Top 10 Must Have Design Software in 2021

Top 10 Must Have Design Software in 2021

Originally posted 2020-12-18 20:12:41.

We all have these questions in mind which Graphic Design software is better? So what we do is we either start searching on the internet or start asking that senior guy. He/she is who designs awesome posters, logos and he or she is the cool dude in our mind.

But the design software he/she mentions is paid. Well for some it’s not a problem but those who are beginners, what about them? They just started for them, looking for free and Best Graphic Design Software is the only alternative. So we are back with the same questions:

Which software is best for designing?

What software do designers use?

What is the best free graphic design software?

Which software is used for house design?

Now the only option is left is to trust the internet and gather as much as knowledge we can and then make our decision.

I always say this, doing a research and then coming to a conclusion is a much better decision. This way you will get to know about lot of things, get better options and your knowledge will be increased.

So today i’m going to help you in choosing the best graphic design software. No matter you are a beginner or a pro, you can start using them any time.

Looking Back At History

It is said that

A Person is nothing without his/her tools

According to my belief, right tools in the hand of the right person can lead to a great movement. Take a page from history and see how designers have affected their era with the right tools.

Da Vinci is a great example of a person who influenced the world with his powerful art and tools. With his tools and design he was able to showcase the dissection of a human body. This lead to a different approach in human anatomy where we learned so much.

Design field depends gravely on the tools. These tools help an artist in polishing their skills and help reflect their emotions with a medium. Basically tools are like hands to an artist with which they create magnificent art to revolutionise the world.

As 2021 is coming, the technology is becoming so advance that it impacted design softwares too. They are making our work so much better that creativity has now no limits.

So let’s checkout some of the powerful best graphic design softwares of the era that have helped designers in revolutionising the world.

As there are a lot of graphic design softwares from a lot of companies out there, so here we’ll be discussing Top 10 design software tools used by most of the designers out there in the world.

So without further delay let’s get into the good part.

Top 10 Best Graphic Design Software For 2021

As I already said it’s better to do your research and gain knowledge so that you can make your final decision. This Top 10 List Of Graphic Design Software will definitely help you in choosing the right software. We will be discussing both paid and free graphic design softwares in our Top 10 list.

1. Adobe

Adobe Creative Cloud

Everyone’s familiar with this one. We all have been there when we heard about photoshop and were shocked by the things it was able to create. Adobe is a paid software which provides a collection of tools for various kinds of designing stuff and together they are part of Adobe CC(Creative Cloud).

Adobe revolutionised the design tools by introducing the concept of CC. By using Adobe CC suite an artist can not only create designs but can share it with the whole world over the Adobe Cloud, where it can get a lot of admirers.

Basically adobe provides 20+ apps that includes both Desktop and Mobile applications. But we are going to discuss the Top 5 Main application that Adobe provides in this suite are:

a) Photoshop

Now this one’s everyone’s favourite, how can we miss this tool? It was the first ever tool of the adobe that helped them excel among their rivals and set high standards for them. I haven’t personally met a single person in the design field that isn’t using this tool. Everyone at some point in their life has installed it on their desktops or laptops.

It’s the famous tool used to edit, create and manipulate pictures. It has lot of variety, features from which you can create so many different things. It also allows you to make 3D objects.

Also, when I started with designing, this was my first professional graphic design software.

b) Illustrator

Illustrator is our personal escape from the reality tool. My designers day starts by opening this tool and learning new things that can be done using it.

It was not as famous as Photoshop in the starting but as the design industry progressed it gained recognition. Vector art, minimalist paintings, logo designs became so popular that designers started using illustrator. Thye started creating some of the magnificent logo and illustrations with it.

