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The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools – Recommended by the Best Designers

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers

Harry Potter is a great magician unarmed. But armed with his phoenix feather wand, he is the greatest wizard of all time! You may also be a good talented graphic designer or digital artist, but using the right tools can multiply the power of your talent exponentially.

Here is a list of the best software and hardware in the field today, strongly recommended by world-class designers who are knowledgeable. These tools are tested and proven and can help you overwhelm your customers by captivating them with your graphic design. Buckle up and get ready to create digital art in no time!

software

1. Create

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by Fe Melo created in Procreate.

This illustration app, available only for the iPad, is a brilliant tool as it simplifies the steps of a graphic designer in illustrating. It is super intuitive and has a great selection of brushes.

The app responds very well to the Apple Pencil and you can save as. Psd or. Pdf, which can be completely integrated into Adobe.

– Fe Melo, 99designs designer

procreate:

  • Allows designers to use Apple Pencil to draw directly on the screen and get amazing results
  • Saves works as .psd or .pdf, suitable for Adobe
  • Saves the entire drawing process
  • Enables designers to draw on different layers, making it easier to work on afterwards

Have your Apple Pencil ready and watch this YouTube tutorial:


Find Procreate in the iPad App Store.

Since it costs only € 10.99 and you do not need subscriptions, Procreate is affordable for graphic designers and digital artists at all levels.

2. Myfonts.com

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by YaseenArt for Technique Inc. with Myfonts.com.

Not only is Myfonts.com a web site full of fonts, their “WhatTheFont” feature solves a major problem for graphic designers.

So many clients come to us with logos and old marketing materials they want to replicate, but one of the big issues is figuring out the name of the font they’re using. It’s a breeze with this tool. Just upload a screenshot of the text and voila!

– Yaseen Art, 99designs designer

Myfont.com can:

  • Extend your archive with a large collection of fonts (many free, some can be purchased)
  • Find the origin of a particular font by uploading it to the WhatTheFont tool

Visit

Select the WhatTheFont button in the navigation, then upload a screenshot of the text to recognize the font. Or just take a picture or upload one from your phone, type the font you want to recognize, and boom – you’re done. (Hint: use a screenshot that’s as clean as possible for the program to read it Preferably black text on a white background).

With free fonts or exclusive subscription fonts, this program is great for graphic designers and digital artists at all levels.

3. Clip Studio Paint

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by HeyEksa! with Clip Studio Paint.

Digital Artists love Clip Studio Paints’ simple collection of illustration apps because of its simplicity, mirroring and affordability.

I love this software because it uses bitmap / pixels. Therefore, Clip Studio is easier than vector-based software if we want to draw a detailed drawing.

– HeyEksa !, 99designs designer

Clip Studio is:

  • A cheaper alternative to Adobe Suite – great for graphic designers on a tight budget
  • Available for Mac or PC
  • Available on the iPad with a six-month trial period

Visit

If you own an iPad and wonder how to use it to design, this is your program.

4. Ron’s Brushes

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design of GFX with Ron’s Brushes.

With its superb collection of digital effects for digital drawings and illustrations, Ron’s Brushes remains a necessary part of the toolbox of advanced graphic designers.

Ron’s high-resolution brushes “Steam”, “Smoke”, “Vector Grunge” and “Cracks” are extremely easy to use with drag and drop.

– GFX, 99designs Designer

Ron’s Brushes can:

  • Create high-quality effects for Digital Art
  • Offer a wide range of digital environments and moods

Whether it’s flying, digital energy, light fusion, streaks, particles or any other look you’ve never even thought of, graphic designers and digital artists creating nuanced atmospheres will love Ron’s Brushes. You do not believe us? Ask friends in the design community or in forums for graphic designers and digital artists. Many great artists swear by Ron’s Brushes. Just take a look at it and get started.

Find Ron’s Brushes on

Adobe Creative Cloud Tools

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by tomcept in Adobe Creative.

This software for graphic design, video editing and web development has become the standard in the graphic design industry. No list of design tools would be complete without Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s much easier for designers using Adobe to share files with other creative professionals.

The result is wonderful, whether it’s web optimized, a printable PDF or a picture format. You get the best quality with the smallest file size.

