17 best graphic design software tools in 2021

Discover some of the best graphic design software and tools for all types of designers.


Designers used to be limited to only a few choices for professional graphic design tools.

Now the field is open, and designers can choose from a wide range of design tool options, including open-source platforms.

No longer are graphic design tools strictly limited to PC or Mac operating systems, either. You’ll find many that have iOS and Android mobile apps, too, with support for Linux and Chrome OS.

The dizzying array of editing tools can make it difficult to pick the best graphic design software. Our roundup focuses on some oldies but goodies, such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as some new kids on the block, like Affinity Photo.

1. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator wrote the book on vector graphics software. It sets the standard for professionally designed logos, artwork, infographics, icons, and much more. You can work from a freehand sketch to a vector image that is scalable to any size. Adobe Illustrator works with graphics differently, using mathematical formulas instead of pixels for seamless resizing.

Adobe Illustrator offers a seven day free trial, but you have to provide a credit card to start. If you select the annual plan, paid monthly — it’s $20.99 per month. Otherwise, you’ll pay $31.49 per month for the monthly plan. Either way, it’s expensive. However, Adobe Illustrator is one of those products that will have you learning something new all the time, even if it’s not the most user-friendly software available.

 

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