14 Apps Every Designer Needs To Know About

If you’re an amateur designer or just thinking about becoming one, you might have at least a little know-how of which App you should be using. Adobe may be the first name that came to your mind, but other software companies have upped their game ever since Adobe started taking the spotlight. This has resulted in a market of the most well-developed design tools you could ever choose from. We have combined a list of the few of the best tools out there. Have a look for yourself.

While the name might be old, it stands out as the industry expert when it comes to design almost everything. Photoshop is the industry’s big gun for the last three decades. Starting as an image editing app, it has developed over the years to become the most sophisticated graphic design App.

2. Cinema 4D

A commercial software for 3D modeling, Cinema 4D is considered to be on the same industry level as 3D Max or Maya. It’s especially recommended for beginners as it provides a bunch of tutorials at every step, with a large community waiting to help-out. It offers a wide range of features and tools and is used across the graphic design industry for computer-animation, special effects, 3D printing, graphic design, architecture, and other departments.

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD is a vector-based UX design tool that allows you to create user flows, wireframes, high-fidelity designs, interactive prototypes, animations, and more. It’s a tool designed to make you work more creatively and collaborate with your team with ease.

4. Sketch

Vectors are an important part of your design process, keeping that in mind, Sketch comes into play. It’s a tool used for user interface and UX design of websites and mobile apps, without a print design feature. If you need a printing machine, you can read about the costs here. Used by companies and freelancers alike, Sketch lets you bring your ideas to life all the while customizing your workflow to keep every task in-sync.

5. Adobe Illustrator CC

The latest version of Adobe’s vector design giants, CC is 10x faster than the previous versions. It’s the world’s most powerful toolset for designing vectors. The industry-standard software is used by millions of designers globally to create beautiful web and mobile graphics from logos to book illustrations, billboards, and product packages. Illustrator is always thriving to bring you the best and latest features for your passion to show through your creativity.

6. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a cloud-based software developed as a family of image organization and manipulation apps. It allows saving, viewing, editing, importing, organizing, and tagging of a large number of images. Whether you start on the desktop or mobile, your edits will be applied everywhere automatically. You can also view in-app tutorials and step-by-step guides given by the professionals to take you through the entire design process.

7. 3DS Max

Developed by Autodesk Media and Entertainment, 3DS Max is a computer software that allows you to make 3D animations, models, games, and images. It is commonly used by video game developers, architecture studios, and TV commercial studios. The software is also preferred during movie effect editings and pre-visualizations. 3DS Max is essential for you to have a look at especially if you are working, or intend to work at, a game development company or animation studio.

8. Adobe After Effects

Another design tool by the graphic design giants, Adobe After Effects is primarily used during the post-production process of T.V shows, movies, and games. If you have your future planned in any of the mentioned industries, this tool is what you need to be learning about. You can create intros and transitions, make it rain or make objects explode, remove unwanted clips, objects or people, etc. All of it with only one app, that can be used in collaboration with other Adobe design tools.

9. CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor introduced by Corel Corporation. With this tool, you can design on virtually any device using professional vector illustration, photo editing, layout, and typography tools. It is also the name of the Corel graphics suite, which includes the bitmap-image editor Corel Photo-Paint as well as other graphics-related programs.

10. Adobe Premiere Pro

Based on its predecessor ‘Premiere’, Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing tool. It’s the leading video editing software of the industry, allowing you to craft footage into polished films with the help of a variety of creative tools, app integrations, and the guide of Adobe Sensei. With Adobe Premiere Pro, you can design images ranging from 8K to virtual reality. It even lets you work on your phone, allowing you to design your media the way you want.

11. Affinity Designer

A part of the ‘Affinity Trinity’, Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor designed by Serif for Windows, iOS, and Mac OS. Create perfect images with this advanced tool and bring your imagination to life. Moreover, the app provides you with a professional level publishing feature.

12. Figma

A vector graphics editing and prototyping tool, Figma allows teams to create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish. The tool helps keep the creative ideas flowing with the use of different old and new features. Figma is a cloud-based software meaning you don’t have to waste time in saving and exporting.

13. Adobe Spark

An integrated form of several design tools for mobiles and desktop, Adobe Spark is made not just for designers but amateurs as well who don’t have a lot of experience in design. It can be used to edit photos, create memes and GIFs, and even perform some advanced design functions. You can unleash the creative side of you with Adobe Spark even without advanced knowledge. This is especially helpful when you don’t have an experienced designer available and you have to hand in a particular task quickly.

14. Zeplin

Are you a designer who needs to work with the development team? No problem! Zeplin is the best tool when it comes to designers and developers collaborating with each other. You can easily export files from design-based apps to Zeplin, select the platform you’re designing for and let Zeplin take care of the rest. Create style guides and link them with multiple projects, enabling developers to have a look and take the task further.


These are the most basic to advanced level design apps and tools for newcomers and experienced professionals alike. Have a look at the list and decide what you need to get the job done.

Shoaib Noor

A Computer Science Graduate, Graphic Designer, food blogger and so much more...

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