– tomcept, 99designs designer

Among other things, the Adobe Creative Cloud offers three famous tools:

  • Photoshop (for raster graphics)
  • Illustrator (for vector graphics)
  • InDesign (for page layouts)

Visit adobe.com to buy Adobe, test it for free, or buy it on .

It’s a good thing for graphic designers who want to use the industry standard to join the Adobe Universe.

5. Adobe Photoshop

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Packaging design by Andrewzz created with Photoshop.

There are programs for editing raster graphics and there is Photoshop. It is the industry standard for editing digital images and photorealistic computer art. It is now even part of the modern usage of non-graphic designers: “In no case is this real! This is definitely gephotoshopped! ”

I’ve been using this program for over 10 years, so I know all the features and shortcuts I need. My Tip: Remember the keyboard shortcuts for the tools you use. That makes working easier.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

Photoshop offers:

  • 2D image editing
  • 3D image editing
  • compositing
  • video editing
  • image analysis

Visit

Photoshop is part of the graphic design zeitgeist. Digital Artist, who does not know Photoshop, but wants to create pixel-based art, should learn it or expect to be left behind.

6. Adobe Illustrator

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by HeyEksa! in Adobe Illustrator.

From drawings to logos and right photos, Illustrator creates all sorts of images. Digital Artists love how easy it is to customize the layers and art boards in this vector editing software.

I love how easy it is to customize the layers and art boards. And the results in Adobe Illustrator are wonderful.

– HeyEksa !, 99designs designer

Adobe Illustrator can produce:

  • graphics
  • logos
  • cartoons
  • Fonts

or buy Illustrator on


Illustrator is a cornerstone for graphic designers and digital artists who create vector-based art. Anyone who is willing to go through the learning curve will find it worth the time.

7. Astute phantasm for Adobe Illustrator

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design of GFX ™ with Astute Phantasm Adobe Illustrator.

Astute Phantasm for Adobe Illustrator is a plugin tool for creating patterns. Want to make your halftones a little slimmer and give them a gradient? Then this is your program.

Phantasm has many cool features, but Halftone gives my designs the magic. Halftone creates a 100% scalable halftone effect based on the underlying image. I mostly use grayscale gradients.

– GFX, 99designs Designer

With Astute Phantasm Adobe Illustrator:

  • Can effects be saved and loaded
  • Effects are later completely editable by the “Appearance” panel

Buy it at .

Any graphic designer or digital artist who creates three-dimensional effects and challenging color adjustments will float in seventh heaven with this tool.

hardware

8. Macbook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Macbook Pro 13 “with Touch Bar and Touch ID, via

Your portable office is here! Put this high quality laptop in your backpack and take it with you. It is just as elegant as a functional tool.

The Touch Bar is extremely useful and with the BetterTouch tool I can personalize the Touch Bar and be more efficient.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

Features of the Macbook Pro 13 “:

  • 3.1GHz processor
  • 256GB of memory
  • Minimal environmental impact

The larger and more powerful brother of the Macbook Pro 13 “is the 15” with Touch Bar, Touch ID and larger display. And the lightning-fast SSD system launches in seconds, capturing the short-lived snowflakes of inspiration before they melt.

My advice for a long-lasting battery: remove the charging cable at 100%. Also transport him in a case, this is a lifesaver. Aluminum is light, but prone to dents.

– Satori, 99designs designer

Features of the MacBook Pro 15 “:

  • 3.9GHz processor
  • 512GB memory
  • Minimal environmental impact

Visit


This is a good investment for graphic designers and digital artists who want to get on with it.

9. iPad Pro + Apple Pencil

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
12.9 inch iPad Pro + Apple Pencil, via

Since it’s another Apple product, this iPad Pro in combination with the Apple Pencil is not the cheapest, but the larger display. This combination of stylus and tablet changes everything. You can adjust the color tones of the display, there are more colors than the non-Pro models, the scrolling is smoother and for detailed strokes the stylus is extremely precise due to a closer connection between the display and the glass.

The 12.9 inch size is great for drawing large strokes. It’s so light and thin that I can start drawing in bed when I wake up.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

The 12.9 iPad Pro features:

  • Stereo sound and quad speakers that are not necessarily better than the normal iPads
  • 3.9GHz processor
  • 512GB storage capacity
  • A few hours longer battery life
  • Upgrade from the entry-level iPad, cameras that record 4K videos
  • A Smart Connector that lets you connect to Apple’s Smart Keyboard Cover, no Bluetooth required!

