15 Best Graphic Design Apps You Must have in 2024

Updated on May 1 2024
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Graphic design is the art of creating visual content to communicate ideas and information. It is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of applications from designing logos and packaging to creating illustrations and websites.

Graphic designers use a variety of software tools to create their art. Some of the most popular graphic design apps include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Affinity Designer. These apps offer a wide range of features for creating and editing vector graphics, raster images, and page layouts.

Choosing the right graphic design apps for your needs can be difficult, especially if you are new to the field. There are many different apps available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we will introduce you to the 15 best graphic design apps. These apps are chosen for their versatility, power, and ease of use. They are suitable for both beginners and experienced designers.

The apps in this list can be used to create a wide range of graphic design projects including:

  • Logos and branding materials
  • Illustrations and icons
  • Packaging and product design
  • Website and app design
  • Marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, and posters
  • Social media graphics
  • Presentations and reports

Whether you are a professional graphic designer or a hobbyist, the graphic design apps in this list can help you to create high-quality designs.

Overview of Top Graphic Design Apps in 2024

Here is the Brief overview of what you are going to get in this article:

  • Best app for vector editing: Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, Inkscape
  • Best app for raster editing: Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo, GIMP
  • Best app for animation: Procreate and Adobe Animate
  • Best app for publishing: Affinity Publisher and Adobe InDesign
  • Best app for wireframing and prototyping: Figma and Adobe XD
  • Best app for social media: Canva and Adobe Express

Best Graphic Design Apps for Vector Editing

Adobe Illustrator

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS, Cloud-based available for Illustrator(Beta), iPad

File Compatibility: EPS, PDF, PSD, SVG, DXF, DWG,

JPEG, PNG, TIFF

Support: Live chat

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Inc. It is used to create a wide variety of graphics, including logos, illustrations, signs, banners, and posters. It is also used in desktop publishing and web design. It is a popular choice for businesses and organizations to create their own marketing materials.

Illustrator includes a number of tools and features that make it a powerful and versatile graphics editor. For example, Illustrator includes a variety of drawing tools, such as pen, pencil, and brushes. It also includes tools for creating and editing shapes, paths, and text.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 IndividualBusinessStudents and TeachersSchools and Universities
Single App (Illustrator)$20.99/month$35.99/monthNo single plan$14.99/month
Creative Cloud All Apps$54.99/month$84.99/month$19.99/month$34.99/month
Adobe Illustrator Pricing

Note: Adobe offers Illustrator pricing in two ways. You can purchase Illustrator as a single app or you can purchase Adobe creative cloud (Set of apps including Illustrator).

Affinity Designer

Graphic design apps - Affinity designer
Affinity designer

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Platform: Windows, macOS and iPad

File Compatibility: AFDESIGN, SVG, EPS, PDF, PSD, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, DXF, DWG

Support: +44 (0)115 9142000, affinity@serif.com

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor developed by Serif. It offers a set of features for creating and editing vector objects which includes a variety of drawing tools, tools for creating and editing Bezier curves, tools for adding and editing strokes and fills. It also has a wide range of effects, filters, and a powerful text engine with support for OpenType fonts.

It is a powerful tool for creating a wide range of vector graphics like logos, icons, illustrations, infographics, and web graphics. It is also well-suited for creating and designing layouts for print and digital media.

Pricing: One-time payment

 IndividualBusinessEducation
Universal License$164.99$156.74Contact Sales
Desktop App$69.99$66.49
iPad App$18.49$17.57
Affinity Designer Pricing

Inkscape

Graphic design apps - Inkscape
Inkscape

Rating: 4.4 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux

File Compatibility: SVG, AI, EPS, PDF, PS,TIFF, JPEG and PNG

Support: Community chat support

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor that’s widely used for creating and editing scalable vector graphics (SVG) and other vector file formats. As a cross-platform application available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, Inkscape has gained popularity among graphic designers, illustrators, and web developers due to its accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

It offers a comprehensive set of vector design tools, including drawing, shape manipulation, text support, and gradient editing that makes it a great tool for creating logos, illustrations, icons, and more.

Pricing: Free to use

Best Graphic Design Apps for Raster Editing

Adobe Photoshop

Best Graphic design apps - Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS, Cloud-based, iPad

File Compatibility: PDF, PSD, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PNG

Support: Live chat

Adobe Photoshop is a renowned raster graphics editing software developed by Adobe Inc. It is widely recognized as the industry standard for image manipulation, photo editing, and graphic design.

