Top 10 Best Graphic Design Software Programs

From those first rough sketches on cave walls to the intricate digital masterpieces of today, graphic design has always been about one thing - visual communication. Whether it's a simple symbol or a mind-bending illusion, it's how we express ideas, tell stories, and shape how we see the world.

Of course, those cave people didn't have quite the same toolkit we do. Today, picking the right graphic design software can be the difference between a design that pops and one that...well, flops.
The Top Ten
1 Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop is a powerful image editing and graphic design software that supports a wide range of image formats and offers an extensive array of tools for photo manipulation, digital art creation, and graphic design tasks. It is widely used by professionals for editing and composing raster images in multiple layers, along with text and vector graphics.

When it really comes down to it, Adobe Photoshop is indispensable to any graphic artist's or illustrator's toolbox, whether it's the CS or Elements version. I have a variety of photo and image editing programs, but I consider Photoshop to be the best of them all. I highly recommend it.

Photoshop is both a design program and can serve as a hub to hold all of your elements from several different programs in it. Most Adobe programs can do this, but Photoshop does it really well.

Photoshop has always been one of the best design programs, and I recommend that the Photoshop makers should come up with more Photoshop programs. Thank you.

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2 Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor and design program that enables users to create logos, icons, drawings, typography, and complex illustrations for any medium. With its precise vector tools, Illustrator is favored for creating scalable designs that can be adapted for both print and digital platforms.

Better than Photoshop for design by far. The options for creation and text layout are far superior and of a wider variety.

It's the most flexible and convenient-to-use software for layout and design.

More advanced than Photoshop and much easier to illustrate something.

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3 CorelDRAW Graphics Suite CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is a comprehensive collection of applications for vector illustration, layout, photo editing, and typography. This versatile graphic design software is known for its intuitive interfaces and broad capability to create everything from precise technical illustrations to compelling marketing materials.

Corel Draw is not the best, but it's excellent software. You can do anything with the help of so many tools and support file features. I think this is the world's first software for graphic designers, illustrators, and publishers, and everyone.

Mohankumar Shah,
Aakruti Creation,
Wardha, Maharashtra, India

I used it, and I really think it is the best software that Corel Draw could ever make. So, I recommend it to all my buddies. Thanks.

This is the only software that can make every design in the world.

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4 Adobe InDesign Adobe InDesign is specialized publishing software that focuses on layout design for print and digital media. It is the industry-standard tool for creating brochures, magazines, eBooks, and other materials that require a sophisticated layout and typography.

I love being able to mix great page layout with great illustration and photos.

5 PaintShop Pro PaintShop Pro is an affordable and user-friendly program designed for photo editing and graphic design. It offers a wide range of features, including photo adjustment tools, vector drawing capabilities, and a rich set of filters, making it suitable for hobbyists and professionals alike.
6 ArtRage Studio ArtRage Studio is a digital artist's studio with a full range of familiar tools that look and work like the real things. It's designed for both traditional and digital painters, offering realistic painting and drawing tools in a digital medium.

It is great! I have never used anything like it. It is a bit slow, but then again, it could just be my computer! Anyone who loves or likes painting should definitely go for this ArtRage app.

Very inexpensive software with a full artist palette that feels like the real thing.

7 Corel Painter Corel Painter is a digital painting software that emulates the look and feel of traditional media closely. It offers an extensive collection of realistic brushes, paper textures, and paints, making it a favorite among artists for creating digital artworks with an authentic hand-painted look.

If ArtRage made it in, then I think it stands to reason that Corel Painter has to be considered (different from Paint it!).

8 Cinema 4D Cinema 4D is a 3D modeling, animation, motion graphic, and rendering application developed with a focus on providing a user-friendly experience to digital artists. It is widely regarded for its powerful features and its ability to produce high-quality 3D graphics and animations.

After Photoshop, this is the most important tool for a graphic designer.

Great 3D program that allows you to create anything your imagination desires.

9 AutoCAD AutoCAD is a professional-grade computer-aided design (CAD) software used extensively for drafting and designing in 2D and 3D spaces. It is indispensable in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction for creating precise technical drawings and documentation.

I think this is the best software for designers, architects, and engineers! Can you imagine life without AutoCAD?

10 Autodesk 3ds Max Autodesk 3ds Max is a comprehensive, professional software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and visualization. It is widely used in the game development, film, and motion graphics industries for creating complex 3D scenes, characters, and effects.
The Contenders
11 Xara Designer Pro Xara Designer Pro is an all-in-one software solution for graphic design, combining photo editing, desktop publishing, and web design capabilities. It stands out for its speed and flexibility, offering a unified environment where designers can create vector illustrations, web graphics, and more.

