Top 10 Best Graphic Design Software Tools For Beginners

This comprehensive review and comparison of the top Graphic Design Tools can help you select the best Graphic Design Software today:

Brands of all types and sizes require graphic design software that brings out stunning designs that speak to the target audience.

Whether you are looking to start a blog or want to create stunning photos for an eCommerce site, you must select the best graphic design software to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Top Graphic Design Software

Graphic Design Software Review

Fabulous graphic design tools help in enhancing your marketing efficiency and put your creations out into the real world. In this article, we will look at the top 10 online graphic design software that you can use to enhance your website and other imagery purposes.

Fact Check: According to a recent survey, more than 80% of digital marketers admit to using visual media when creating social media marketing solutions. This is primarily because visual assets used in social media posts bring in 650% higher engagement than those created using plain text.

Tweets that have images, generate 150% extra retweets and Facebook posts that have images produce 230% more engagement. Blog articles with images also generate twice as many social media shares. This is the reason why you need excellent graphic design software to increase engagement with your target audience.

Survey

[image source]

Pro Tip: Ensure that you get a graphic design tool that has a lot of features including working with transparent backgrounds, a wide range of font integrations, and image manipulation power. The more features you get, the more you can create and edit high-quality and complex images.

FAQs About Online Graphic Design Software

Here are some important questions being asked about this type of software:

Q #1) Can I create a logo in Microsoft Word?

Answer: It depends on the complexity and use of the logo. If you want a complex logo, you must get a professional graphic design tool. However, you can use Microsoft Word for a simple Text Logo design.

Q #2) Are there online graphic design tools?

Answer: There are several online graphic design tools that you can use, like Pixlr. However, it is best to use a desktop application since these come with powerful image manipulation features.

Q #3) Can free graphic design software measure up to premium software?

Answer: Yes! Some free graphic design tools will give you as much functionality as premium tools.

Q #4) Is using clipart allowed for logos?

Answer: Normally, online clipart belongs to the creator. You may use it as a template to build upon, but for a unique logo, you need to create your images.

Q #5) Should you be a Fine Artist to use graphic design tools?

Answer: You don’t need to be adept at Fine Art to use graphic design software. You only need to understand how to use the tool. However, knowledge of Fine Arts will help you create stunning images.

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List Of Top Graphic Design Software

Here is a list of most popular Graphic Design Software companies:

  1. Lucidpress
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. CorelDraw
  4. Inkscape
  5. Adobe Illustrator CC
  6. Gravit Designer
  7. Canva
  8. Pixlr
  9. Vectr
  10. Krita

Comparison Of Best Graphic Design Tools

Tool NameMain FeaturesUsability/ReliabilityStarting PriceOur Rating (Out of 5 stars)
Lucidpress•Online Platform
•Allows for storage of brand assets
•Automate branding data such as telephone number, email address, etc.
•Quick import and export to online storage sites such as Dropbox.
You can easily access your brand assets and manipulate them using any browser.
Allows for the use of YouTube video.
Free Basic option
Pro – From $10
Team – From $12 for a team of 3 users
Business – Custom Quote based on number of users
4.7
Adobe Photoshop•Very high image manipulation features
•Allows creation of 3D-like images
•High-Quality border selection to cut of unwanted elements in a picture.
The tool is quite powerful but has a steep learning curve.
It is reliable when you want high-quality image creation and manipulation
Available with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (All Apps)
Individual - $39.95/Month
Business - $59.99/Month
Students & Teachers - $19.99/Month
Schools & Universities – Custom quote based on use.
Photoshop Alone - $20.99/Month
4.7
CorelDraw•Best suited for vector art creation
•Basic image manipulation features
All those who want extreme illustrations (vector) find this tool very useful. Annual Subscription - $399
One-time Purchase - $785
4.6
Inkscape•Flexible drawing tools
•Broad file format compatibility
•Powerful text tool
•Bezier and spiral curves
Excellent tool for vector graphic creation and manipulation.Free Forever4.5
Adobe Illustrator CC•Create illustrations using basic elements
•Great manipulation of SVG vector images
This is an ideal tool for vector graphics artists. Comes with a host of templates to start fromAvailable with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (All Apps)
Individual - $39.95/Month
Business - $59.99/Month
Students & Teachers - $19.99/Month
Schools & Universities – Custom quote based on use.
Adobe Illustrator CC Alone - $29.99/Month
4.5

Review of the top tools:

#1) Lucidpress

Best for online creation and manipulation of illustrations and images.

lucidpress-dashboard

Lucid Press is online graphic design software that you can use to create and manipulate images and illustrations. It has a large database of templates to start with.