Photoshop offers a rich array of powerful tools and features that enables users to retouch and enhance photographs, create digital art, design graphics for print and web, and more. It is known for its comprehensive set of tools, including layers, masks, filters, and a wide range of brushes that makes it an essential tool for photographers, graphic designers, and digital artists.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 IndividualBusinessStudents and TeachersSchools and Universities
Single App (Photoshop)$20.99/month$35.99/monthNo single plan$14.99/month
Creative Cloud All Apps$54.99/month$84.99/month$19.99/month$34.99/month
Adobe Photoshop Pricing

Note: Adobe offers Photoshop pricing in two ways. You can purchase Photoshop as a single app or you can purchase Adobe creative cloud (Set of apps including Photoshop).

Affinity Photo

Graphic design apps - Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo

Rating: 4.6 /5

Platform: Windows, macOS and iPad

File Compatibility: AI, GIF, SVG, WebP, DNG, EPS, PDF, PSD, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PNG

Support:+44 (0)115 9142000, affinity@serif.com

Affinity Photo is a professional image editing software developed by Serif. This robust application offers a wide range of tools and features for photo retouching, manipulation, and digital artwork creation. It provides advanced selection tools, layer support, non-destructive editing, and extensive filters and effects.

Affinity Photo is a versatile choice for photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists because it support both raster and vector graphics. This software includes features such as HDR merging, focus stacking, batch processing, and panoramic photo stitching that makes it a comprehensive solution for photographers.

Pricing: One-time payment

 IndividualBusinessEducation
Universal License$164.99$156.74Contact Sales
Desktop App$69.99$66.49
iPad App$18.49$17.57
Affinity Photo Pricing

GIMP

Graphic design apps - Gimp
Gimp

Rating: 4.3 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux

File Compatibility: BMP, GIF, JPEG, MNG, PCX, PDF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVG, TIFF, TGA, XPM

Support: GIMP community support

GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a powerful and free open-source raster graphic editor. GIMP offers a wide range of tools for tasks such as photo retouching, image composition, and graphic design. It supports various file formats and features layers, masks, filters, and a customizable user interface.

GIMP’s robust capabilities and active open-source community make it a compelling choice for users seeking a cost-effective alternative for image editing and manipulation.

Pricing: Free to use

Best Graphic Design Apps for Animations

Procreate

Graphic design apps - Procreate
Procreate

Rating: 5 / 5

Platform: iPad

File Compatibility: .procreate, PSD, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, PDF, MP4, HEVC, OBJ, USDZ

Support: support@procreate.com

Procreate is a digital painting and illustration app designed for iPad which is known for its exceptional performance and user-friendly interface. It offers an extensive range of artistic tools and features that enables artists, illustrators, and designers to create stunning artwork with precision and ease.

Procreate’s fluid brush engine, extensive brush library, and support for various layer styles and blending modes make it a powerful platform for creative expression. Its time-lapse recording feature and compatibility with the Apple Pencil enhance the overall digital art-making experience.

Pricing: One time payment of $12.99 from app store

Adobe Animate

Graphic design apps - Adobe Animate
Adobe Animate

Rating: 4 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS

File Compatibility: AI, PSD, PNG, BMP, GIF, JPG, SVG, SWF

Support: Live chat

Adobe Animate is a powerful animation software developed by Adobe Systems. It is widely used for creating interactive animations, web-based content, and multimedia applications. Adobe Animate supports both vector and raster graphics and provides a range of animation tools that makes it a preferred choice for animators and web developers.

With features for character rigging, timeline-based animation, and interactivity through ActionScript (or JavaScript/HTML5) it’s a popular tool for creating animated content for the web and other digital platforms.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 IndividualBusinessStudents and TeachersSchools and Universities
Single App (Animate)$20.99/month$35.99/monthNo single plan$14.99/month
Creative Cloud All Apps$54.99/month$84.99/month$19.99/month$34.99/month
Adobe Animate Pricing

Note: Adobe offers Animate pricing in two ways. You can purchase Adobe Animate as a single app or you can purchase Adobe creative cloud (Set of apps including Adobe Animate).

Best Graphic Design Apps for Publishing

Affinity Publisher

Graphic design apps - Affinity Publisher
Affinity Publisher

Rating: 4.7 / 5

Platform: Windows, macOS and iPad

File Compatibility: PNG, TIFF, JPG, SVG, PDF, DocX, RTF

Support: +44 (0)115 9142000, affinity@serif.com

Affinity Publisher is a desktop publishing software created by Serif which is known for its capabilities in print and digital document design. It provides a user-friendly and feature-rich platform for tasks such as creating brochures, magazines, books, and various types of layouts.

It has advanced typography tools, precise layout control, and support for both vector and raster graphics. It also seamlessly integrates with other Affinity software and offers a complete creative ecosystem.

