Which is the best graphic design software for your business in 2022?
We wrote this article (and made a small offering to the taco gods) to help you answer that question. We’ve compiled 16 of the best graphic design software tools available today, so you can compare their features and prices to determine what’s best for you.
Get cozy in your favorite blog reading chair, because we’re revealing the best graphic design software tools in 2022.
Free graphic design software
Drawtify is an online graphic editor for creating vector graphics, logos, infographics, and animations. The editor is easy-to-use, and you also get access to icons, shapes, and stock photos that simplify things further.
- Online SVG creator helps you create vector graphics
- Online animation maker enables you to create attractive animations
- Create a variety of other graphics like infographics, logos, posters, and social media images
- Modify templates to create branded visuals quickly
- Basic vector graphics editor compared to tools like Adobe Illustrator or Vectornator
Drawtify has two payment plans.
- Free: $0 per month
- Monthly: $14.99 per month or $99 per year, but you can get it on AppSumo for life for a one-time payment of just $79.90
There’s no free trial, but you can test it with the free plan.
Do you run ads or want to convert more of your blog traffic? Then check out Beacon. It makes it easy for non-designers to create lead magnets without using sophisticated tools like Adobe InDesign and Acrobat.
- Use the drag-and-drop editor to build your lead magnet quickly
- Start from scratch or quicken the design process with pre-made or custom templates
- Copy and paste blog post URLs and automatically turn them into ebooks, reports, and checklists
- Automatically make opt-in forms for each lead magnet
- Limited customization options for lead magnets compared to tools like InDesign
Beacon has three pricing plans:
- Beginner: $0 per month
- Professional: $49 per month or $490 per year
- Agency: $99 per month or $990 per year
For a limited time, you can get Beacon’s Professional plan at $79 or the Agency plan at $158—both with one-time payment at AppSumo.
You have probably already heard of Canva. It is a popular online graphic design tool known and used by seasoned designers and amateurs alike. It has drag-and-drop functionality, which makes it easy to learn and use.
- Very generous free plan with which you can create any type of graphic
- Directly share your creations on social media or schedule them
- Quickly create designs using the 610,000+ templates and 100+ million stock photos, videos, graphics, and audio
- Not as advanced as graphic design software like Photoshop
Canva has two paid options:
- Pro: $12.99 per month or $119.99 per year
- Enterprise: $30 per month per person
Vectornator is an illustration and design app optimized explicitly for iPads and Macs (available on iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Big Sur and later) to deliver a unique and engaging experience. It’s for artists who love to make vector art, drawings, typography, UI design, and more.
- Prototype and play with new ideas in a notebook and storyboard-like format
- Export designs to other software
- Scales beautifully to 5K iMac displays and supports the M1 Mac lineup
- Draw custom illustrations and designs from scratch
- Only works on Apple devices
It is entirely free to use. There are no paid plans.
VistaCreate‘s Animation Maker suite is what sets it apart from most cloud-based graphic design software. It gives users animated templates and objects to bring more engaging images and videos to life. You can also create static images with it.
- Comes with a large template and image library, including illustrations
- Animated templates include formats for vertical and square video, Facebook and Instagram stories, and Facebook cover videos
- Plenty of options for various web content formats and platforms
- Create using the web version or with apps for Apple and Android
- No downloadable version for desktops
- Very similar to Canva, but doesn’t have as many templates
VistaCreate has two payment plans
- Starter: $0 per month
- Pro: $13 per month or $120 per year
There’s no trial, but you can test it with the free plan.
Lunacy is a powerful graphic design tool. It has several AI features that speed up your design workflow and is available in 21 languages. Lunacy also has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that even amateur designers will enjoy.
- Download software for macOS, Windows, and Linux
- Completely free to use
- AI tools such as Image upscaler, Background remover, Avatar generator, and Text generator help save time
- Add up to 100 teammates
- To use the designs on their websites, users on the free plan must credit the platform by linking to Lunacy
Lunacy is free to use, but you need to pay extra for icons, illustrations, music, and photos.