Features:

  • An online tool that you can use anywhere.
  • A lot of templates to edit and customize.
  • Drag and drop usability.
  • Extremely simple user interface.

Cons: It does not have a comprehensive image database, especially PNG icons.

Verdict: This tool is great for people who want to create simple graphics for social media and basic brand identity. The image database is basic for those starting.

Price: Free Basic plan, Pro plan starting from $10 per user, Team plan starting from $12 for a team of 3 users, and a custom Business plan based on the number of users.

lucidpress-pricing

Website: Lucidpress


#2) Adobe Photoshop

Best for top-notch photo manipulation and creation.

adobe-photoshop

This is one of the most popular graphic design software used for image creation and manipulation. It has extremely powerful features allowing you to design and edit any image as you wish.

Features:

  • Add text to images.
  • Correct colors on any image.
  • Select borders with ease.
  • Create incredible images from scratch.
  • Quickly organize photos for easy access.

Cons: It has a very steep learning curve and newbies will take time to master.

Verdict: If you want full control when editing images, this is the best tool to use. It also allows you to create stunning images from a blank canvas.

Price: License is available on Adobe Creative Cloud. Pay $20.99/Month for Adobe Photoshop alone for a single user.

adobe-photoshop-single-license

Website: Adobe Photoshop


#3) CorelDraw

Best for designing fantastic vector images.

Coreldraw

This is a leading vector graphic design and manipulation tool that comes with several tools that allow you to create realistic and incredible illustrations.

Features:

  • Huge interactive sliders.
  • LiveSketch tool for sketching.
  • Import legacy workspaces.
  • Enhanced Vector previews, Handles, and Nodes for easy creation and editing.
  • Font search and addition.
  • Ability to use a touch stylus to draw on the screen.

Cons: This software is only available for Windows.

Verdict: When you want to create professional and life-like vector images, CorelDraw is the best graphic design software to use. It has a steep learning curve but quite wonderful once you master it.

Price: One-time purchase price is $785 or you can opt for an Annual Subscription of $399.

coreldraw-price

Website: CorelDraw


#4) Inkscape

Best for basic to medium level vector graphics creation and manipulation.

inkscape

This is a free desktop vector graphic creation and editing tool. It is especially great for beginners who want to start learning vector graphic editing without paying anything.

Features:

  • Simple object creation using various shapes.
  • Curves can be used to draw intricate designs.
  • Powerful color picking tool for easy selection.
  • Operations along paths for accuracy.
  • Supports transparent PNG rendering.
  • Excellent text tools.

Cons: It has a steep learning curve although it is best for newbies who cannot afford professional graphic design software.

Verdict: Inkscape is great for those who know how to create vector graphics and have a low budget to buy graphic design software. It has features that allow you to create any type of vector graphics you want.

Price: Forever free; you do not have to pay a penny to use this graphic design tool.

Website: Inkscape


#5) Adobe Illustrator CC

Best for advanced creation and editing of vector graphics.

adobe-illustrator

It is one of the leading vector graphic design and manipulation tools. It allows for tracing of photos into Vector Graphics.

Features:

  • Mathematical graphic creation instead of pixels ensures all graphics are crisp.
  • Access to more than 90 million stock images on the creative cloud.
  • Adobe font integration.
  • The small output file size makes it great for creating web images that will load quickly.

Cons: It has a steep learning curve and a challenging user interface.

Verdict: Adobe Illustrator CC is a fantastic graphic design tool for creating web images. It outputs high-quality images in small sizes, perfect for quick-loading websites.

Price: License available on Adobe Creative Cloud. When you want Adobe Illustrator alone on Adobe Creative Cloud, you will have to pay a subscription of $20.99/Month for a single user license.

adobe-illustrator-single-license

Website: Adobe Illustrator CC


#6) Gravit Designer

Best for HTML based graphics design both online and on desktop.

gravit-designer

It is HTML-based graphic design software that can be used on any platform. It has a powerful image and vector graphic creation and manipulation capabilities.

Features:

  • Web App and UI design tool using various standard shapes, icons, etc.
  • Excellent Vector Illustration design.
  • Image and photo editing capability.
  • Pages feature for easy movement from one design to another.
  • Exports high-quality PDF documents for printing.

Cons: It has a steep learning curve and a challenging user interface.

