Apps Used for Graphic Design: Boost Your Creativity and Productivity

A Game-Changing Guide to the Best Graphic Design Apps

Are you a budding graphic designer looking for the perfect apps to enhance your creative process? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the top apps used by professionals in the field. From photo editing to vector design, we have got you covered. Let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of graphic design apps!


When it comes to graphic design, having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, graphic design apps have become an essential part of every designer’s toolkit. These apps not only allow you to work on the go but also offer a wide range of features and functionalities that can boost your creativity and productivity.

According to a survey conducted by Adobe, a leading software company in the design industry, 78% of graphic designers use mobile apps in their workflow. With thousands of apps available in the market, finding the right ones can be overwhelming. That’s why we have curated a list of the best apps used for graphic design, based on user reviews, industry recommendations, and our own experience.

Before we dive into the details, let’s address the question on every designer’s mind:

“Which graphic design app is the best for my needs?”

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your specific requirements and preferences. However, we have identified seven top-notch apps that cater to various aspects of graphic design. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional, these apps will surely elevate your designs to the next level.

Adobe Photoshop: The King of Photo Editing

When it comes to photo editing, Adobe Photoshop is the undisputed leader in the industry. With its powerful tools and extensive capabilities, this app is a must-have for any graphic designer. From retouching and color correction to complex photo manipulations, Photoshop offers endless possibilities.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editing software that allows you to edit and enhance digital images. It offers a wide range of tools and features, including layers, masks, filters, and brushes, to help you achieve stunning results. Whether you are working on web design, photo manipulation, or digital painting, Photoshop has got you covered.

Here are seven key features that make Adobe Photoshop the go-to app for any graphic designer:

  1. Layers: Allows you to organize and manipulate different elements of your design separately.
  2. Selection Tools: Enable you to isolate specific parts of an image for editing.
  3. Brushes: Provide a wide variety of brush styles and settings for painting and drawing.
  4. Filters: Allow you to apply various effects and transformations to your images.
  5. Masking: Lets you hide or reveal parts of an image to create seamless composites.
  6. Smart Objects: Allow non-destructive editing and easy updating of design elements.
  7. Actions: Enable you to automate repetitive tasks to save time and increase efficiency.

These are just a few examples of the powerful features offered by Adobe Photoshop. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this app will revolutionize your approach to photo editing and design.

Adobe Illustrator: Unlock Your Vector Design Potential

While Photoshop is great for editing photos, Adobe Illustrator is the go-to app for vector design. Whether you are creating logos, icons, or illustrations, Illustrator offers a range of tools and features specifically tailored for vector-based artwork.

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor that enables you to create and manipulate scalable artwork. Unlike raster graphics, which are made up of pixels, vector graphics are based on mathematical equations, allowing you to scale your designs without losing quality.

Here are seven key features that make Adobe Illustrator a must-have app for vector design:

  1. Pen Tool: Allows you to create precise curves and paths.
  2. Shape Tools: Enable you to create basic shapes and modify them to suit your needs.
  3. Gradient Tools: Provide various options for creating smooth color transitions.
  4. Symbol Libraries: Allow you to store and reuse commonly used design elements.
  5. Pathfinder: Lets you combine, divide, and intersect shapes to create complex forms.
  6. Type Tools: Provide a wide range of options for working with text in your designs.
  7. Artboards: Enable you to work on multiple designs within a single document.

These features, combined with the precision and scalability of vector graphics, make Adobe Illustrator a powerful tool for any graphic designer. With Illustrator, you can bring your ideas to life and create stunning artwork with ease.

Canva: Simplifying Graphic Design for Everyone

Not everyone has the time or expertise to master complex design software. That’s where Canva comes in. This popular online design tool offers a simplified approach to graphic design, making it accessible to beginners and non-designers.

Introduction to Canva

Canva is an intuitive web-based design platform that provides a wide range of templates, stock photos, and design elements. Whether you need to create social media graphics, presentations, or marketing materials, Canva offers a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes design a breeze.

Here are seven key features that make Canva a go-to app for beginners and non-designers:

  1. Templates: Provide a starting point for various types of designs, saving you time and effort.
  2. Stock Photos: Offer a vast library of high-quality images to enhance your designs.
  3. Drag-and-Drop Editor: Allows you to easily add and arrange elements in your designs.
  4. Text Options: Provide a variety of fonts, styles, and formatting options for your text.
  5. Design Elements: Include icons, shapes, and illustrations to enhance your visuals.
  6. Collaboration Tools: Enable you to work on designs with your team in real-time.
  7. Export Options: Allow you to download your designs in various formats, ready for sharing.

With Canva, you don’t need to be a design expert to create stunning visuals. Whether you are a small business owner, a student, or a social media enthusiast, Canva makes graphic design accessible to everyone.

