The 27 Most Used Graphic Design Programs [Free and Paid]

Any marketing professional knows how important it is to take care of the image and the design in all their creations.

Landing pages, banners, ads, posts on social networks … all kinds of content.

Hence the need to know good graphic design programs.

You do not need to be a designer to train and update yourself in the use of the most used and currently used graphic design programs.

Logically learning to use a graphic design tool does not make you a designer, but it will help you improve your digital content from a visual prism.

Well, nothing, let’s get down to business!

Let’s see l os free graphic design programs and pay more currently used by designers and design fond of people.

Related: Powerful SEO Tools to Improve Your Website Ranking

Paid Graphic Design Programs

Adobe Photoshop CC

Without a doubt, Adobe Photoshop CC is one of the best graphic design programs and an essential tool for any designer.

Year after year, more professionals have been seduced by this great design tool, for example for a digital marketing professional it is totally essential.

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s my favorite design tool and with which I design almost all the images and infographics on the blog, in addition to Illustrator.

What is Adobe Photoshop used for?

With Adobe Photoshop we can create, edit and enhance photos, illustrations and 3D images.

It is also used for web page design and mobile app design.

Price: €24.19 per month and includes 100 GB of cloud storage, Adobe Fresco, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark.

You can choose a monthly plan or an annual plan.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the most used tool for vector work with images and for illustrations.

There is another well-known tool that is also used for vector design, such as Corel Draw, but since most designers work with Mac and Corel is only available for Windows, the vast majority of designers opt for Adobe Illustrator.

What is Adobe Illustrator used for?

With Adobe Illustrator we can create logos, icons, drawings, fonts and illustrations for print editions, the web, videos and mobile devices.

Price: €24.19 per month and includes 100 GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark.

Adobe Indesign

Adobe Indesign is a professional layout and text composition tool , you can create pages with multiple columns, elegant typography, and sophisticated images, tables and graphics.

Create digital magazines, e-books, and interactive online documents that engage viewers with audio, video, slides, and animations.

Adobe InDesign makes it easy to manage design elements and quickly provide immersive experiences in any format, from EPUB and PDF to HTML.

What is Adobe Indesign used for?

Adobe Indesign is used to create folders, posters, flyers, books, eBooks, newspapers, digital magazines, interactive PDFs, and much more.

Price: €24.19 per month and includes 100 GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark.


Sketch is a professional design tool exclusively for Mac that works with vectors.

It has a very intuitive interface and is ideal for those who are starting out in graphic design and find it difficult to understand other tools such as Illustrator, for example.

In fact, according to a survey of over 4,000 designers, Sketch is the most widely used tool for Wireframing and User Interface Design.

It is very good for creating icons or interfaces for web pages and apps. Also, I think it is quite inexpensive for what you can do with it.

What is Sketch used for?

It is mainly used to design and develop interfaces for websites or mobile applications, as well as vector designs. It allows you to design for different devices, and it is very intuitive when exporting files.

In addition, it integrates a tool like Sketch Mirror to be able to preview on iPhone and is very efficient when designing Artboards or work tables for multiple screens.

Price: $9 per month or $ 99 per year per publisher, as it can be used between members of a team. It also has an option for businesses with more advanced needs whose payment can only be made annually. To choose it, you have to contact the brand.

Plus, you can take a 30-day free trial.

Corel Draw

Corel Draw is a classic of graphic design and it is constantly updated.

CorelDRAW is a program created by the Corel Corporation and is used to work with vector drawing, facilitating the creation of useful objects, such as logos and digital illustrations.

It is one of the most used paid graphic design tools in Windows.

What is Corel Draw used for?

CorelDRAW is the most widely used at the level of printers, digital printing, plotter, signage, fashion design, etc.

It is also widely used in education for example, a few years ago Russia bought one million CorelDRAW licenses to teach in secondary schools.

Depending on the country, Corel Draw may become the most widely used graphic design program, even above the Adobe suites, but it also depends a lot on the professional sector you move into.

Price: €719 . Its price is high and it does not have a monthly pay-per-use version like Adobe.

Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is another professional design tool that is very easy to use and one of the most economical.

Although it is great for beginners, it is also used by more advanced professionals and the quality is just as good.

The good thing about it is that it combines vector and raster design, so it gives you a lot of flexibility when working.

It can be used from both Windows and Mac, and even Ipad.

What is Affinity Designer used for?

The tool is primarily used to create concept art, print projects, icons, logos, user interface designs, and mockups, among other options.

Price: Normally it costs €54.99, but they usually put discounts, and at the time of writing the article is in a 50% promotion. That is, at €27.99. If you decide to work from the iPad, the price is lower: € 21.99 reduced to € 10.99.

You can take a free 90-day trial.

PaintShop Pro Ultimate

PaintShop Pro Ultimate is an affordable and intuitive alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

You can edit and design photos, create photo animations, edit RAW images and much more.

You’ll have access to premium animation, painting, and photo editing software such as PhotoMirag Express, Painter Essentials 6, Perfectly Clear 3.5, and Corel AfterShot 3, plus a separate collection of brushes, textures, and backgrounds.

What is Paint Shop Pro Ultimate used for?

With PaintShop Pro Ultimate you can do photo animation, photo painting, intelligent image correction, RAW photo editing, creative content and much more.

Price: € 89.99 + ParticleShop and Art Effects Pack.


It is a professional design tool focused on creating eBooks.

It’s great because it allows you to transform your blog articles, podcasts, PDFs, and videos into e-books.

To create your lead magnet with which to attract potential clients, it is one of the best options.

It is very intuitive, since you only have to choose the file, review the content that you want to transform into a draft, assign it a template and design it with images, graphics and whatever you want.

What is Designrr used for?

As I have already mentioned, this tool is ideal for creating electronic books from other files.

Price: It has a monthly plan, and the cheapest is $ 29. It includes 100 templates, 922 Google fonts, unlimited use of copyrighted images, generator of tables of contents and page numbering, creator of Flipbooks and the possibility of working with all types of image files.


PicMonkey is a very good graphic design tool too, although it doesn’t have as many options as the previous ones.

This program is more focused on editing photos, although it also has interesting graphic design options.

It has a 7-day free trial and the payment options are very inexpensive.

What I like the most about the tool is how intuitive and easy to use it is. The menu is very well structured and divides the social networks for which you want to work your designs, as well as if you want to use templates or graphics for your creatives.

What is PicMonkey used for?

With PicMonkey you can edit and design photos for your posts on social networks, banners, advertisements, YouTube thumbnails, logos … Even make collages or delete backgrounds. It also allows you to edit videos.

It offers you thousands of templates and fonts for your creatives, and you can work on the vector design.

It is very good, especially for the subject of Branding . You can work on the visual part of your brand from a single section of the platform.

Price: You can choose three types of rates: basic – €10.99, pro – €16.99 and business – €29 (for companies that require more features). You also have the possibility of making the annual payment.

Related: 8 Best Platforms to Sell Online Courses

Free Graphic Design Programs

Let’s look at some free online and downloadable graphic design programs:


Canva is the most popular and practically used free photo editor. In order to use Canva, you need to register and you can access it both online and through its mobile application.

The free version of Canva lets you:

  • Two folders to organize your designs.
  • Up to 10 team members, free.
  • 1 GB of storage for photos and materials.
  • Access to more than 8000 templates.

It is a tool that I always recommend to my students and to anyone who is dedicated to digital marketing and needs to create content. It is very easy to use and it is one of the ones that offers you the most possibilities for free.


Gimp is a free and free alternative to Photoshop with which you can edit or retouch photos and it is compatible with PC, Mac and Linux.

  • Work with layered psd files.
  • It has a large number of tutorials and resources.
  • It has a forum where you can ask questions and it is a space to chat with other Gimp users.


In recent years, Crello has gained tremendous popularity. It is a very simple to use online tool, quite similar to Canva.

It allows you to edit your own photos or create designs, both from scratch and based on its multiple templates.