Within a nice of time, Illustrator was the tool that everyone preferred for any kind of design and creating some exceptional art as well. It is one of the best graphic design software that has ever been developed.

c) InDesign

InDesign is a life saver for designers as its user to create some exceptional layouts for printing purposes and magazines. Designers can create their very own patterns, layouts, etc and then print them with ease through cloud print. If you are in the field of print magazine or book publishing, InDesign is the tool that you should be looking for.

d) Premiere Pro

Adobe was not gonna stop with just editing photos or creating them. With the success of Photoshop and Illustrator they dived into the field of video and film editing and most of the designers prefer Premier Pro for editing their short films due to easy to use, great functionalities and it’s a powerful tool. Most of the videos you saw on internet are edited by using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Even videos you see on our Mount Woods Studio’s YouTube Channel are edited using premiere pro.

e) Adobe XD

Well, I personally love watching designers work who uses Adobe XD. Sometimes feel jealous too like how in the world they think like this and make such things.

This is last but not the least in our Top 5 Adobe software’s life as XD is the backbone of the adobe. The reason why is that it’s used to design and prototype user experience for various platforms including desktops, mobiles etc.

Basically you create a virtual image of any app that you want to develop and then observe how it might look on the particular device. The designers use this tool to create prototypes for clients so that they only have to develop final and selected prototypes avoiding continuous changes.

So with this there is no more Final 1, Final 2, Final 3, Final 100 etc.

Well I know how this feels, I have gone through it.

Alright I know what you all are wondering. What are we gonna discuss about Adobe only where there are more tools you promised. Yeah yeah I’m going to relax. We are here to discuss these tools so we will definitely discuss them.

2. Sketch


With One Million plus people using Sketch, it has to be in our list. From mobile interfaces to prototypes, it can handle all your requirements. The whole UI of Sketch is very simple and subtle. It’s very hard to combine so many features into one place and still manage to keep the simplicity.

It is a cloud based platform allows team to collaborate, save automatically all the files which is a kind of relief for designers. It has libraries with standard Android icons, iOS icons, and Mac icons. Also, it has art board templates for iOS devices and responsive web design layouts. So you just have to make the selection according to the device.

3. Corel Draw

Coral Draw

After Adobe, Corel is the hands down best software that will definitely help the designers who want to hone their skills and design to their heart’s content. The thing that makes Corel Draw popular among new learning designers is that it helps them design without any restrictions with infinite designs.

The environment that Corel provides is fully customizable and easy to use as well. There are also alignment guides that help in designing more efficiently.

Also, In India it is widely used graphic design software where all the printing agencies demand for cdr file. So you have to gain the knowledge of RGB and CMYK colours if you are going to use it. Mostly for printing purpose CMYK colours are chosen. It has a free trial option so that you can check how everything works and pay afterwards.



Well back in 2016 when I bought my Macbook Pro for the first time, I was all excited about it. I thought now I got a powerful machine where I can start using adobe photoshop but all my money was spent on purchasing Macbook so I started looking for options. Then I found two softwares i.e Gimp and Inkspace, both were free and I was happy.

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is used by designers who are familiar with tools such as Photoshop and want to try more light and eco app. It’s more suitable for the iOS users who want a little change and try something to test their knowledge of design tools. Apart from that, the app interface is fully customizable and the strong community support makes it easy to resolve problems.

As I was a newbie at that time, GIMP did solve my problems.

5. InkSpace


After trying my hands on GIMP, I installed Inskpace to check its features, how everything works.

This is an underdog tool of the design industry. It is basically used by the designers who like to edit svg files. Inkscape is used to color, sketch or either make illustrations easily. It’s a rather easy and powerful tool at the same time as it is used to edit the source of the file directly.

With endless filters and crazy effects it’s an ideal choice for designers who do not have a high budget for designing softwares.

6. Xara Designer Pro

Xara Designer Pro

This is a tool that you might not be familiar with as it’s less heard. But less heard doesn’t mean it is not used widely.

Xara Designer Pro offers substantial editing options, including solid dragging, scaling, and rotating of objects to achieve the best in editing results. It is based on high performance vector rendering engines which gives you the maximum speed to work on.

It is easy to drag n drop, infinite undo/redo, zoom to 25,000%, and top quality screen display.