Procreate: Unleash Your Creativity on the iPad

If you are an iPad user, Procreate is a game-changer. This powerful app is specifically designed for digital painting and illustration, offering an extensive range of tools and features that rival desktop software.

Introduction to Procreate

Procreate is a digital painting app for iPad that provides a realistic and immersive drawing experience. With its intuitive interface and extensive brush library, Procreate allows you to create stunning artwork on the go.

Here are seven key features that make Procreate a must-have app for digital artists:

  1. Brush Library: Includes a wide variety of realistic brushes, from watercolors to pencils.
  2. Layer System: Enables you to work with multiple layers, giving you full control over your artwork.
  3. Customizable Brushes: Allow you to create your own brushes with unique characteristics.
  4. Time-lapse Recording: Lets you capture your creative process and share it with others.
  5. Selection Tools: Enable you to select and manipulate specific parts of your artwork.
  6. Blending Modes: Provide various options for blending colors and textures.
  7. Export Options: Allow you to save your artwork in high-resolution formats for printing or sharing.

Procreate is not just a drawing app; it’s a complete art studio in your iPad. Whether you are a professional artist or an enthusiast, Procreate will take your digital artwork to new heights.

Affinity Designer: The Professional’s Choice for Vector Design

If you are looking for a powerful alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer is a worthy contender. This professional-grade vector design app offers a comprehensive set of features and tools, making it a favorite among designers.

Introduction to Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor that combines power and precision with an intuitive user interface. Whether you are working on logos, illustrations, or user interfaces, Affinity Designer provides the tools you need to bring your vision to life.

Here are seven key features that make Affinity Designer a top-notch app for vector design:

  1. Advanced Pen Tool: Allows you to create precise curves and shapes with ease.
  2. Responsive Design: Enables you to create designs for multiple devices and screen sizes.
  3. Non-Destructive Editing: Lets you modify your designs without damaging the original artwork.
  4. Vector Brushes: Provide a wide range of brush styles and settings for dynamic effects.
  5. Grids and Guides: Aid in precise alignment and spacing of design elements.
  6. Symbols: Allow you to create reusable design elements for consistent branding.
  7. Export Persona: Simplifies the process of exporting your designs in various file formats.

Affinity Designer combines the power of professional software with ease of use, making it a valuable asset for any designer. With its extensive range of features, this app can handle anything from simple illustrations to complex design projects.

Sketch: Designing Beautiful User Interfaces

If you are primarily focused on designing user interfaces for websites and mobile apps, Sketch is the perfect tool for you. This vector-based design app offers a streamlined workflow and specialized features that cater to UI/UX designers.

Introduction to Sketch

Sketch is a vector-based design tool that allows you to create beautiful user interfaces with ease. With its intuitive interface and specialized features, Sketch simplifies the process of designing websites, mobile apps, and other digital interfaces.

Here are seven key features that make Sketch a must-have app for UI/UX designers:

  1. Artboards: Enable you to design multiple screens or pages within a single document.
  2. Symbols: Provide reusable design elements for consistent UI elements and icons.
  3. Shared Styles: Make it easy to maintain consistent typography and color palettes.
  4. Prototyping: Allow you to create interactive prototypes to test and validate your designs.
  5. Export Options: Simplify the process of exporting assets for development.
  6. Plugins: Extend the functionality of Sketch by integrating with third-party tools and services.
  7. Collaboration: Enable you to work on designs with your team in real-time.

Sketch is a game-changer for UI/UX designers, providing a focused and efficient workflow for creating stunning user interfaces. With its growing community and extensive plugin ecosystem, this app continues to evolve and meet the ever-changing needs of designers.

InVision Studio: Bringing Designs to Life with Animation

If you want to take your designs to the next level by adding animation and interactivity, InVision Studio is the perfect choice. This powerful design tool combines screen design, prototyping, and animation into a single platform.

Introduction to InVision Studio

InVision Studio is a design and prototyping tool that allows you to create interactive and animated user interfaces. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, this app empowers designers to bring their designs to life and create immersive experiences.

Here are seven key features that make InVision Studio a must-have app for interactive design:

  1. Artboards: Enable you to design multiple screens or states within a single document.
  2. Animations: Allow you to create intuitive transitions and interactions between screens.
  3. Components: Provide reusable design elements for consistent UI elements across screens.
  4. Microinteractions: Enable you to add subtle animations and feedback to your designs.
  5. Collaboration: Enable you to work on designs with your team in real-time.
  6. Prototyping: Let you create interactive prototypes to test and validate your designs.
  7. Handoff: Simplify the process of sharing design specs with developers.

InVision Studio bridges the gap between design and development, allowing designers to create interactive prototypes that resemble the final product. With its advanced animation capabilities, this app opens up new possibilities for creating engaging user experiences.

