10 Essential Tools for Graphic Design

May 13, 2024Dianne Eberhardt

The Internet constantly delights us with innovative graphic design tools, offering various software options from apps to open-source platforms. But that's just scratching the surface. There's also cutting-edge hardware available to enhance your design studio and improve your workflow.

Whether you're a graphic design newbie or looking to add a fresh perspective to your company’s designs, this article will walk you through the must-have tools to enhance your work and creative processes.

What Are Graphic Design Tools?

Graphic designers depend on a varied toolbox to transform their creative ideas into stunning visuals. These instruments encompass hardware like cameras, tablets, and computers, as well as software to blend typography, images, illustrations, and colors to communicate effectively.

These tools are essential for making your work more captivating and engaging.

Why Are Graphic Tools Important for Designers?

Graphic design tools turn ideas into visual concepts. Whether starting with a simple draft or finishing up a detailed design, these tools make it easier to get creative. Specialized software and elements (like tablets) allow you to experiment, iterate, and refine your work, helping you communicate effectively, enhance UX, and create impact.

As you can see, graphic design is always evolving, and staying current with the latest technology, trends, and techniques is crucial for professionals.

Top 10 Best Graphic Design Tools for Beginners

Ready to build your personal design toolkit? The following tools are perfect for getting you started in the design world. They range from basic sketchbooks to specialized platforms that can help you sharpen your professional skills.

So, whether you're just beginning or looking to expand your toolkit, these resources can support and inspire your creative journey.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud consists of a complete set of applications, cloud services for remote access to your work, and collaborative tools.

The suite includes the following key apps:

  • Photoshop: Ideal for image editing and digital art
  • Illustrator: A go-to for vector graphics and illustrations
  • InDesign: Perfect for creating layouts for both print and digital publications
  • Premiere Pro: Leading software for professional video editing
  • XD: Used specifically for UX/UI design
  • Lightroom: Specialized in photo editing, particularly for photographers

Adobe Creative Cloud operates on a subscription basis and offers the added benefit of seamless integration with other platforms.


Primarily used as a UX/UI and prototyping tool, Figma graphic design operates entirely in the cloud, ensuring your work is consistently synced and up-to-date.

  • Real-time collaboration: allows multiple users to work simultaneously on a project. This streamlines communication and feedback loops with clients and team members.
  • Interactive prototyping: enables you to test designs before moving to development. It automatically tracks changes and facilitates the reuse of designs, ensuring consistency across projects.
  • Easy-sharing: via links or inviting collaborators directly.
  • Multiple export options: you can download your designs in various formats suitable for development and presentations.


Canva is a web-based platform known for its wide array of features and customizable templates, catering to various visual content needs—from social media posts and banners to posters and videos.

Like Figma, It allows for real-time customization, sharing, and commenting, facilitating seamless teamwork among team members or clients.

What makes it different from other design tools?

  • Drag-and-Drop Interface: it simplifies the design process, allowing users to effortlessly add text, images, and graphics to their creations, even without prior design experience.
  • Sharing and Exporting: upon completing a design project, users can download their designs in various formats, share them directly on social media, or order prints through the platform.


CorelDRAW stands out as a leading graphic design tool, providing a rich array of features for experienced professionals and design enthusiasts.

Its key features include:

  • Vector Editing: it excels in creating high-quality and scalable graphics for vector-based designs.
  • Page Layout and Design: it offers features for page layout, making it ideal for crafting multi-page documents such as brochures, newsletters, and flyers.
  • Versatile Toolkit: with capabilities ranging from drawing and painting to image editing and typography, it empowers users to craft intricate and detailed designs.
  • Customization: users can customize the app to suit their specific needs and preferences.
  • Learning Resources: for those new to the software or looking to enhance their skills, it provides extensive learning resources, tutorials, and community support to guide users.


Sketch is a specialized vector graphics editor and design tool exclusively for macOS, making it a favorite among designers, especially those focused on UX/UI design for web and mobile apps.

Its core features encompass:

  • Vector editing: for creating high-quality, scalable designs.
  • Artboards: to streamline project organization.
  • Real-time collaboration tools.
  • Symbols and libraries: to maintain consistency across design projects.
  • Plugins and extensions: provided by its vibrant developer community.

Whether designing social media images or complex user flows, Sketch's versatility meets diverse design requirements. And if you want to learn more about digital experience, you can read our article about what UX/UI design is.

Project Management Software

To free your mind and focus deeply on the creative process, project management software is crucial for organization and productivity.

Popular choices in the market include Asana, ClickUp, Trello, and Notion, each offering unique features and user interfaces.

Make sure to choose a platform you feel comfortable with, creating the habits of tracking your progress and keeping it up to date.

External Solid State Drive

While it may seem simple, storing and backing up your important files is essential and shouldn't be overlooked.

An ideal SSD gives you fast read/write speeds and comes in a compact design, making it easy to take it on the go.


Sometimes, going back to basics is the way to go. When technology feels overwhelming, you can always rely on our trusty sketchbook to jot down ideas and drafts to refine later.

Taking a break from our tech gear can create the perfect environment for creativity to flow.

Graphic Drawing Tablet

A graphic or drawing tablet is ideal for illustrators and digital artists, giving you:

  • Precision and control for fine details.
  • Versatility for sketching, drawing, photo editing, and digital painting.
  • Portability lets designers work anywhere, anytime.

With options available across different budgets, it's worth investing in the best one you can afford, especially if you'll be using it for professional work.

Ergonomic Furniture

Investing in ergonomic furniture can counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting in front of a computer.

The following items can be considered essential for every serious designer:

  • Ergonomic chair.
  • Height-adjustable desk.
  • Keyboard tray.
  • Monitor arm or stand.

By incorporating these items, graphic designers can create a comfortable and health-conscious workspace, mitigating the risk of repetitive strain injuries and improving overall work efficiency.

What Are the Benefits of Using Graphic Design Tools in Your Creative Projects?

There are plenty of benefits to using graphic design tools for those seeking to thrive in the ever-evolving digital world. No matter if you consider yourself a beginner or an enthusiast; each tool can add a professional touch to your work.

Not only will you be enhancing your visual art, but you'll also be ensuring consistency and quality. Some tools, like project management software, can help you meet client deadlines successfully and stay organized. Others, like sketchbooks or tablets, can help with inspiration, helping you set the right mood to spark creativity.

We Can Help You with Your Work!

Need help with graphic design? We offer different subscription plans to help startups reach their goals without getting lost on the way— at least in the design aspect!

We will pair you with one of our talented designers who will work closely with you to understand your company's needs and deliver beautifully functional designs every week.

Our graphic design work is diverse and impressive, and we're proud of it! Ready to get started? Schedule a free discovery call and let's discuss your design needs.

Dianne Eberhardt

Dianne Eberhardt

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