Our Top Picks

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPad
  • Customer service: Online
  • Image editor and database

Adobe Photoshop has been around for decades and is considered a pioneer of graphic design software. While it’s a legacy software, it has no shortage of new and upcoming features, including advanced AI technology for automatic visualization, customization, creation, and more. 

Adobe Photoshop is built for any design project and covers everything from photo editing to composing, digital painting, animation, and graphic design. With simple one-click actions, unlimited layers, and custom brushes, Adobe Photoshop quickly becomes a very intuitive platform for users. It can work off-line, syncs to the cloud, and operates on desktop and iPad. The software offers collaboration tools, filters, templates, an expansive image database, and more. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited layers
  • Cloud sync capability
  • iPad compatible

Cons

  • No integrations
  • No mobile app

Summary

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop
  • Starting Price
    • Adobe Photoshop Single App: $20.99/per month
    • Creative Cloud Photography Plan (20 GB): $9.99/per month
    • Photoshop with the Creative Cloud All Apps plan: $52.99/per month
    • Students and teachers: $52.99/per month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    7-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Online
  • Image Database
    yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iPad
  • Customer service: Online
  • Image editor and database
Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad
  • Customer service: Online
  • Integrations

Affinity Designer is a vector graphic design software providing powerful image editing and collaboration tools for working across every device, including Windows, Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The software is subscription free. It includes robust color control, one million+ percent zoom capability, a comprehensive vector toolset, and advanced grids and guides, among many other features. 

This graphic design software boasts a super-fast platform with pan and zoom at 60 fps and no lag. The software is designed to handle massive document sizes of any level of complexity. Affinity Designer offers several customizable options, including keyboard shortcuts, symbols, sophisticated OpenType support, and several other features to optimize workflow.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • iPhone and iPad compatible
  • Subscription free

Cons

  • No data visualization

Summary

Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer
  • Starting Price
    • Mac OS: $49.99
    • Windows: $49.99
    • iPad: $19.99
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
    Installed - Mac
    iPhone / iPad
  • Support Options
    Online
  • Image Database
    yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad
  • Customer service: Online
  • Integrations
CorelDraw Graphics Suite
CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Integrations

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a comprehensive graphic design software for professional vector illustration, layout, photo editing, typography, and more. It boasts AI-powered tools for advanced image optimization, such as bitmap-to-vector trace results. The software provides thousands of built-in templates and an extensive image database for high-resolution digital photos and clipart, as well as 600 fountain, vector, and bitmap fills.

CorelDRAW offers several suite options tailored to each user’s specific needs. Each suite hosts extensive file compatibility. A nondestructive feature allows users to make edits without damaging the original file. CorelDRAW also includes several cloud collaboration tools. Customer support is available by phone, but only during business hours.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • AI-powered image editor
  • Collaboration tools
  • Extensive file compatibility

Cons

  • No data visualization
  • Customer support by phone only available during business hours

Summary

CorelDraw Graphics Suite
CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Starting Price
    • CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020: $424
    • CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 Subscription: $20.75/per month
    • 365-day Subscription: $249/per year
  • Free Trial/Demo
    15-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
    Online
  • Image Database
    yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours, online
  • Integrations
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Integrations

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a completely free and open source graphic design software available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and other operating systems. The software offers several customizable options and third-party integrations with other free software tools like Scribus, Inkscape, and SwatchBooker. Its open source makeup means GIMP offers scripted image manipulation with multi-language support, including C, C++, Perl, Python, Scheme, and more. 

While the software is free, it's a lightweight option compared to other graphic design software and does not offer an image database, data visualization, or collaboration tools. It is, however, a highly customizable, affordable option for high-quality photo manipulation, user interface components, mockup design, and more. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free software
  • Open source and highly customizable

Cons

  • No image database
  • No collaboration tools

Summary

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
  • Starting Price
    • Free Software
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Software
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
  • Support Options
    Business Hours
  • Image Database
    no
  • Collaboration Tools
    no
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows
  • Customer service: Phone during business hours
  • Integrations
Inkscape
Inkscape
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Online
  • Image editor

Inkscape is a fully free and open source graphic design software with multiple deployment options, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows desktop computers. It's highly customizable and offers several tools, including advanced object manipulation, text support, rendering, and object creation. Inkscape offers multiple file formats, including SVG format file generation and editing, PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS, and PostScript export formats, and more. 

Inkscape hosts an advanced image editor but no image database or data visualization tools. Its open source and highly customizable nature means it comes with a learning curve. Inkscape offers online customer support and collaboration tools for navigating the platform more effectively. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open source software
  • Supports multiple file formats

Cons

  • No templates
  • No image database

Summary

Inkscape
Inkscape
  • Starting Price
    • Free Software
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Software
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Online
  • Image Database
    no
  • Collaboration Tools
    yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Customer service: Online
  • Image editor

How We Chose the Best Graphic Design Software

To gather our list of the best graphic design software, we evaluated companies based on the quality of their editing and collaboration tools, as well as whether third-party integrations were available.

Editing Tools

The best graphic design software offers a variety of tools for editing graphics, including an image editor, templates, filters and layering, and advanced grids and guides, among many other editing features.

Collaboration Tools

Oftentimes a graphic design project is a team effort, so a graphic design software’s collaboration tools help users complete projects more effectively together.

Integrations

Graphic design software integrations increase workflow efficiency and advance design output. Some companies include pre-built integrations and API for marketing platforms and other tools commonly used together with graphic design software.