7. InVision Studio

InVision Studio

Well, after adobe software, InVision Studio has become a life saviour for us and it’s the 2nd most software used by me. My team members can use any software without any problem but for me, I’m a little bit choosy. Number 1 software that I use is Photoshop.

We found InVision this year in early 2020 while searching for building wireframe and prototyping software. As we were rebranding ourselves, we needed something solid, easy to use and has cloud based features so that other team members can also use at the same time.

Sketch, Figma was also there but we fall in love with this and once started using, we didn’t looked for any other design software. It was available for both Windows and Mac which was a plus point, it’s interface is so easy that anyone can use it.

Our whole site was first designed in this software only. So from wireframe to prototypes everything is built on InVision. I was really very happy to see the results and I personally use it on regular basis to make Instagram posts, blog article’s featured image, and so on.

It has tons of libraries and you can use unsplash images directly which saves lot of time. Also, if you want to add human illustrations to it, just search in the libraries and enjoy. Overall we had a great experience using it.

8. Figma


The day it was launched, it was a blessing to the design industry. So versatile, easy to use, tons of options, environment friendly, endless possibilities and the list goes on and on.

It has some of the extra ordinary feature that every one requires. Yes we have tried this also. Not much but still.

I think coming from the Engineer background does this to me. I need to try new things, how it looks, what are its functionalities, how environment friendly it is.

Figma is all about checking one limit of creativity and it promises to give you more. Whether you need to create web or mobile UI designs, conduct UX research, collaborate with team, build responsive wireframes, prototype interactions and much more.

If we compare Figma and InVision Studio here what is written on their website.

Figma is built for your entire product design workflow. Create and collaborate on a design file. Prototype interactions. Share a link to your file or prototype. Gather feedback via comments. And grab all the code snippets and specs you need for development.

It’s pretty awesome all I can say and you should definitely give it a try. It’s pricing is based on subscription and for Individual it’s free.

9. Photopea


Do you want to see online free version of photoshop? If yes, then photopea is for you. It’s completely free as of now.

It works very similar to photoshop, it’s online, all the files i.e. PSD, GIMP, PDF, JPEG, PNG, Sketch, works super fine. I found this gem when i was doing my research for photoshop alternatives. It’s been a year I use it very often.

You must be thinking how many softwares I use. Hahahaha

Well, photoshop or photopea, InVision are always in my Top 3 List of design softwares. Rest of the team uses software depending on the type of project we get based on the requirements.

10. Vectary


I always thought it will be great if we can create 3D models just like this, without any hustle. Until one day my friends message poped-up. It was vectary.

Frankly speaking, I haven’t used it much but it has got some awesome features. The most accessible 3D and Augmented Reality design platform. No downloads, all in the browser.

I’m not full time designer but i really like to try things and see if I can learn even 1% from it. Create small small things which will make me happy. As 3D is not our forte as of now but Vectary is worth more than what I’m explaining here.

Those Pro who are reading my posts and used Vectary, please do tag me in your posts so that I can see what wonderful stuff you have created. For beginners, do give it a shot, it’s free.

So these were my Top 10 Must have graphic design softwares for 2021 and few personally used by me so that’s why I listed them.

These are the tools that help designers a lot in the designing. But at the end of the day it’s designer’s choice which tool suits best for them.

I’m not saying that these tools are best for you all but yeah I’m confident that these tools will definitely be worth a while for you amazing designers.


At the end I’m gonna say that we are all designers and it’s up to us to make better designs. And to make them, we need tools that suit us and we are comfortable while using them.

We need to treat our tools like they are our body parts and make sure to share our experience while using them with fellow designers. This helps us in becoming a better designer as we share our knowledge with others.

I would like to know about more tools and about your experience with these, and the tools that you’re using. 

So don’t you think it’ll be fun to share your experience with us all and learn from other’s experience. Let’s build a great design community together by supporting Mount Woods Studio.

And don’t forget to connect with us on all social media platforms or you can connect with us right here in the comment section below. Don’t be shy and write your heart out in the comment box down below.

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