1. Adobe Photoshop.
The world’s best image editing software adds mind-blowing neural filters, automatic sky replacement, and even better selection tools.
- Many photo correction and manipulation tools
- Slick interface with lots of help
- Tools for mobile and web design
- Rich set of drawing and typography tools
- 3D design capability
- Synced Libraries and Cloud Documents
- No perpetual-license option
- Premium assets aren’t cheap
- Interface can be overwhelming at times
2. Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is the best vector-graphics editing program around, and it just keeps getting better. New feature arrivals include more collaboration options, integrated tutorials, and support for 3D assets.
- The best vector design tools on the market
- Excellent Touch Type feature
- Simplified Free Transform tool
- Powerful Puppet Warp feature allows transformation of select portions of illustrations
- Many improvements to existing features
- No perpetual license option
- No uniformity of key commands with Photoshop and InDesign
3. Adobe InDesign CC
InDesign maintains its relevance, giving the commercial creative of 2019 an edge in satisfying ever more-demanding client requests. Despite minor quibbles, InDesign is a must-have for any professional designer.
- Superbly balanced interface.
- Easy, smart automatic global page adjustment.
- Contextual information at your fingertips.
- Huge selection of downloadable fonts.
- Requires subscription.
- PDF comments integration needs polish.
4. Adobe Illustrator on the iPad
Illustrator on the iPad is another star in Adobe’s growing constellation of tablet-only and reimagined desktop-to-iPad apps.
- Full-featured, intuitive, powerful, and fun
- Included with Creative Cloud subscription
- Integrates with other Adobe apps and CC Libraries
- Does not support plug-ins
- Some features still on the roadmap
5. CorelDraw Graphics Suite
CorelDraw is a powerful, capable graphic design app, one that offers some native capabilities that even Editors’ Choice Adobe Illustrator requires plug-ins to replicate.
- Capable professional-level features.
- Fun and easy instant-gratification effects.
- Highly customizable interface.
- Unique features.
- Offers both subscription and outright-purchase sales models.
- Some ease-of-use issues.
- Inconsistent interface
- No macOS version
- Some operations slow