Pricing: One-time payment

 IndividualBusinessEducation
Universal License$164.99$156.74Contact Sales
Desktop App$69.99$66.49
iPad App$18.49$17.57
Affinity Publisher Pricing

Adobe InDesign

Graphic design apps - Adobe InDesign
Adobe InDesign

Rating: 4.6 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS

File Compatibility: TIFF, GIF, JPG/JPEG, BMP, EPS, DCS, IDMS, WMF, EMF, PCX, PNG, SCT, AI, PSD, PDF, INDD, TXT, DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, RTF, SWF, FLV/F4V, MP4, AVI, MOV, MP3

Support: Live chat

Adobe InDesign is a professional desktop publishing software designed for creating print and digital layouts. It is widely used in the publishing and design industry for producing magazines, brochures, flyers, posters, eBooks, and more.

It offers a robust set of tools for precise typography, layout design, and the integration of text, graphics, and multimedia elements. With its support for industry standards like PDF and ePub, InDesign is known for its flexibility in delivering high-quality documents across various media platforms.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 IndividualBusinessStudents and TeachersSchools and Universities
Single App (InDesign)$20.99/month$35.99/monthNo single plan$14.99/month
Creative Cloud All Apps$54.99/month$84.99/month$19.99/month$34.99/month
Adobe InDesign Pricing

Note: Adobe offers Adobe InDesign pricing in two ways. You can purchase Adobe InDesign as a single app or you can purchase Adobe creative cloud (Set of apps including Adobe InDesign).

Best Graphic Design Apps for Wireframing and Prototyping

Figma

Rating: 4.7 / 5

Platform: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, iPad

File Compatibility: .fig, .sketch, .jam, JPG, PNG, GIF

Support: Ticket Support

Figma is a cloud-based collaborative design tool that has gained immense popularity among designers for its innovative approach to interface design and prototyping. Unlike traditional design software, Figma is entirely web-based that makes it platform-independent and easily accessible from any device with an internet connection.

It’s particularly known for its real-time collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same design project simultaneously. Figma is widely used for designing user interfaces, creating interactive prototypes, and sharing design work with clients and team members.

Pricing: Subscription-based

StarterFree
Figma Professional$12/editor/month
Figma Organization$45/editor/month
Enterprise$75/editor/month
Figma Pricing

Sketch

Graphic design apps - sketch

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Platform: MacOS, iOS, iPad, Cloud-based

File Compatibility: PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF, WebP, .fig, SVG, EPS, PDF, PSD

Support: Ticket support

Sketch is a popular vector graphics design software developed exclusively for macOS. It has gained a strong following among UI/UX designers, web developers, and digital artists for its user-friendly interface and efficient design tools. Sketch is particularly well-suited for creating user interfaces, app prototypes, and web designs.

It offers features like artboards for responsive design, symbols for reusable elements, and an extensive library of plugins to enhance functionality. Its real-time collaboration capabilities have made it a valuable tool for remote teams working on design projects.

Pricing: Subscription-based

Standard subscription$10/editor/month
Mac-only License$120 per license
Sketch Pricing

Adobe XD

Graphic design apps - Adobe XD
Adobe XD

Rating: 4.3 / 5

Platform: Windows and MacOS

File Compatibility: Text, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG, BMP, PSD, AI, SKETCH

Support: Live chat

Adobe XD, short for Adobe Experience Design, is a powerful prototyping tool. It is primarily used for creating user interfaces, interactive prototypes, and user experience (UX) designs for websites and mobile applications.

Adobe XD provides a user-friendly interface that enables designers and UX professionals to efficiently design and test their ideas. With features like responsive resizing, auto-animate, and collaboration tools, it streamlines the design and prototyping process.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 IndividualBusinessStudents and TeachersSchools and Universities
Creative Cloud All Apps$54.99/month$84.99/month$19.99/month$34.99/month
Adobe XD Pricing

Note: Adobe XD is not available to purchase as an individual software, you need to purchase a creative cloud subscription to use Adobe XD .

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Content

Canva

canva-appscribed-page

Rating: 4.7 / 5

Platform: Cloud-based, Android, iOS

File Compatibility: JPEG, PNG, SVG, PDF, and GIF

Support: Live chat

Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that empowers individuals and businesses to create a wide array of visual content from social media posts and marketing materials to presentations and print designs. It offers a vast library of customizable templates, high-quality images, graphics, and a simple drag-and-drop interface that requires no graphic design experience.

Canva’s collaborative features make it ideal for teams and enable real-time editing and sharing. It has a free version with many design elements and a paid subscription option like Canva Pro, that unlocks even more design resources and tools.

