If we talk about graphic and web designers, especially the ones who work on a day-to-day basis to hone their productivity skills, they are looking to get things done fast! Top it off with a predicament very much aligned with freelancing/sole proprietorship business and you are looking at people who don’t have much time to spare. Entrepreneurs can relate to the dilemma.
Therefore, we came up with this write-up where we get to talk about various tools and apps that have been known to help web and graphic designers with their work. That being said, this list is not conclusive. We just handpicked a few popular applications to get the conversation started. If you are looking to suggest something, feel free to use the comments section below after you’re done reading this piece.
Best Tools for Web and Graphics Designers:
If a designer uses a handful of tools, it will give a solid foundation for communicating the ideas and simplifying the work. So, in the journey to move from a good designer to the best one, all you have to do is have a set of tools with you.
Here’s a list of some of the best tools and apps to give you a head start in your online ventures. Some of the applications are not entirely web designing/graphic designing-centric, but they are equally important because of their ability to help users multitask and keep up with their rapid workflow.
1. Photoshop – Enhance Your Digital Work Like a Pro!
Everyone has used Photoshop by now. If you have used the program, at least you have heard of it. How could you not? It is hard to miss the slightest mention of Photoshop when we see celebrity pictures floating around at social media websites, and people commenting underneath, “Oh he/she looks so perfect and blemish-free. It has to be Photoshopped.”
That being said, Photoshop is considered a very efficient graphic designing tool. Here are some of the key highlights of the program that make it worthwhile.
- It helps to change the skin tone, create a high-resolution copy of the photo, adjusting brightness or removing a blurred area in just a few clicks by using adobe Photoshop.
- The additional advantages of using Photoshop include the fact those who utilize it to enhance or expand and strengthen his or her editing skills.
- It does a lot more than image editing. Adobe’s CC Suite has a collection of various other tools that enable graphics and web designers, both, to showcase their work at full potential.
- It is a wonderful way to learn and remember useful artist gimmickry.
- It speeds up your design process
- Brings your ideas to life.
Do you hate it when there is no consistency or transparency in the review process, and everything is spread over different tools and channels?
Without it, you can’t be sure that every file has been through a consistent process of checks and approvals. Filestage enables you to build and manage review processes the way you want to. Collect feedback from all reviewers in one place and ensure all files go through a consistent process.
Projects move faster when you’re not stuck chasing people for feedback or wading through your inbox. But getting stakeholders to review different file types via email is complicated.
Filestage makes it easy for teammates and stakeholders to give feedback on file types, eliminating the need for long email threads.
3. ProofHub – Proofing Tool
It is one place for all your projects and team collaboration. ProofHub is useful in the following ways.
- It has all the tools for individual and team members.
- It has ultimate control over teams and projects; easier done than said!
- On-time project delivery & on-point team accountability.
- It is very easy-to-understand with little to no learning curve.
- All thanks to a friendly fixed pricing plan, ProofHub has no per-user fee.
DesignBold is designed for the creatives both professional and amateur. It is developed with an eye-catching interface for creating printed or digital images quickly and smoothly. With an intuitive and robust feature-set, even beginners can create graphics, documents, and images of professional quality.
If it is your first time using DesignBold, you can surf through YouTube videos to get a hang of what the program has to offer. It doesn’t matter if you are a graphics designer, a digital artist or a web designer. There is something in there for everyone; that’s how the Devs created DesignBold in the first place.
- For users with no idea where to start, DesignBold offers thousands of templates for you to edit and overlay your designs.
- You can utilize them for presentations, for infographics, Instagram posts, or invitations.
- Regardless, the software has it all. What’s more, editing is also easy with the interface’s drag-and-drop commands.
5. Illustrator (*Also Known as Adobe Illustrator) – Create Logos, Icons and Sketches
Illustrator is one of the best tools to date. Especially when you talk about using Vector images over conventional rasterized images, Illustrator takes it all to the next level. And trust me, Vector digital media is the latest trend. No one wants to see their images getting bombarded with pixels when they zoom in.
It has an intuitive user interface. Initially, it is a little hard to get a hang of things, but you will eventually get there with enough practice. Some of the additional features of this application are highlighted below:
- It allows for in-panel editing.
- It is completely scalable.
