Just like how painting would be uninteresting without colours, so too for Design jobs without Graphic Design tools. An evolution in computer graphics over the years led to rapid advances in the field of Graphic Design. Graphic Design tools not only add creative elements to a design project, but also makes the design process easier and rather fascinating.
Different Graphic Design tools will allow designers to play around and test different approaches in their design journey. Trying new styles and techniques will lend a new perspective to the design work. This will enhance the design’s uniqueness.
This article lists ten essential tools for Graphic Designers, highlighting the advantages and features of each one.
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Adobe Photoshop is by far, one of the most essential tools for Graphic Designers. Adobe Photoshop offers features like cropping, auto-fix, blemish removal, one-touch filter, image rendering, sharing and much more. Photoshop has redefined the art of pixel-based photo editing. This software is most often used by photographers, designers, and web professionals to enhance photos and designs. The tool provides users creative control over image manipulation and composition. However, Adobe Photoshop lacks vector tools. Adobe Photoshop runs on both Mac and Windows. The latest version of Adobe Photoshop is Photoshop CS6.
Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector graphics design software. Adobe Illustrator is used to create logos, typography, icons, sketches or complex illustrations. Without Illustrator, digital designing would be a much slower, time-consuming process. Illustrator comes with a plug-in that helps designers create an appealing web page. The plug-in for Illustrator offers a host of features that enhances workflow. However, Adobe Illustrator is expensive. The software is available on both Windows and Mac. The latest version of Adobe Illustrator for Graphic Designers is Illustrator CC.
3. Adobe In Design
Adobe InDesign is a popular Graphic Design software for creating interactive layouts for mobile platforms, magazines, printed books and brochures. The software is the first choice of professional designers. Behance and Typekit services which are bundled with Adobe InDesign, help designers to synchronize their work flow with photography, videos, designing and website or application development. However, the Adobe InDesign software is complex. As you learn to work with InDesign, you will eventually improve your designing skills. Adobe InDesign is accessible on Windows and Mac platforms. The latest available version of Adobe InDesign is Adobe InDesign CS6.
4. GIMP or GNU
GIMP is an alternate image manipulation and authoring software to Adobe Photoshop. Image designing with GIMP is highly enhanced with flexible tools. Their interface is fully customizable, and the full-screen mode grants easy access to view and author images simultaneously. Even though all the features of Adobe Photoshop are not available on GIMP, this design software still manages to provide a rich experience. GIMP has a strong support community and is among the best Graphic Design platforms. GIMP runs on all operating systems. The latest version of GIMP is GIMP 2.8.
Inkscape is a popular alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape has features such as direct edit of source code, keys to move screen pixels, editable clones on the canvas, editable gradients and one click fill paint-bucket – features that are not available with Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape is possibly the best Graphic Design tool for beginners. This software is free. It has user friendly interfaces which make it extremely easy to use. The software runs well on Windows and Linux. You can run it on Mac, but some settings will need to be modified. Inkscape 0.92.1 is the latest version available.
6. Coral Draw
Coral Draw is a professional vector graphics software. This software is ideal for aspiring web designers. Coral Draw gives designrs the ability to create unlimited illustrations without restrictions. Presently it is the most popular vector graphics software. What makes Coral Draw unique, is its easy-to-use interfaces and its compatibility with various files types. What’s missing is a few photo effects, like HDR imaging, panorama merging and color correction. Coral Draw is available on Windows only. Coral Draw X8 is the latest available version.
7. Serif Draw Plus
Serif DrawPlus is a 2D vector graphics editor and animation software. Serif DrawPlus provides realistic, natural brushes with vector editing capabilities. What makes the software interesting is the interactive, easy-to-use interfaces. Serif DrawPlus has a variety of tools that allow designers to create logos, animations, posters and much more. Serif DrawPlus is available for Windows only. Serif Draw Plus X8 is the latest version of software available for purchase.
Xara supports both pixel based and vector illustration tools. Xara comes packed with a range of illustration and photo editing features to make designing easy and appealing. However, the software lacks live support over phone or chat. Xara runs on Windows only. Xara Photo & Graphic Design 10 is the latest version available in the market.
Cyberlink Photo Editor is a photo enhancing software to rival Adobe Photoshop. Cyberlink Photo Editor does not offer many features that come with Adobe Photoshop. The easy interfaces and quick operations along with a wide variety of tools make it a popular choice for designers. A few features such as content-aware object removal, facial recognition and a body-slimming tool have redefined designing perspectives. However, it is not so easy to create a graphics with the software. Cyberlink Photo Editor also lacks illustration tools which limit its design functionalities. The latest version available is the Cyberlink Photo Editor 8.
10. Serif PhotoPlus
Serif PhotoPlus is an all-round photo editing software, with a wide range of tools. Serif PhotoPlus boasts easy interfaces, making the software easy to use. However, mastering the use of all the tools is time-consuming. Serif PhotoPlus operates on Windows only.
There you have a quick comprehensive guide to ten popular Graphic Design tools that can enhance your design skills and inspire your creativity.