Pricing: Subscription-based

 Individual and teamsTeachers and students
Canva FreeFreeFree to use after verification
Canva Pro$119.99/year for 1 person
Canva Team$300/year for 5 people
Canva Pricing

Adobe Express

Graphic design apps - Adobe Express
Adobe Express

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Platform: Cloud-based, Android, iOS

File Compatibility: JPG, PNG, BMP, SVG

Support: Live chat

Adobe Express is an all-in-one creative platform that makes it easy to create professional-looking designs without any design experience. With Adobe Express, you can create social media posts, flyers, logos, videos, and more in minutes using a wide range of templates, fonts, and images.

It is powered by Adobe firefly which helps you create stunning art and design using text prompts.

Pricing: Subscription-based

Free$0/month
Premium$9.99/month
Adobe Express Pricing

Which is the Best Graphic Design App for Logo Designing?

The choice of the best graphic design app for logo design depends on various factors, including your experience, budget, and specific design requirements. Among the available options, Adobe Illustrator stands out as a top choice for logo design. It offers a comprehensive set of vector editing tools that makes it perfect for creating scalable and high-quality logos. Its precision and versatility in handling shapes, text, and colors make it a favorite among professional graphic designers.

Another strong contender is Affinity Designer, which provides a one-time payment model and powerful vector editing capabilities. It’s suitable for those who want a professional-grade tool without the ongoing subscription costs.

Inkscape, being open-source and free, is a great option for budget-conscious logo designers. It offers a wide range of vector design tools that makes it a valuable choice for creating logos.

So you have three options: Adobe Illustrator, Affinity designer, and Inkscape for logo designing. If you have a budget then Adobe Illustrator is the best choice for logo designing and if you have a tight budget but want to design a logo then Inkscape is the ideal choice.

Also Read: Top AI Content Writers in 2024

Career Opportunity and Growth for Graphic Designers

According to the United States bureau of labor statistics, the employment growth for graphic designers is expected to grow at 3% from 2022 to 2032. Also the average salary for graphic designers is around $57,990 as of November 2022 and is projected to grow in the future.

This number shows the future predictions for the growth of this field. There are so many opportunities one can grab in this field and there are a variety of career options available to choose from.

Graphic design is not a singular discipline but it is a multifaceted domain with several specialized areas, each presenting unique opportunities for career growth.

  • Advertisement Designer: Marketing and advertising designers are responsible for creating compelling visual content aimed at influencing consumer behavior. They work on print and digital advertisements, social media graphics, podcast cover art, brochures, billboards, and more. Understanding consumer psychology is crucial in this field.
  • Packaging Designer: Packaging designers infuse creativity into product packaging and ensure it appeals to consumers. This role necessitates knowledge of branding and consumer behavior as well as expertise in color theory, typography, and legal requirements.
  • UI/UX Designer: UI/UX designers focus on creating user-friendly, visually appealing digital experiences. Their skills in design principles, user experience, and an understanding of basic coding principles are valuable even if they don’t do the coding themselves.
  • Brand Identity Designer: This specialization revolves around shaping a company’s visual presence, encompassing logo design, color palettes, typography, and other visual elements. Brand identity designers craft the overall image and create style guidelines, making their role pivotal in defining a company’s identity and story.
  • Print & Publication Designer: This domain remains relevant which contains projects such as book covers, magazine layouts, menu design, and stationery. Mastery of design principles, color theory, typography, and an understanding of print vs digital environments is crucial.

Conclusion

The field of graphic design is vast and diverse that requires a variety of tools to meet different creative needs. The 15 most essential graphic design apps discussed here cover a wide spectrum of design tasks, from vector and raster editing to animation, publishing, wireframing, and social media content creation. These apps cater to both beginners and experienced designers and offer a plethora of features, powerful capabilities, and diverse pricing models.

Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop remain staples in the industry, known for their comprehensive feature sets. Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo offer powerful alternatives with one-time payment options. Open-source solutions like Inkscape and GIMP make quality design accessible to all. For those focused on animation, Procreate and Adobe Animate are excellent choices.

So whether you’re crafting logos, illustrations, web designs, or marketing materials, these applications provide the tools necessary to bring your creative visions to life.

FAQs for Best Graphic Design Apps

What Software Do Most Graphic Designers Use?

Launched in 2013, Canva is the most used Graphic Designing App with over 125 Mn users.

Which Graphic Design software are available for Chromebook

With most graphic designing software available as a web app, they can be used on Chromebook. Some of the best Graphic Design apps for Chromebook are Photoshop, Canva, GIMP, Illustrator, and many more.

Is Adobe Photoshop free?

No, Adobe Photoshop is not free. It is a paid subscription service that is part of Adobe Creative Cloud. There is a free 7-day trial available, but after that, you will need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to continue using the software.

What are different types of Graphic Design Apps?

There are many types of Graphic Design apps suitable for different use cases like Vector editing apps, Raster editor, Animation tools, Desktop Publishing Software, Wireframing tools, Logo designers and more.

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