- It creates files in manageable sizes.
- It works on almost any computer system.
- It creates print graphics and web graphics.
6. Sketch 3 – Graphic App
Non-relevant functions do – not exist, so you only have buttons for stuff useful for web/app design. That’s what Sketch 3 and its predecessors are all about. They wanted to create something for users that’s not only clutter-free but also easy to use at the same time.
You don’t have the plethora of actions that you’ll have in Illustrator because you don’t need it.
- UI work is full of repetitions — colors, shapes, icons, patterns are reused again and again. The ability to have symbols and some responsive abilities is a godsend, it removes most of the boring part of UI work. It’s industrializing it.
- Figma does it even better, but Sketch makes it possible to work with other people on the same file (with pattern libraries, or using version control plugins like Abstract or Plant)
- It’s way cheaper 😀 Sketch is something like $100 a year.-
7. Marvel – Prototyping Tool
Next up, we got Marvel Prototyping Tool. Of course, just like you, I wish it had something to do with official Marvel Comics Company, or the Avengers to say the least, but this program is something not related to the aforementioned entities.
Marvel Prototyping is an essential tool for web design workflow these days. With Marvel, you can create anything from scratch, sync designs from your cloud storage! Sketch.
- Design with Marvel Canvas. Prototype and add gestures and transitions to your design.
- Marvel is a very highly simplified interface that makes it fast and easy to learn.
- The tool works well for both non-designers and advanced UX folks.
8. Sublime Text – Text Editor
Sublime text is the text editor that you are surely going to fall in love with. Sublime Text 2 is a minimalist coding editor that will let you focus completely on your code.
If you are working on websites, this will give your great power providing powerful shortcuts and tools to leap about a document, filter the file, and quickly make edits.
9. Webflow – Responsive Web Design Tool
Webflow allows designers to create sites in a relatively short time period. You can design and develop at the same time, with minimal effort with Webflow.
Don’t worry about using coding to execute your work output. You can easily export and change the site’s HTML / CSS tags according to the customer’s needs.
10. Github – Software Development Platform
Github is a very handy tool for Web Designers and website developers. That does not mean that GitHub doesn’t have anything for graphic designers. It does, but the abundance of “graphics” is not as much as compared to traditional Web 2.0 and 3.0 properties.
GitHub is a directory. Some people call it a repository. It’s your choice though. The crux of the tool is in its ability to offer a platform to hardcore coding communities where people can ask technical questions related to real-life use case scenarios and other experts answer them in comments format.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
In addition, GitHub can integrate with common platforms such as Amazon and Google Cloud, services such as Code Climate to track your feedback, and can highlight syntax in over 200 different programming languages.
11. Milanote – Visual Boards To Get Organized
Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely.
- Write notes & to-do lists, upload images & files and save things you find on the web
- Organize visually using the flexible drag and drop interface.
- Boards by default are a private place to think, but with a single click you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team
- Milanote is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief.
- Free version available with no time limit.
- PRO version $9.99 per month (monthly and annual plans)
12. Instasize – Photo Editing Tool
Having a multi-purpose editing app on-hand is key to making the most of any raw photos you use for digital marketing. Instasize is one of the most reliable out there, capable of applying essential post-processing to both photos and videos. It’s available for mobile phones and great for designers on the go.
- Crop and resize photos and trim videos as you please
- A wide array of filters, text styles, and borders
- Monthly updates provide new, themed editing packs
- User-friendly UI that makes editing a breeze
- Free basic plan
- Premium plan at $4.99/month
13. Placeit – Design Templates
Placeit is an online platform with all kinds of mockups ready to customize. From t-shirts, digital devices to books, and home decor. Just drag your design or select it from your computer and in seconds your mockup has been customized.
- Move your design and crop it until you feel your mockup is done.
- Access to mockups with different scenarios with the same model.
- Access to mockups with transparent background.
- You will also find a logo maker for specific niches.
- Find trendy video templates to customize in minutes with original music.
- Find all kinds of design templates for your social media campaigns.
- Free templates
- Annual $89.69
- Month $14.95
14. PosterMyWall – Social Media Graphics
With templates for all kinds of themes, coupled with a drag and drop editor, PosterMyWall makes designing accessible to everyone, including anyone who’s just starting out. PosterMyWall also offers tools to streamline social media marketing.
