12 Popular Designer Tools You Can Use: A Comprehensive Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most organisations typically rely on visual media to promote their brand, messaging and products, bring awareness to important causes or increase their sales. With the development of digital marketing, the number of jobs in related fields is also increasing. If you possess creative skills and want a career in design, learning about software that you can use professionally might prove helpful. In this article, we discuss designer tools and review a list of 12 tools that designers use for their work.

What are designer tools?

Designer tools are software products that assist web and graphic designers, animators and other creative professionals in realising their visions and turning ideas into new designs. Professionals can use these tools to design and work with graphics, illustrations, animations and logos and present images in an aesthetically pleasing manner for their clients. They might use them for free or after paying a subscription fee. Some applications charge for advanced features while providing the basic ones for free. Irrespective of your requirements, budget or skill, there are many resources available to assist you in your creative endeavours.

Related: 12 Popular Animation Careers (With Job Duties And Salaries)

Examples of designer tools

Below is a list of 12 design tools that can help you practise and improve your creative skills:

1. Adobe Illustrator

Designers may use Adobe Illustrator, a vector-based designing software, to produce cartoons, infographics, patterns, typography, logos and illustrations, among other digital and printed artwork. Illustrator lets them import a photo and use it as a template to trace an object. Professionals can use it to re-colour a photo or give it a sketch-like effect. Illustrator also allows you to modify text in a variety of ways, which can be ideal for designing cards, posters and other visual media that combine text and images. The ability of Illustrator to put lettering around an arc might be convenient for logo designers.

You can also use Illustrator to create mock-ups that depict how the website may look once complete and design icons for usage in apps and websites. It allows you to manipulate 2D or 3D visuals to accelerate your design process. Skilled professionals can use it to create a variety of digital products, from basic design elements to complex compositions. The quality of artwork made with this tool is not dependent on its original resolution. This means that you can scale any drawing up or down without affecting the image quality.

Related: Graphic Design Skills (With Examples And Tips)

2. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a picture editing, digital art compositing, animation and graphic design tool. It includes professional tools that can support artists in rendering creative ideas into attractive images. Designers can use the application to access various options, tools and configurations that can enable them to learn new abilities or improve on existing ones. One of the most useful features of this software is its ability to develop several layers that you may customise separately, independently of one another.

Adobe collects suggestions from artists on how to enhance Photoshop and considers them when launching additional features and applications. Since it is a popular tool, you can also benefit from many resources and materials available offline and online to learn about the program and become proficient in its use.

Related: How To Become A Photo Editor: A Comprehensive Guide

3. Canva

Canva is an online design and publishing platform that allows you to create and customise digital material. You can use it to design a variety of projects, including infographics, web design, social media graphics and posters. It provides a straightforward drag-and-drop interface that is simple to use even if you do not possess graphic design skills. To get started, the application includes an extensive library of photos, templates, backgrounds and fonts.

While some of these items are available for free on Canva, many require in-app purchases. The free plan includes almost 2,50,000 free templates, thousands of free pictures and graphics and over 100 styles for social networking, communications, presentations and other uses. It also offers real-time collaboration and the ability to comment on projects.

4. CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is a vector-based software program that designers typically use to make logos, invitation cards, brochures and other projects that require vector-based designs. It provides a repository of adaptable features for a variety of projects. Designers can use it to trace an image and make a vector design. You can also import pre-made photos and edit them in CorelDRAW or create new images using the application.

You can also add text, apply additional effects or just select one of the welcome screen themes. It allows you to convert a bitmap to a vector, extract the image's outline or the bitmap's centreline and discard the rest. You can use it in various situations and combine it with different software.

5. Creatopy

Creatopy, whose previous name was Bannersnack, is an online tool that allows you to create responsive banner advertising for websites and social media platforms. This means that you can create banners that look attractive on every device and adjust them to screen size, even if you do not possess coding or design skills. Designers can utilise a drag-and-drop editor to make their own designs, graphics interchange formats (GIFs) and advertising. As the application is cloud-based, remote design teams can use it from anywhere.

Illustrators and designers can use the software to create presets, templates and other professional tools. It also supports various image sizes, and you can utilise it to create up to 40 visuals of differing sizes simultaneously.

Related: What Is A Graphic Designer? And How You Can Become One

6. Desygner

Desygner is an online editing tool that is remarkably easy to use. It offers features that are like the ones you can find in Illustrator. You can easily work with layers and several pages using this tool. Designers can replace photos with a single click and change fonts, colours and text by dragging and dropping pieces into the design. With the use of keywords, you can find high-quality royalty-free images to create your projects. Desygner's in-built portable document editor (PDF) allows you to modify PDF files and documents regardless of the original source or time.

It gives you a free brand library that can help arrange your resources, such as colours, fonts, texts, photographs and videos, enabling you to use them easily in the editor. It also offers pre-made templates, web fonts, banners, icons and shapes that may help streamline your work.

7. Filestage

Filestage is an online assessment and approval platform for graphic designers that offers them direct control over the content evaluation process. Using this application, designers can interact with different stakeholder groups on various file formats, including photos, PDFs or websites. The tool is user friendly, which means that key stakeholders can easily provide in-context guidance to help your project advance further. A built-in to-do list can help you focus on the feedback and incorporate the suggestions you receive. You can also see the status of your ongoing projects on the platform.

8. Fotor

Fotor is a useful tool that can help you quickly create attractive designs. You can use it to design logos, brochures, invitations, posters and other graphic elements. It offers a one-tap enhancement capability that allows you to accomplish simple editing activities. It is user friendly, so even beginners can handle it easily. This tool also offers stock photos, templates, various font and style options and cloud saving services.

Related: How To Write A Graphic Design Internship Resume (Examples)

9. InVision Studios

InVision Studios is a powerful user experience (UX) design tool that typically allows users to build with few restrictions. It provides valuable services, such as animation, prototyping, collaborative tools and in-built design systems. Designers may use InVision's dynamic layers to build high-fidelity, vector-based screen designs. It can be a great option for individuals who regularly give presentations and wish to use a wireframing application.

10. Lunacy

Lunacy is a tool for designing user interfaces (UIs), UX and web design on the basis of vector graphics. You can use its in-built visual elements, such as icons, photographs, UI kits, illustrations and photos. The tool also includes useful artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can help remove image backdrops, resize images and generate avatars and words. Professionals from various platforms can work together in real time on the same design.

11. Mockplus

Mockplus is a prototyping tool that can help web and graphic designers generate highly engaging and mobile-friendly web and mobile app prototypes. Since its objective is to help users create and collaborate better in one spot, Mockplus can make simultaneous co-creating on the same project efficient for teams. You can use a sharing link to invite peers, share designs, receive feedback and test and improve your prototypes collectively.

12. PicsArt

PicsArt includes many editing tools that can help you design high-quality artwork, even if you do not have design knowledge. Its video editor allows you to add music and effects to your videos. The app, which includes a desktop web editor, also features one of the world's largest creative communities. PicsArt's tools are simple to use, intuitive and mostly free. PicsArt has many creative web tools for organisations, which can make desktop editing considerably more effective. It comprises all the tools you might want to thrive in content creation, from AI-powered backdrop removals to building new designs.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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