graphic design software

The Best Graphic Design Software for 2021

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.


  • Windows-only.
  • Some ease-of-use issues.


  • Inconsistent interface
  • No macOS version
  • Some operations slow