchase decisions and inform the audience at the same time. Even the design of the typography on a flyer can make all the difference for a business. From minimalist to exuberant graphic design, bands use different approaches for different target customers.

In this article, you can dive into the importance of graphic design, the essence of graphic design software, top features like image manipulation, user interface, and image editing, and factors to consider when choosing the best software for your needs:

What Makes Up a Graphic Design Software

Graphic design software refers to a tool that designers can use to create beautiful visual content. Well-designed software editing tools offer abilities such as cross-platform integration, creating of vector graphics through vector design and vector illustration, creation of SVG files, and of course illustration and photo editing.

Of course, professional graphic designers are familiar with changing dynamics and evolution of premier graphic design applications. But whether you offer freelance graphic designing services on UpWork, work in an agency, or are part of an in-house team,  you should be aware of the criteria and features in graphic design software.

Importance of Graphic Design

For starters, graphic design serves as the first impression of an offered product or service. In fact, graphic design is the key for businesses to drive positive change and leave a lasting impression. Visitors now prefer to interact with brands with high-end visual graphics.

In 2021, the graphic designers market was worth more than $45 billion. The first encounter of graphic design can be a sales page, website, flyer, product packaging, social media post, or even a business card. It is the reason more businesses want to capitalize on impeccable design to improve the buyer’s journey.

At its core, the flawless and modern graphic design represents professionalism. When your customers first see your products and services, the quality of graphic design plays a large role in whether they are interested or not. In time, graphic design helps businesses build a unique and robust brand identity.

Are Graphic Design and Web Design the Same?

Graphic design and web design do overlap and have similarities. Both highlight the functionality and format of content, using imaging and typography to communicate a message to the viewer. However, web design only uses web pages and not print media.

Since web designers are focused on websites, they need to have a working knowledge of coding languages such as HTML and CSS, as well as factors that can impact page load speed.  Graphic designers, on the other hand, work on both print and digital projects and have no need for programming.

Learn to Choose the Best Graphic Design Software

Whether you’re a professional or amateur graphic designer, you should go through various considerations to choose the most compatible graphic design software. Of course, the integrated features vary from one graphic design software to another. So, it makes all the more difference to figure out “your” needs.

No Watermarks

If you’re a beginner, you might be attracted to open source free graphic design software, and that’s fair. However, most free versions of graphic design solutions come with pre-printed watermarks. You need to avoid programs that pre-print a watermark on each image. Even if the watermark is minimal, it can still impact your graphic design. So, opt for the graphic design software that allows you to add a custom watermark.

Smooth Editing

One of your main considerations in selecting a photo editing software should revolve around editing to create impressive graphic designs. If your editorial style requires making constant changes to existing images, you will need graphic design software that supports smooth real-time editing features.

Further, you’ll want to look for software with a platform to create mockups, adjust gradients, and resize images. It is very important to be able to create prototypes of your work so you can troubleshoot before publishing.

Innovative Features

Before you buy a complete version, get a free trial of the graphic design software to get a feel of the innovative features. Check whether or not the design and layout options are easy to find and compliment your requirements. Naturally, you don’t want to create graphic designs on software that takes you half an hour to find a specific tool. This is a great way to determine if you want to invest in the pro version.

Tools and Templates

If you’re a beginner or semi-professional, you should opt for graphic design software that comes with a wide range of tools, tutorials,  and templates. Consequently, you will be able to use integrated tools, new features, and templates to streamline and manage projects easily.

Look for Precision

Graphic designing is the art of precision and your finished images should have attention to detail. And the only way you can achieve a high level of precision is through complete control over editing. For instance, compare whether or not the added changes to a picture are as clear as the first image.

Prioritize Compatibility

In the realm of graphic design tools, there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for graphic design software for professional designers, focus on integrated tools that can maximize their creative control. On the other hand, if your business wants an affordable and straightforward photo editor application, there are various options available in the market.

It’s also good to keep in mind what kind of system and devices you’ll be using the software on. Does your team use all major platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS, Linux, and Android? Does everyone use a desktop or laptop, or do some people use mobile devices like an iPad?

In any case, make sure to select graphic design software based on your tasks. In fact, there is more subjectivity around the “best” graphic design programs than you think. As of now, Adobe Creative Cloud is arguably the most comprehensive graphic design software. For instance, Adobe InDesign is famous for page layouts, whereas Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop complement each other. Still, the “best” graphic design program is the one that works for “you”.

Focus on the Key Features

  • Color synchronization
  • Collaborative editing
  • Snap and pixel feature
  • Personalized design options
  • Extensive import and export options
  • Clear layout and organization features
  • Auto creations such as collages, effects, and slideshows
  • Scalability or replacing objects and backgrounds
  • Integrated sharing options
  • Advanced visual manipulation
  • Drawing tools
  • Number of fonts
  • Drag and drop ability
  • File formats it can use
  • Plugins

Explore Beginner and Professional Graphic Design Applications

Like any new skill, there can be a steep learning curve in the beginning, so you should review both beginner and professional graphic design programs. Your objective should be to look for the most compatible and suitable application that offers an intuitive experience, smooth editing, and heightened user experience. Think of this combination to choose the “perfect” graphic design software.

Final Thoughts

Often, words fail to communicate the core brand message efficiently. It takes a combination of visual graphics to simplify complicated product or service information through infographics, charts, or illustrations. If you’re a professional and experienced graphic designer, you can create graphic designs on your own.

But the end effect may still not be as good as a professional graphic designing agency. If you’re a beginner or your business has a tight annual budget, it would make more sense to hire an affordable and professional graphic designer from freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Simultaneously, you can also try Canva to create free graphic designs. Your designs should be able to capture the essence of your business and communicate the core message. It should be good enough to establish recognition and garner more interest from customers.