Another popular online graphic design tool, Stencil, enables fast graphic creation and photo editing for people on the go. Like Canva, Stencil is a drag-and-drop tool that lets you create stylish designs fast.
If you’re deciding between Stencil and Canva, we wrote a post to help you make up your mind.
- Create graphics on the website or use Stencil’s plugin to edit photos without leaving your WordPress website
- Access millions of photos, icons, templates, and fonts to beautify your images
- Share your images to social media directly or use the Buffer integration to schedule at the best times
- Basic editor withfewer templates than Canva and VistaCreate
Stencil has three pricing options:
- Free: $0 per month
- Pro: $15 per month or $108 per year
- Unlimited: $20 per month or $144 per year
There’s no trial available, but you can test it with the free plan.
This online photo editor and design software gives you tools and templates to achieve professional designs. Fotor lets you touch up images more than Stencil or Canva. It’s good for designers who want a photo editor.
- Clean up or tweak photos through light exposure and photo reshaping
- Use templates to design collages, social media posts, and logos
- Includes resizing and other graphic/photo editing effects
- Use background remover to remove backgrounds quickly
- Software can slow down your computer
Fotor has three pricing options:
- Basic: $0 per month
- Pro: $8.99 per month or $39.99 per year
- Pro+: $19.99 per month or $89.99 per year
It doesn’t offer a trial, but you can test it with the free plan.
Unlike other graphic design software, Figma shines with its collaboration capabilities. You can add as many team members as you want as free “viewers” to get stakeholder feedback via comments on your design.
Sketch (more on that below) and Figma share some plugins and integrations, so you can often find that additional functionality—or even build it yourself—if you need it.
- Includes features like auto layout, asset libraries, and shareable prototyping
- Auto-save automatically saves your progress
- Has a separate tool called FigmaJam for whiteboarding
- Create a design system for your entire team
- Requires a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it
- Monthly payment option unavailable for the Organization plan
Figma has three plans:
- Starter: $0 per month
- Professional: $15 per month or $144 per year
- Organization: $540 per year
Figma doesn’t offer a trial, but you can test it with the free plan.
10. AppyPie Design
AppyPie Design is a unique design platform that lets everyone design, irrespective of their design experience levels. The platform enables you to design stunning banners, cards, logos, posters, edit photos, and more for free.
- Supports team collaboration on projects
- Quickly whip up NFTs with the NFT templates
- Use NFT generator to convert images to NFTs
- Very limited free plan free plan
AppyPie Design has two plans:
- Free: $0 per month
- Design Pro: $6 per month or $48 per year
You can try it with the free plan, as there’s no free trial for the paid version.
11. Gravit Designer
Gravit Designer is a very accessible graphic design software. You can use it online, on your Mac or Windows, and more. It also offers a simple drag-and-drop graphic design tool suite.
- Apply multiple fills, textures, gradients, effects, borders, and blending modes to any object
- Use the pen tool to draw original graphics
- Includes borders and other shaping functions, as well as image upload and editing tools
- Not as advanced as Illustrator or Photoshop
Gravit Designer has two payment options:
- Free: $0 per month
- PRO: $99 per year
There’s no free trial, but you can test it with the free version.
Paid graphic design software
The true Adobe graphic design tool, Illustrator, provides comprehensive tools for creating captivating visuals for your brand. Adobe Illustrator lets you design freehand, making your art come alive on the screen.
- Use the pen tool to draw from point to point or mold shapes together
- Draw free hand on a tablet
- Works well with other Adobe tools like Photoshop
- Choose multiple fonts from the library or create your own
- Requires a powerful device for the heavy-duty software to function smoothly
- Monthly fee can get expensive, especially if you subscribe to Creative Cloud
Illustrator has two payment options:
- Illustrator only: $20.99 per month
- Creative Cloud: $54.99 per month
You can test it out with the 7-day trial. Feel free to check out the best free and paid Illustrator alternatives for more affordable options.