- Hundreds of thousands of customizable templates to create album covers, book covers, flyers, digital signage and more.
- Social media publishing and scheduling tools built into the website, allowing you to share social media posts as soon as they’re ready.
- Watermark-free image downloads for social media posts available for free. Paid downloads for print quality and video downloads.
- Design and send email campaigns.
- Free plan
- Premium plan at $29.95 per quarter
- Premium plus at $89.95 per quarter
15. Ziflow – Proofing Software
Ziflow is an online proofing system that allows designers to centralize the review and approval of designs at all stages. Instead of wading through email chains, managing WeTransfer shares, Google Drive folders, and the many other ways clients and stakeholders send feedback or versions, Ziflow gives an all-in-one environment for reviewing, annotating, discussing, comparing, and approving design elements in many mediums, through many rounds of edits, to completion.
With Ziflow, designers can manage a structured series of design stages using workflow automation and clearly delineate the internal review process from client feedback. Plus, the ability to lock designs from modifications and change requests after decisions have been made is a huge plus. No more final hour feedback to throw a wrench in the design process.
- The ability to upload, review, and approve over 1,200+ file format types, from live websites to PDFs to videos and specialized concept art, in one place.
- Robust workflow automation enables design teams to facilitate multiple or concurrent review stages and separate the internal design review process from the client/stakeholder feedback process.
- Side-by-side version comparison down the pixel level allows for a much more accurate review of iterative designs.
- Detailed markups and annotations are tied to threaded discussions so there’s no confusion about required changes.
- Status updates and decision checklists linked to workflow stages indicate exactly where a design project is in the review process, keeping everyone on the same page and leaving an audit trail of approvals. Audit trails demonstrate a complete record of changes and decisions for comprehensive project history.
- Basic plan at $9/user per month
- Starter plan at $18/user per month
- Business plan at $45/user per month
- Custom Enterprise plan
16. PicsArt – Online Photo & Video Editor
PicsArt is an incredible online photo-editing software that creative professionals can use to create some beautiful imagery for the whole world to see. The best thing about the software is that you don’t even have to be an expert in the field of design and photography to make effective use of this software.
- The software also has an incredible video-editing feature that you can use to add music and other special effects to your content to make it more social media-friendly
- The software also has a desktop version that you can use to make sure that you continue your work even if you don’t have internet connectivity
- Another great feature of the application is the “Replay” function which enables the user to apply the same editing settings from a previous edit to a new edit at the press of a button
- A free trial is available
- PicsArt Gold starts at $8/month
17. Bannersnack – Online Banner Maker
If you are a no-nonsense professional that just wants the best graphic designing tool in the market, then you need the tool Bannersnack. The application has an incredibly intuitive interface that you can use to create your content by just dragging and dropping things.
- The software can be used to create some beautiful HTML5 pages, witty GIFs for your social media handles or website, or even different visual ads to grab user attention
- You can even create different hand-crafted illustrations using the software
- The most incredible feature of the application is that you can work on more than 40 different-sized visuals simultaneously which helps in you spending less time and money on different projects and getting things done quickly
- A free version of the application is available
- The starter package of the application starts at $7/month
18. Design Wizard
The design just got easy! With Design Wizard you can create impressive videos and image designs in minutes. Its library holds over one million premium images, thousands of high-quality videos, illustrations, graphics, and more. Every video and image has also been licensed for commercial use.
The Pro plan, starting at $9.99 per month, gives you 60 image design downloads, image uploads, font uploads, free previews, and 1GB storage. On the Business plan, which starts at $49.99 per month, you get unlimited standard video downloads, 1 premium video per month, unlimited image design downloads, video uploads, add text and images to video, and 10GB storage.
- Magically resize your designs
- Upload fonts, photos and logos
- Create custom color palettes
- Free plan
- Pro plan at $9.99/month
- Business plan at $49.99/month
19. Colorinch – Web-Based Photo Editor & Cartoonizer
Colorcinch helps hobbyists, photographers, and professional designers produce stunning designs and enhanced photos with just a few clicks! An intuitive web-based software, Colorcinch is a perfect alternative to popular offline/online photo editors. But unlike most other editors, it requires no sign-ups, could be used for free and needs no series of intensive tutorials to get started. Thanks to the tool’s simple & clean UI, everyone—including non-techies—can effortlessly create premium-level graphics and photo designs without getting stuck at any point. It’s that simple to use!