You can design publications for your social networks in all their formats, posters, infographics, logos, advertisements, ebooks, posts, banners, and business cards.

Everything you can imagine!

You also have a much less limited payment option.


Tool available for Windows, Linux and Mac. It is a code software focused on the design of digital illustrations.

It even includes default templates for comic book design, which makes it a very attractive option. It is worth noting its option of layer mask, in addition to the color palette that it offers so wide and the unique brush engines.


This free online tool is another very powerful alternative for beginners when it comes to design.

It is very easy to use and has a lot of templates, the downside is that its free functionality is very limited compared to the paid one.

It allows you to create publications, announcements, cards, flyers and more.

As I said, it is ideal if you are going to use it as a beginner and do not need advanced options.


The platform itself defines itself as “the easiest photo editor and graphic design creator for everyone.”

It is very similar to Photoshop, so if you master this tool, you will like Fotor. It’s a limited free version but pretty good if you don’t want to spend money.

It allows you to edit and design images, erase backgrounds, remove blemishes, make collages, and includes multiple effects and templates.

Available for both Mac and Windows. Includes tutorials to easily get hold of the tool.

Photo Pos Pro 3

If you are looking for an ultra-simple and easy-to-use photo editing tool, look no further.

Photo Pos Pro is completely free and you can install it on any Windows computer.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a simple way to create and edit your photos without having to install anything and totally online.

  • Very easy to use.
  • It requires having Flash Player installed to be able to use it.
  • Multi-language. Translated into a large number of languages.
  • It allows you to work in multilayers.

The only downside that I see that I think is that it abuses advertising a bit.


The best thing about this tool is that it works in the cloud and you don’t need to store a lot of files.

It is ideal when it comes to a team and you work the designs between several people, since it allows you to share and collaborate in the interface.

It has a free option although it only allows one project. The paid version is much more flexible and inexpensive: $12 per month per editor within the team.

It allows you to design and prototype, both at the level of interfaces and vector images.

Available for Mac, Windows, Chrome, and Linux.

Related: How to Create a Good SEO Content Strategy for a Blog

Programs to create or edit vectors Free

Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a perfect platform for designers.

It joins the Gravit Designer family, this fantastic cross-platform application for vector design.

It does not matter if you need to work with vector images, icons, you are thinking of building a website, a mobile application, you need UI design or simply create presentations with art concepts. Gravit Designer for Windows is the application that you must install on your PC, and the best part is that it is free.

It also has a payment option, Gravit Designer PRO, whose price is quite affordable: 49 euros per year.


Vectr is a cross-platform and free vector graphics editor that is easy to use and designed for beginners, although it can very well be used by advanced users looking for a simpler tool.

It works on Windows, Linux, macOS and from the web thanks to its extension for Chrome.


SVG-edit is an online application that allows us to edit vector graphics and that offers us the most basic functions and tools to create our own designs without the need to install any program on our computer.

SVG-edit is a free and open source web-based vector graphics editor. Can be used to create and edit scalable vector graphics images from a web browser


Inkscape is a professional vector graphic editor for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. It is free and open source .

Inkscape is a good alternative because it has the same capabilities as Illustrator and CorelDraw, the quintessential programs for managing vector files.

Inkscape is a free, open source and free program. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

More Graphic Designing Tools

I end the post with a small compilation of other design tools and programs with which to create your infographics and graphics online.

  • Snappa . Create online graphics for your social networks, blog, banners, advertising, and much more.
  • Very useful tool to create quality infographics.
  • Infogram . Now with it is easier to create your own infographics quickly and for free thanks to its simple system and its pleasant usability.
  • Piktochart . One of the easiest design programs to use and suitable for any professional.
  • Klex. You can create messages for social communication networks, business cards, invitations, presentations, book covers and much more.

Will you use these graphic design programs?

I hope this list of graphic design programs helps you choose your favorite work tools and get down to work. If you miss any graphic design tool in this compilation, you just have to say it in comments and I will value it to include it. Likewise, you can also tell me which is your favorite design program.

Ah! And do not forget to share the article with a friend if you think it can be useful.

Back to top button