13. Adobe Photoshop
Another member of the Adobe suite, Adobe Photoshop, provides robust photo and graphic editing. This tool requires a higher learning curve than some of the drag-and-drop tools mentioned above. But it also offers a much more comprehensive range of functions and control.
- Eyedropper helps you figure out the colors in your images
- Use a wide variety of brushes to create beautiful designs
- Apply advanced photo effects such as filters, blur, and color effects to get your photos to stand out
- Software available for Mac and Windows and Apps available for iOS and Android
- Requires an immense learning curve
- Needs high-end devices to function smoothly
Adobe Photoshop has two payment options:
- Photoshop only: $20.99 per month
- Creative Cloud: $54.99 per month
You can test it with the 7-day trial. Here’s our list of the best alternatives to Photoshop you can find in the market.
Procreate is an Illustrator alternative that many users prefer because it has a one-time fee structure instead of a monthly subscription. It has many of the features that Illustrator offers and is probably the best tool for drawing.
- Includes an enormous brush library to execute various types of strokes. You can also create your own brushes and even sell them
- A very intuitive app with finger gestures to speed up your workflow
- Use powerful features such as StreamLine, ColorDrop, QuickShape, and Drawing Assist
- Create animations with your illustrations
- Only works on iPad and iPhone
- No free trial or plan
Procreate has a one-time fee of $9.99. There’s no free plan or trial.
Another top graphic design tool, Affinity, was created for professional designers, putting it in the same camp as Adobe products when it comes to cost and features. While not exclusively a Mac product, Affinity was designed to cater to Mac products. It recently released a version for Windows users as well.
- Use toolbar to perform everything from image cropping and resizing to text overlay
- Offers a selection of blend modes like normal, screen, divide, multiple, color burn, and overlay that help enhance colors and tones
- Offers users the option to switch from vector to raster workspaces and vice versa
- No app for Android devices
- No option for easily creating charts and graphs
You can buy the software for Windows or Mac for $54.99, while the iPad version costs $21.99. There’s also a 30-day trial.
Sketch is a graphic design tool exclusively for Mac users. It’s one of the best graphic design software tools out there, mainly preferred by UX and UI experts. Designers use Sketch to create wireframes and clickable product prototypes.
- Create a suable mock up model before designing the application or website
- Perform user tests on the clickable designs
- Collaborative workspace makes it easy for designers and developers to work together
(If you’re interested in prototypes, you may also consider learning about Adobe XD.)
- No software for Windows and no app for Android
Sketch has two pricing options:
- Standard: $9 per editor per month or $99 per editor per year
- Pricing available on contact
There’s also a 30-day free trial.
FAQs about graphic design software
What software do most graphic designers use?
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are the graphic design software most professional designers use. Procreate is popular among illustrators who use the iPad.
Which graphic design software is best for beginners?
Canva is the best graphic design software for beginners.
Which mobile app is best for graphic design?
Photoshop and Procreate are the best graphic design mobile apps.
Can I learn graphic design by myself?
Yes, you can. There are a lot of good free and paid video courses that can help you master graphic design and sophisticated software. If you combine this information with a lot of practice, you can get good at graphic design by yourself.
What software is best for logo design?
Photoshop is the best software for creating custom logos.
How to pick the best graphic design software
What is the best graphic design software for your business? Maybe a better question: What does your heart (and wallet) tell you?
Choosing the best graphic design software ultimately comes down to your priorities. Do you prefer speed or creative control? Are you more inclined to save a few bucks or invest in top-of-the-line design tools? Are you team Edward or Jacob? (Okay, okay, I’ll send that joke back to 2008.)
If you’re looking for options that make the most financial sense, you might want to check out the AppSumo store.