Xara Designer Pro X10 is our top-of-the-range product and includes all the features and templates of Web Designer 10 Premium, Photo & Graphic Designer 10, and Page & Layout Designer 10 in a fully integrated single package solution for all your graphic design needs, for print and the web.

Illustration, photo editing, DTP, and document creation, web graphics, and websites - Designer Pro X10 does it all!

I switched from Corel Draw to Xara over 15 years ago and have never looked back. I used it in my sign shop for years and then expanded into layout and design sales of 4-color printing. I've also created nearly 50 fully functioning websites for my customers - all from one inexpensive program. No regrets!

12 Inkscape Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, offering a wide range of tools for creating and editing SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files. It is known for its flexibility and is used by graphic designers for creating logos, illustrations, and complex artworks.

Inkscape is so great! Definitely my favorite graphics software out there.

13 GIMP GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source image editor that serves as a versatile tool for image retouching, editing, and free-form drawing. It is often cited as a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for amateur and professional users alike.

It does everything the others do for free. The notion of a steep learning curve and a bad interface is a myth. Similarly, the idea that there's a huge difference in difficulty between this and Photoshop is also a myth. You need to learn your way around all graphic design software, and once you're used to GIMP, it performs as well as any other.

GIMP 2.9 is super powerful. I get the same results I used to get in Photoshop. I love the GIMP community. There is so much help and support out there.

14 Microsoft Paint Microsoft Paint, often referred to as Paint, is a simple raster graphics editor that has been included with all versions of Microsoft Windows. It provides users with basic tools for drawing, painting, and editing images, making it ideal for quick edits and simple tasks.

It has very little, but if you're experienced, you can create amazing stuff on Windows Paint that you won't be able to create using any other program. If you haven't voted for this one, you clearly haven't watched videos of people creating the most amazing and unique artwork you'd ever see.

15 PhotoShine Mini PhotoShine Mini is a photo editing software that specializes in adding frames and effects to photos with a simple and user-friendly interface. It allows users to quickly enhance their images with a variety of themed templates and effects.
16 PaintTool SAI PaintTool SAI is a lightweight, yet high-quality painting software that offers a clean, intuitive user interface and a variety of tools for digital artists. It is especially popular among manga and anime artists for its smooth drawing experience and excellent brush customization.

The perfect tool for beginners everywhere.

17 Maya Maya is an advanced 3D computer graphics software used for creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, TV series, or visual effects. Maya offers comprehensive tools for animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering.
18 Sketch Sketch is a vector-based design tool focused on user interface and user experience design. With its intuitive interface and powerful plugins, Sketch is widely used for designing websites, apps, and interfaces. It is praised for its collaborative features that enhance team workflows.

It's basically made for only app and web designers. It includes the most powerful tools and has a very simple user interface for fast productivity. Vector is always best with all the export support options. So get in touch with new design trends.

19 Blender Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline - modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking, even video editing, and game creation. Blender is known for its highly active community and its wide applicability in media, entertainment, and design.

Heck yeah! Blender is my favorite software for making 3D animations!

20 PhotoLine PhotoLine is a versatile graphic design and image processing software that offers extensive tools for image editing, vector graphic design, and page layout. It supports a wide range of file formats and features non-destructive image editing, making it suitable for both web and print graphics.

Fine all-rounder. Superb value.

21 Gravit Designer Gravit Designer is a full-featured vector graphic design app that works on all platforms. It is designed to provide powerful yet easy-to-handle tools for professionals and beginners alike, catering to a wide range of design tasks from logo creation to app interface design.
22 Paint.NET Paint.NET is a free photo and image editing software for PCs that run Windows. It features an intuitive user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. Initially intended as a free replacement for Microsoft Paint, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo editing.

I've used Paint.NET for years, and it allows me to do anything and everything I want. No need to try Photoshop - Paint.NET handles and meets my needs perfectly. It's free, but I've donated a few times over the years. I really love this product.

Pretty good program. It's a free program and easy to learn. Better than Paint.

23 PhotoScape PhotoScape is a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos. It offers a suite of features including a photo viewer, editor, batch editor, and collage maker, making it a versatile choice for basic photo editing tasks.

I love this program. It's intuitive, pared-down without being chintzy, fun, easy to use, and produces great results.

24 Krita Krita is an open-source digital painting and illustration application. Krita offers an end-to-end solution for creating digital art files from scratch by professionals. Features include a unique brush engine, non-destructive layers and masks, g'MIC integrated filters, and much more.

This software is too good. It's easy to use.

25 Paintbrush Paintbrush is a simple paint program for Mac OS, reminiscent of Microsoft Paint and Apple's own now-defunct MacPaint. It provides users with a straightforward interface for doing basic painting and editing, making it ideal for quick image modifications and creations.
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