With new graphic design software coming out daily (at least it feels like that), it can be challenging to pick the best ones. However, we’ve tried, and here’s what we came up with.

Adobe Illustrator CC

Basically, this software is Photoshop’s vector equivalent, sharing many common functions and tools with the latter to help designers who use both. Illustrator is the better option if you want to design graphics that you can rescale from a huge billboard down to a postage stamp. On the downside, this product is expensive and available exclusively on the Creative Cloud (CC) suite. The Student version comes with a discount of 65%, making it the most affordable option.

The product has regular updates, a powerful feature set, and is available for Apple and Windows PC alike.

Affinity Designer

If you want to create professional artwork for print or screen, you won’t do without Affinity. This software replaces DrawPlus X8. It was developed by Serif from scratch over a five-year project and can handle a very broad scope of design tasks, including branding, web, concept art, repetitive patterns like those on wallpaper and ceramics and even typography. It targets professional designers.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

Many still appreciate CorelDRAW, the first serious design app for Windows. It’s also quite costly – you need to shell out $792 for the whole 2018 CorelDRAW Graphics Suite even if you just want CorelDRAW. What do you get in return? An amazingly high-capacity suite that can work with both bitmaps and vectors in a seamless design workflow. It’s stunning in terms of how relatively easy it is to learn and the feature set.

Inkscape

This is a 100% free tool for Linux , Windows, and Mac, which comes with a lot of useful features. On the downside, it can be slow at times. Before you decide to buy CorelDRAW or Adobe CC, this free option is worth looking at. The vector design tool features extensive text manipulation, broad file support, and Spiro and Bezier curve types. It also offers an extension model that makes it possible to install new features easily, and some of the available ones are remarkable.

This is a GPL licensed app. If you’re using Linux, you can also download and compile the source code for the relevant version.

Gravit Designer

This free vector cross-platform editor is easy to learn. One drawback is that it’s slowed down by intricate designs. Most software used to create vector illustrations is locally installed because of the complexity of the latter, but this software has online options too. There are installable releases on Windows PC, Linux, Apple Mac, and Chrome OS. Computer hardware can be better utilized with these.