Apps Used for Graphic Design – FAQ

1. Can I use graphic design apps on my smartphone or tablet?

Yes, many graphic design apps are available for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to work on your designs whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Whether you have an iPhone, Android device, or iPad, there are plenty of options to choose from. Just make sure to check the compatibility of the app with your specific device before downloading.

2. Are these graphic design apps suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! Many of the graphic design apps mentioned in this article offer user-friendly interfaces and intuitive features, making them ideal for beginners. Whether you’re just starting out in graphic design or looking to enhance your skills, these apps provide a great platform to learn and experiment with different design techniques.

3. Do I need to have artistic skills to use these apps?

While having artistic skills can certainly be an advantage, it is not a prerequisite to using graphic design apps. These apps often come with pre-made templates, design elements, and tools that can help you create visually appealing designs even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. With practice and experimentation, you can develop your design skills and create impressive artwork.

4. Can I use these apps for professional graphic design work?

Absolutely! Many professional graphic designers rely on these apps for their day-to-day work. With their extensive features and powerful tools, these apps provide the functionality needed to create high-quality designs for various purposes, from branding and marketing to web and mobile app design. They are widely recognized and used in the industry, making them a reliable choice forprofessionals.

5. Can I collaborate with others using these apps?

Yes, collaboration is an essential aspect of graphic design, and many of these apps offer collaboration features. Whether it’s sharing your designs with team members, receiving feedback, or working on projects together in real-time, these apps provide functionalities that facilitate smooth collaboration. This can be particularly helpful if you’re working with a remote team or clients.

6. Can I export my designs from these apps?

Yes, all the apps mentioned in this article allow you to export your designs in various formats, depending on your specific needs. Whether you need to save your designs as high-resolution images for printing or export them in web-friendly formats, these apps offer a range of export options. This ensures that your designs can be easily shared, showcased, or used in further stages of the design process.

7. Are these apps available for both Mac and Windows?

Most of the graphic design apps mentioned in this article are available for both Mac and Windows operating systems. However, it’s always a good idea to check the system requirements of each app to ensure compatibility with your specific device. Some apps may have certain features or functionalities that are exclusive to one operating system, so it’s worth exploring the options and choosing the one that best suits your needs.

8. How do I choose the right graphic design app for my needs?

Choosing the right graphic design app depends on several factors, including your specific needs, budget, and level of expertise. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:

Identify Your Design Goals:

Before selecting an app, it’s important to identify your design goals and the type of projects you’ll be working on. Are you primarily focused on photo editing, vector design, user interface design, or a combination of these? Understanding your specific design goals will help you narrow down your options.

Consider Your Budget:

Some graphic design apps, like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, require a subscription or a one-time purchase, while others offer free or more affordable pricing plans. Consider your budget and evaluate whether the features and functionalities of each app justify the cost.

Assess User Interface and Ease of Use:

The user interface and ease of use of an app play a significant role in your overall experience. Look for apps that have an intuitive interface, offer easily accessible tools, and provide a smooth workflow. Some apps also offer tutorials and resources to help you get started and learn the ropes.

Explore Features and Tools:

Each graphic design app has its own set of features and tools. Take the time to explore and compare the capabilities of different apps. Consider what features are important to you, such as layers, brushes, typography options, or animation capabilities. Look for apps that offer the functionalities you need to bring your design ideas to life.

Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations:

Before making a final decision, read reviews from other users and seek recommendations from fellow designers or industry professionals. Their insights and experiences can provide valuable insights into the pros and cons of each app. You can also take advantage of free trials or demo versions to test out the apps and see if they meet your expectations.

By considering these factors and evaluating your specific needs, you can choose the right graphic design app that aligns with your goals and enhances your creative workflow.


In summary, graphic design apps have revolutionized the way designers work, providing powerful tools and features that enhance creativity and boost productivity. Whether you’re a beginner looking to explore your creative potential or a seasoned professional seeking to streamline your workflow, these apps offer a wide range of capabilities to meet your design needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we explored the top apps used for graphic design, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Canva, Procreate, Affinity Designer, Sketch, and InVision Studio. Each of these apps caters to different aspects of graphic design, from photo editing and vector design to simplified design interfaces and animation capabilities.

While Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator remain industry leaders, other apps like Canva, Procreate, Affinity Designer, Sketch, and InVision Studio provide alternative options with their unique features and user-friendly interfaces. Whether you’re a professional designer, a student, or simply someone with a passion for design, there’s an app that can help you unleash your creativity and create stunning visuals.

When choosing the right graphic design app for your needs, consider factors such as your design goals, budget, user interface, features, and recommendations from other designers. Taking the time to explore and compare different apps will ensure that you find the perfect fit for your design workflow.

So, embrace the power of graphic design apps, experiment with different tools and techniques, and let your creativity soar. With these apps by your side, the possibilities are endless. Happy designing!

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