If you are a graphic designer, then you are probably already aware that many of the software programs circulating online are a massive waste of time and money. If you specialise in Windows and have been struggling to find a program that’s right for you, we’ve got you covered.
You need to make sure that any program you find here, you research extensively before taking the leap and downloading it. Every program has its own nuances – you need to find the one that’s perfect for you.
This article will tell you about eight must-have Windows programs for graphic designers, that can help you to get your work done:
Figma is a graphics editor and prototyping tool with a broad fanbase. While it is possible to download Figma as a desktop application (for both macOS and Windows), it is most often just used as a web-based app. Most experts advise that if you are going to use it, you install the Frontitude for Figma plugin so that you can share content directly with Frontitude, submit changes, and make comments, allowing you to sync your designs. If you are looking for a photo design app, then Figma definitely deserves your consideration. It’s used by some of the industry’s best graphic designers.
GIMP is one of the graphic design world’s most popular programs, because it is very straightforward to use, and best of all, is completely free. While GIMP cannot compete with some of the other programs that have been mentioned here, it’s still a very good piece of software that will help you to develop as a graphic designer. If you are going to download GIMP, then make sure that you do your research and learn how to use the program beforehand. Many graphic designers comment that GIMP is extremely difficult to come to grips with because its interface is somewhat complex.
Photoshop is another of the internet’s most popular graphic design programs, adored and used by millions of people from all over the world. It’s often the first thing that people think of when they think about graphic design programs. It’s fair to say that Photoshop has a stranglehold over the graphic design industry. The only downside to Photoshop is that it can be very expensive. It can also take up a lot of memory on your computer, which isn’t ideal if you don’t have much space. Photoshop can be downloaded as a trial first but must be purchased after. You can get discounts if you are a student, however.
MS Paint is a very basic graphic design program, that comes standard with all computers that run Windows. Paint can, however, if you are experienced, be used to make graphic art. It can be extremely difficult to do this because you need to carefully edit each pixel at a time, but it can be done. If you intend on using Paint as a graphic design program, then it’s probably best for you to take some kind of online course in it. A course will help you to familiarise yourself with the app and learn the program’s quirks by heart. Without any experience or training, Paint can be very difficult to master. In fact, some would argue that Paint is the hardest program to produce decent graphics on if you do not have experience. The best part about Paint is that it is completely free, so despite the program’s shortcomings, you can use it without having to pay for a subscription of any kind.
Adobe Illustrator is another Adobe product, that’s also very popular. Adobe Illustrator is used by professionals, beginners, and everybody in-between. It can be very costly, however. With that said, you can purchase it on a monthly basis, which does reduce the cost significantly. As with all Adobe products, Illustrator is quite straightforward to use and does not require much prior experience, although it might be worth enrolling in a course or at the very least watching instructional videos online so that you can master the program in a short period of time.
Affinity Designer is another extremely popular graphic design program, used by experts. It is possible to acquire the program as part of a 90-day trial, and it is available on macOS and Windows. The only downside to Affinity Designer is that it, unfortunately, lacks a lot of professional tools that you would typically find in the world’s best graphic design programs these days. If you purchase it outright, it can be expensive, but as with all of the programs that have been mentioned in this article so far, you are able to pay for it in monthly instalments.
CoreIDRAW Graphics Suite
CoreIDRAW is a very old program, that was first launched in the 1980s. It is a vector-based illustration tool that’s mostly used by Windows users, although it is available on macOS. In terms of design and usability, it is on par with Illustrator. It is also much more affordable. It is used by graphic designers and artists. The program’s standout tool is its LiveSketch, a line drawing solution that allows designers and illustrators to bypass thumbnail production on paper, enabling them to sketch vector art on their computers. It is very useful if used on a tablet. It’s definitely a program that you will want to check out if you are interested in graphic design and are stuck for programs.
Finally, we arrive at XD. Like the other Adobe programs here, it is very well made but is also somewhat expensive. You can get it on a trial. Adobe XD allows developers to access object measurements on demand, and also enables them to copy text content. If you are interested in this program, then it’s worth checking out what deals are available on Adobe’s website. If you are a student, you may be able to get the program much cheaper.
If you are a graphic designer and want to improve on your skills, then the programs found in this article may be of some use to you. Make sure to check each of them out, exploring what their uses are, and finding out what works for you.