Working in graphic design requires constant learning and honing all the necessary skills.
However, having access to reliable software is also extremely important as it can make the entire work process go much smoother. Graphic design software should serve as a tool that allows you to work faster and more efficiently; it shouldn’t hinder your workflow in any way.
Today we’ll show you some of the most reliable applications for graphic design that are being used and are highly valued by professionals all over the world.
In this short guide, we will focus on some of the most popular pieces of software available in the graphic and computer-aided design (CAD) market: Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2024, Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 7, and CorelDRAW.
Let’s dive into it.
The first program on the list hardly requires any introduction. Adobe Photoshop is mainly known for its ability to easily manipulate and edit photos to fix them, add extra effects, retouch the image, make collages, or perform all sorts of other editing actions, including AI-powered ones, to get the desired result. However, Photoshop can do much more than that.
It can aid your graphic design process and support your creativity; Photoshop can be used as a flexible drawing and painting app, allowing you to quickly express your ideas on the digital canvas while giving you incomparable freedom. Intuitive layer and mask management make it easy to make changes to your work without destroying what you’ve done so far.
You can easily customize Photoshop to your liking and you can even extend its base functionalities, thanks to its powerful plugin support, allowing you to add even more extra features to the already feature-rich program.
If you’re looking for more technical software that would allow you to work in 3D, you could give CorelCAD a try. It’s a solid program that will allow you to effortlessly design all kinds of 3D objects, making it easy to visualize your ideas and adjust the final product by making it go through a number of iterations before proceeding to a prototype or production phase.
CorelCAD is relatively easy to learn and use, and as such it’s favored by those who are taking their first steps in their computer design careers, as well as those who didn’t work with similar kinds of software before.
Although the main purpose of this program is to aid your 3D design process, CorelCAD also comes with intuitive 2D drafting features to make the planning phase easier before you get to the actual work. Bring your technical 2D sketches and drawings to life by giving them 3D shapes and forms and enjoy unparalleled precision that allows CorelCAD to be used as a part of 3D printing projects.
CorelCAD fully supports .DWG file format, which means compatibility with other popular CAD programs, making it easy to share the work with other teams if they’re working in different CAD environments.
Autodesk AutoCAD 2024
Although CorelCAD can satisfy most of the needs of 3D computer graphic designers, there are also more advanced alternatives out there, created specifically for those who want something extra from their CAD graphics software.
Autodesk AutoCAD 2024 is exactly this; a more robust and complete CAD environment that comes with more features that could potentially save you time while you’re working on your 3D projects. The caveat here is that while it’s more powerful, it can also be harder to learn and less intuitive to use, especially if you’d like to utilize all of its features to the fullest.
The 2024 version comes with some extras that were not present in the earlier versions. This includes drawing history, project sharing, and floating windows for multiple monitors. You can now also use the smart blocks feature to place blocks based on previous placements. It even comes with an option to access CAD drawings directly from the internet browser if you’ll ever need to quickly check something but you’re away from your PC.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2024
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2024 is a lightweight version of the already mentioned Photoshop, lacking many of its big brother’s features and focusing only on the essentials. This makes Photoshop Elements a perfect solution for beginners who want to make quick photo adjustments without the need to dive too deep into the more advanced stuff.
Photoshop Elements is a viable option to use by less experienced users as it’s more intuitive and can achieve desired results quicker and with less tinkering with hidden or not-so-obvious options and sliders. The AI-powered tools give more power to novices who may just be taking their very first steps in the photo editing field.
The 2024 version comes with new artistic effects, a one-click sky or background selection, quick actions that can automate certain tasks, and a color match feature that makes it easier to adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of the image.
Ashampoo Photo Optimizer
Ashampoo Photo Optimizer is another novice-friendly photo editing software that puts emphasis on convenience. It comes with a variety of automatic features that make the process of adjusting the properties of a photo incredibly fast and easy, saving you a lot of time without sacrificing the quality of the end product.
It can enhance the chosen photo with just a few clicks and doesn’t require any professional-level knowledge. The possibilities are limited but the ease of use more than makes up for it, allowing non-technical users to quickly get very satisfying results.
Ashampoo Photo Optimizer does a great job at identifying and automatically fixing the most common issues with photos, which includes tonal curve adjustments, perspective corrections, fixes for colors and contrasts, and more. And if you want to add some further manual touches to make the photo really stand out, you can do that, too.
Finally, there’s also CorelDRAW which is used primarily for vector graph images. Whenever you need to design a logo, a brochure, an invitation card, or an illustration that will easily scale with size, CorelDRAW is the tool for the job.
CorelDRAW is more beginner-friendly than solutions offered by the competition but what’s more important is that it doesn’t sacrifice utility and advanced features for ease of use; you can easily use CorelDRAW not only for hobbyist or small-scale projects but also for professional ones as well.
CorelDRAW comes with built-in tutorials that make the application much more approachable and easier to learn, as it can guide you step-by-step on how to achieve desired results.
Depending on what exactly you’re interested in graphic design, you’ll want to pick a different piece of software that will meet your expectations and satisfy your needs. 3D graphic designers or architects will use completely different programs than people who specialize in drawing, photo editing, or designing illustrations for marketing purposes.
It’s also important to choose the software that’s right for your skill level; a novice can be more productive with a simpler program that won’t overwhelm them with extra features.
If you’re looking for a graphic or CAD application, make sure that it comes with all the features you need or that it can be expanded to include such features.
Whichever software you eventually decide to go for, keep in mind it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates. Modern graphic design software evolves quickly, especially in the current era of AI, so it would be beneficial to stay informed about what’s new. This way you’ll be able to utilize all the new features to make your work easier and quicker, which will directly translate to being able to deal with competitors more easily.