11 Platforms and Apps Every Design Students Should Know

Graphic designers are valued not only for their creativity and talent but for their ability to use modern software and tools. This profession is extremely dependent on technological developments and requires students to keep abreast of trends.

Everyone working in the field of graphic design knows how a great tool can enhance your talent and skill. Given their variability, it is quite difficult for a student to choose several ones and test all the opportunities they provide.

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Thus, we asked designers and marketers from different entities – from some indie studios to renowned platforms like https://essaypro.com – to list the best apps and platforms for designer students. In this article, we will discuss the main features and advantages.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is one of the key tools that every designer student should know. Apart from editing pictures, it allows combining multiple images together. This program is essential for those who want to work with graphics.

Photoshop’s main functions are cropping, rotating, straightening, removing objects, touch adjustment, color fixation, etc. This list can go on and on. Video editing can also be done via Adobe Photoshop smoothly and professionally.

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is the most popular tool used by graphic designers. There are still very few alternatives that would compete with its features and functions. It can handle everything from logos to illustrations for videos. Working with Illustrator allows you to create high-dimension pixel-perfect shapes.

Moreover, lots of companies create plugins and upgrades for Illustrator, making it a fully functional machine. If you are going to enter the market, a solid knowledge of Illustrator is a must.

Adobe Spark

Both previous tools are only available on PC and Mac. Adobe Spark, in contract, can help you out when you only have a mobile phone. This app is an excellent choice for students with little design experience who need to create images, edit videos, and work on web pages.

At the same time, the app is fully functional and allows performing main designer operations in the blink of an eye. No technical glitches should be expected.


Canva is a web-based application for graphic design. Many professional designers admit they are in love with this app for its simplicity and intuitive panel. It helps out if graphics are needed asap, and there is no time to pull everything into Adobe Illustrator.

Canva allows creating designs quickly for both web and print. Its drag and drop feature contributed to the ease of use. However, this tool is great for beginners. A more substantial one is needed for professionals.

Gravit Designer

Gravit is a free vector editor that allows dealing with various design-related assignments. With this tool, you can design the interface and icons as easy as illustrations and animations. This editor is vector-based, so there will be absolutely no problem with creating detailed and beautiful vector images.

Moreover, you can customize the Gravit Designer’s interface per your needs for it to meet your needs and expectations. An in-built cloud service will also help you access projects from any device.


GIMP is a very convenient image editor that belongs to a large family of raster editors. Using this tool, you can adjust color, highlight, draw, and edit your images as you find appropriate. It has amazing compatibility and works with a wide range of image formats.

Of course, Photoshop is a lot different in terms of interface and offers more functions. However, students can start their design journey with this software as it is simpler and easier to understand.


Inkscape is a free program created for passionate users. It incorporates lots of features and functions that make it highly professional. However, it will not meet the needs of busy designers because it needs improvement in terms of interface, compatibility, and speed.

Nevertheless, you can create amazing graphics that would look absolutely professional for free. A helpful website will guide you through the process if needed.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite

CorelDraw is a fully-functional graphic design app that offers native capabilities that even Adobe Illustrator could not outperform. It is not offered for free and actually is quite expensive ($499). However, it is definitely worth the sum because of the features and convenient interface.

Whatever you need to design, CorelDraw is exactly what you need for it. There is no task that this app cannot do. However, for now, only Windows OS supports it.

Corel PaintShop Pro

If you are not looking for a fully functional tool, Corel has something in store. For only $80, you can have a perfect tool for photo editing. It is rich in functions compatible with Adobe Photoshop ones. Moreover, Corel has even issued tutorials for this tool’s users.

However, this version does not work on Mac and has several operational drawbacks. It is ideal for training in photo editing before investing in more expensive tools.


Sketch is a digital design program for Mac only. It is rather a platform for collaboration with other designers while working on a prototype. This software is particularly good for creating icons and logos with high pixel precision. It is not a match for print design or illustration creation.

The program has a smart layout helping the component to resize according to the content. Lots of different plugins are available to install to enhance precision and advance vector editing.

Affinity Designer

Affinity is a perfect tool for someone who is only starting designer’s career. It functions similarly to Illustrator but is much cheaper and easier to use. It still has lots of features and functions, allowing you to create high-quality and pixel-perfect illustrations.

This designer tool allows working on vector and raster images. It has a desktop and iPad versions that are both equally functional. Affinity Designer is recognized for a high level of accuracy and productivity as well.

Final Words

Graphic design has evolved into a large industry that attracts many talented students. However, it is not only about creativity and skills but also about technical competence.

Since lots of tools are being designed and released every year, students may get lost in choosing what’s best for them. The tools listed above are worth considering by both pros and amateurs. They deserve your attention before you find what fits you the most.

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