Verdict: Gravit designer is a great tool for designing on the go. The basic HTML-based graphic design tool works on any platform, making it ideal to use wherever you are.

Price: Free online based application, but the PRO version can be downloaded to the desktop for $49 per year.

gravit-designer-price

Website: Gravit Designer


#7) Canva

Best for the online template-based design of vector images and web/print documents. Create cards, social media posts, and a lot more.

canva

You can use this online tool to create a wide range of documents and media that requires image manipulation. It is best used for social media purposes and other individual tasks such as creating cards.

Features:

  • Simple and robust design.
  • Comes with pre-made templates for a wide range of applications.
  • Great organization, making it easy to find the templates you need.

Cons: Some of the images are too large giving different results when posted online or printed.

Verdict: As far as online graphic design software comes, this is a leader in the market and offers a wide range of options. Whatever you need to design quickly, you will find it on Canva.

Price: Free graphic design software for the basic plan. The Pro version comes at $9.95/ Month (annual billing) or $12.95/Month on a monthly basis. The Enterprise version comes at $30/Month (annual billing) or a custom quote for a month-by-month subscription.

canva-price

Website: Canva


#8) Pixlr

Best for online photo editing, similar to Adobe Photoshop.

pixlr-editor-

A great free graphic design software with Basic Pixlr X and Advanced Pixlr E options. You can use the extensive image stock to create image media quickly.

Features:

  • Simple interface.
  • Wide stick image library for you to create wonderful images documents for various uses.
  • Seamless editing and sharing between Pixlr X and Pixlr E.
  • Double exposure, healing, cropping, and other powerful features to edit your images with ease.

Cons: It has limited text editing options.

Verdict: If you are looking for an online adobe Photoshop alternative then Pixlr is your best option. However, do not expect the full functionality offered by Photoshop.

Price: Free forever for the basic plan. Premium Plan offered at $3.99/Month and a Professional Plan for $14.99/Month.

pixlr-price

Website: Pixlr


#9) Vectr

Best for vector graphic design and also web design.

Vectr

This is an online and desktop cross-platform vector image creation and editing tool that comes with powerful, yet easy-to-use features, ideal for novice users.

Features:

  • Simple and effective user interface.
  • WordPress integration.
  • Supports importing images in a wide variety of formats.
  • Used for graphic design as well as web design.
  • It has a grid and snaps tools for easy alignment of your designs; especially useful for web design purposes.
  • The desktop version allows for 100 free edits.

Cons: It cannot work without an Internet connection.

Verdict: This is particularly great for people who want to design graphics for website design. The online tool is powerful to give you high-quality images for your web applications.

Price: Free graphic design software, whether you decide to use it online or download the desktop version.

Website: Vectr


#10) Krita

Best for creating paint illustrations for web, comics, and other applications.

krita

A wonderful tool for making paint illustrations. It is ideal for people who have a Fine Art talent. Many people who create online comics use this tool since you can store and reuse assets that you have created.

Features:

  • Clean and simple user interface.
  • A wide range of brushes to make unique art.
  • Brush stabilizers for people who have shaky hands. It enhances the accuracy of your strokes.
  • Built-in Text and Vector templates for comics and other illustrations.
  • Storage and reuse of images that you have created.
  • Easily create seamless textures for other uses

Cons: Poor touch screen controls.

Verdict: If you want to create hand-painted images for your needs, this is one of the best tools that you can use. The brush stabilizers ensure that your strokes are accurate as opposed to other paint tools.

Price: Free graphic design software

Website: Krita


Conclusion

It can be a challenge when it comes to choosing the best graphic design software. There are a few points to consider as you try to make this decision. These are as follows:

  • Budget: As you have seen, some of the tools with the best features are very expensive. You must strike a balance between price and features.
  • Features available: Look at the features that you need to create your perfect creations.
  • Collaboration and use: You must see if the output files are easily shared online and can be used for web and print purposes without compromising quality.

If you are an individual looking for graphic design for once-off editing, a free tool such as Pixlr will work best for you.

If you want to work online and store your work on storage sites such as Dropbox, work with tools such as Vectr. It is also a great tool for creating SVG files for easy scaling.

If you are a professional graphic designer, then Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator should be in your arsenal.

Research process:

We have spent 28 hours testing some of the best graphic design tools, paid, free, online, and desktop. It was a great experience and we came up with the list of the best 10 tools that you can use.
Tools researched online: 18
Tools Shortlisted: 10

=> Contact us to suggest your listing here.