Go to

Graphic designers who want such a thin device that they barely feel it in their pockets will love the faster speed, which further improves the performance of the Apple Pencil.

Wacom Tools

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Star Wars design by

I’ve seen a few other copies, but nothing else works for me. Wacom seems to be made by artists, not just artists.

– @Venamis (Eli Hyder), digital artist venamis.art@gmail.com

Wacom is the magic word for digital artists who are knowledgeable. The company specializes in the production of graphics tablets and industry-standard styluses.

10. Wacom Bamboo Tip Stylus

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
A book cover design by satori . created with the Wacom Bamboo Tip Stylus.

Imagine a stylus that paints on computers, tablets or smartphones. It exists. No apps or Bluetooth required, so it works on virtually any device. He is basically something like a magic wand.

The perfect digital alternative to drawing on paper. So many tools and possibilities.

– Satori, 99designs designer

This stylus:

  • Turn your phone, tablet, or touchscreen computer into a digital canvas
  • Draw on the screen as if you were drawing on paper
  • Is easy to recharge

Go to

Anyone who transfers fine lines to a computer, tablet or smartphone will be impressed by the versatility and pressure sensitivity of this stylus.

11. Wacom Bamboo Slate

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by netralica with Wacom Bamboo.

The Wacom Bamboo can be mounted under a real piece of paper. The lines on the paper then appear on the designer’s computer. Pure magic!

I enjoy every stroke I make with this tool. Especially lineart. The Wacom Bamboo is suitable for Adobe Photoshop, easy to use and the installation process is not too complicated.

– netralica, 99designs designer

The Bamboo Slate:

  • Saves time when writing notes
  • Immediately put notes in a cloud or share them

Buy it on


Anyone who loves the tactile feeling of pen-to-paper, but who wants to save the intermediate steps of transferring notes and illustrations, should try this elegant solution.

12. Wacom Cintiq

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by Mila Katagarova with the Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

May I introduce: A tablet on which you can illustrate directly with a stylus. Its stylus is lightweight, it does not need a battery and the screen texture is ideal. At last you will not get into trouble painting on the TV!

It’s the perfect tool for me. I just sit down, open Photoshop or Illustrator and draw. It does not take up much space in my small room and helps me create many interesting projects.

– Mila Katagarova, 99designs designer

The Cintiq:

  • Has a 1080p LCD display
  • The stylus works directly on the screen
  • Has an integrated display
  • Feels like drawing on real paper
  • Can be personalized with four buttons

Go to

This is a dream device for professional graphic designers and digital artists who want to become more efficient in their workflows. Sometimes a personal device like this can take your talent to a whole new level.

13. Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by Mad pepper with the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Small.

Illustrate on this desk tablet and the results will appear on the computer screen. If you’re worried about not having enough artboard, just zoom in!

This is a great tablet for starters. At the moment, I do not feel I have to upgrade to a bigger tablet. It’s handy, lightweight and has all the features I need to create detailed vector graphics.

– Mad pepper, 99designs designer

The Intuos Pen & Touch:

  • Paint, draw or edit photos with a stylus
  • Has a stylus that responds to different pressures and feels like several writing or drawing tools
  • Can combine Photoshop or Illustrator
  • Helps to make the design process smoother and more organized
The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by Ocelittle with the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch.

My best and most trusted friend when it comes to designing. I use it throughout the process – from drawing in Photoshop to finished product in Illustrator.

– Ocelittle, 99designs designer

Graphic designer Ocelittle loves to work with the Intuos Tablet because it’s “very responsive, has great pressure sensitivity, and features Multi Touch, which allows you to swipe or pinch-to-zoom, rotate, or scroll. In addition, it has four buttons that can be set to call any function. ”

Check out

The Intuos Pen & Touch is great for graphic designers and digital artists who do not have to see what they are doing on the screen they are drawing on and who do not want to spend a lot of money on a tablet.

14. Wacom Intuos Art

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Design by YaseenArt with the Wacom Intuos Art.

The Wacom Intuos Art has a larger active area than the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch. Multi Touch lets you use both your fingers and a stylus.

Its customizability makes it more intuitive! That helps me to draw faster. I do not have to go back and forth on the keyboard. It also has a built-in space for extra stylus tips.