Colorcinch features all the essential built-in editing tools needed for basic image modifications (cropping, color/tone adjustments, resizing, etc.). But beyond that, it also offers users access to a generously robust collection of vector icons & graphics, overlays, masks, and filters. Additionally, with Colorcinch, you can easily choose from a range of top-notch artistic effects and accurately transform your photos into cartoons, digital sketches, and other artworks.
- A wide array of one-click artistic effects, filters, masks and overlays
- Access to a sorted collection of 50,000+ vector icons and graphics
- Beautiful and intuitive UI built for everyone
- Free basic plan
- Plus plan at $5.99/month (or $3.99/month if billed annually)
If you are a graphic designer/web developer or maybe for any stance you have a little bit of connection to the design world, there’s the slightest chance of missing out on Iconscout. Previously they only had a website that helped thousands of users to get a neat collection of over 2.2millions of SVGs, Vector Icons, Illustrations, 3D graphics, and Lottie Animations.
And Now they have already launched their Application for both Mac and Windows. This is a quick, convenient way to get their millions of design assets directly from your Toolbar.
With a stunning library of design assets contributed by designers and artists from all over the world they also provide integrated tools, plugins, and editors. This application helps you with varieties of assets with enough functionality for necessary modifications.
- 2.1M+ Icons, 20K+ Illustrations, 1K+ 3D Assets
- 5000+ assets added every day
- Design Assets for any tool, document, application, etc without any restriction right from your toolbar
- Switch Styles like flat, line, colored outline, solid, and many others just in a one click
- Integrated plugins and tools like Icon Editor and Icon Converter
- Free(Access to limited design assets)
- All-Access Annual- $9.99 per month(Billed Annually)
- All-Access Monthly- $14.99 per month
The BrandCrowd logo maker enables brands to create a design in minutes. This will help you say goodbye to long turnaround times and difficulty sourcing freelance graphic designers.
It does this by giving them access to an expansive library of business logo designs that they can customize. It has one of the biggest design collections ranging from fashion logos to tech logos. Personalize its color, fonts, and other elements for a unique design.
- The maker has an easy-to-use tool that newbies can make the most out of.
- It offers more than just logos. You can also use it for business cards, social media posts, and more.
- Users can also ask for professional assistance and request further changes to your logo.
Mockplus is a web-based product design platform for prototyping, collaboration and handoff. It brings UI/UX designers, product managers and developers on to the same page, prototype, collaborate and hand off together at least 2x faster.
With Mockplus, designers can co-design on the same page and collect feedback by sharing a single link. Product managers can write PRDs online and create clear user flows with drag-and-drop. Developers can easily get a link to join a project, click and hover to view design specs and code snippets, and download assets in one click. Brand design systems can also be gathered and shared across teams with ease. Your entire product design workflow is connected in one place.
- Create functional web or mobile app prototypes with built-in components, icons, templates and interactions
- Import design files from Adobe XD, Sketch, Figma, Axure, and Photoshop, and animate them with drag-and-drop
- Share designs, review from anywhere and leave comments directly on design
- Write PRDs, and reference documents and design drafts with each other
- Create, plan and manage design tasks visually
- Hand off all deliverables, like specs, assets and code snippets, to developers with a single link
- Click or hover to view design specs, code snippets and assets
- Click to download assets for all iOS, Android and Web platforms
- Gather, manage and reuse consistent visual assets, like colors, fonts, components and more, online across teams
- Everyone who has registered can get a free plan with up to 10 active projects and members.
- Its monthly and annually payment plans help suit the needs of teams at any size.
- The monthly plan starts at $7.95 per month per person.
- The annual plan starts at $5.95 per month per person, which is billed annually, helping save up to 25% in comparison with the monthly plan.
Since this list is not conclusive, we know for a fact that there are tons of tools that are not mentioned here. If you have a personal favorite app that you’d like to share with web and graphic designers on the internet, or with companies offering graphic design services, go ahead and use the comments section below. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for anonymous tips.