– YaseenArt, 99designs designer

Here is a YouTube Tutorial for the Intuos Art:

You want a larger canvas than the Intuos Pen & Touch? You want a stylus and use your fingers? You prefer not to draw on the screen? Here is your desk tablet!

Other tools

15. Artist supplies

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Collage via .

The tools you use to develop your best work do not have to be expensive or complicated. It can just be a pencil, paper and any art supplies that appeals to you.

To rely too much on the latest technology can easily lead to a creative blockage. When we return to the essential things we have learned as children, we return to our creative roots and our original, artistic voice. Turn off your screens and take out the colored cardboard, plasticine, and paint for an instant of inspiration.

The endless joy of playing with my nieces brings me the best inspiration.

– Satori, 99designs designer

Playing with crafts of all kinds has umpteen advantages:

  • It helps to develop ideas and to try them out
  • Provides a creative outlet
  • Helps to solve creative blockages and to promote new works

16. The right environment

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Photo of , via Unsplash.

This may not be an actual tool, but let me finish. Having a sanctuary to work on calms the mind. When the mind is calm, the outer world follows and you are ready to create your best work. The “right” environment is a bit different for everyone. Look at what she looks like for HeyEksa

I’m more productive and focused when I work at home rather than in a public place like a coffee shop or coffee shop. My environment is the most fun of drawing. I live in a village with a very calming environment. In addition, the presence of my father, my mother, my wife and my beautiful daughter fills my spirit. They are the main reason why I am happy every day.

– HeyEksa !, 99designs designer

A quiet environment helps:

  • Avoid unwanted distractions
  • Maximize productivity
  • To raise your spirits to have the optimal creativity

17. Several screens

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Two-screen system via

Two (or more) separate screens are useful for more efficient multitasking. Of course, it is possible to work on a screen, but especially when using a program in full-screen mode, it gets a bit hairy.

One is for the design program, the other for e-mail, browser, calendar, etc. One is for the design, one for everything else.

– Idan Arbesman, UX / UI designer at Signavio

Multiple screens:

  • Help you avoid clutter on your screen
  • Maximize the screen space
  • Help you to work faster and more efficiently

Professional graphic designers and digital artists, who have many clients and spend long hours on projects, will benefit from ordering two screens.

19. A cozy chair

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
ST Racing Gaming Chair, via .

Graphic designers often have to sit at the desk for hours, so do not underestimate the importance of having a good chair. There are endless chairs, you just have to find the one that suits you best. Designer Andrewzz recommends the ST Racing Gaming Chair, a super-comfortable high-back chair inspired by a racing seat.

By working for hours on other chairs, I get cramps. I can sit comfortably for hours in this chair.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

Do your back a favor and get a good chair.

20. A good keyboard and mouse

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Keyboard Obins Anne Pro, via

A good keyboard and mouse can make working so much easier. If you’re looking for a high quality option, designer Andrewzz recommends the Obin Anne Pro, a wireless, 60% mechanical keyboard that you can lay wherever you want. It’s so well made that looking at this keyboard is satisfying, not to mention pressing the keys.

Its small and compact shape makes it the most ergonomic 60% keyboard I’ve ever used.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers
Mouse MX Master S2, via

When it comes to the mouse, you should choose one that feels good in your hand and has the right features for you. For example, take a look at the Mouse MX Master S2 (and other Andrewzz recommendations). The best friend of the human hand.

Its ergonomic design adapts to the shape of my hand. All keys can be assigned with different programs. The scroll wheel for the thumb adapts optimally to my thumb. It’s the perfect mouse for designers.

– Andrewzz, 99designs designer

When you’re ready to spend a lot of money on a mouse and keyboard, they can help you streamline your workflow and avoid long-term damage to wrists and hands.

Your wand

So they are – the hottest graphic design tools available. Recommended by designers who use them every day! Do you need the most expensive equipment to create good art? Absolutely not. If you’re willing to invest time and effort, you can use simple (and refurbished) graphic design tools and still create high quality artwork. Remember, Harry Potter could do a few spells without a wand. But just as Harry’s magic wand helped him increase his magical potential, the right tools can increase your productivity.

Without which design tools would you not want to live? Tell us in the comments.

Do you want to fuel your career as a graphic designer?
Become a designer on 99designs and become part of our community.

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers

The Top 20 Graphic Design Tools - Recommended by the Best Designers

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