Today, graphic designers have various tools to carry out their work more quickly and effectively. But to get to this point, it was necessary to go through various stages of experimentation and testing that favored the appearance of new graphic design programs, which are the ones we mostly work with.

During the 20th century, especially in the 1990s, the digital age added a new challenge; the appearance of the “world wide web” (www), which contributed to a rapid evolution of graphic design worldwide.

Later, with the implementation of technology and the appearance of the HTML markup language, web pages began to have more color, backgrounds and textures, buttons, bars and icons. All this became part of the future field of graphic designer and the use of specific graphic design programs to design in a more impressive and professional way.

Technological advances have (clearly) given way to a great evolution in graphic design, facilitating design tools for the creation of innovative web pages .

The graphic design programs that have contributed to the evolution of the profession are, among others: Photoshop, Corel Draw, Phox-pro, Free Hand, Adobe iIlustrator, Macromedia Flash.

Each one has a particular function and a different objective, this allows adding sophisticated and professional tools to the skills of each designer .

In this article we are going to see superficially what each of these graphic design tools or programs is used for, their advantages, their disadvantages, and other tips that may be useful to you, whether you are a designer or if you want to hire a designer . or use some of these programs to internalize all this knowledge.

Graphic design programs you should know


Among the best image editing tools , Photoshop is particularly known for its good function in retouching photos and graphics. It is the world market leader in image editing applications.

Adobe Photoshop is considered one of the best graphic design programs to support photo retouching, but it is also used in other disciplines such as web design, digital styling, video editing, etc.

Due to its ease of use, today Adobe Photoshop is no longer a tool used only by designers, to become a program that photographers also use in the process of retouching, digital editing, and even home retouching.

Although Photoshop is recommended for creating images and graphics, Adobe iIlustrator is better for vector work.

adobe illustrator

This program has been focusing on vector drawing and the design of graphic elements for almost any medium for more than 25 years , and can be used for professional drawing, editorial design, web or mobile graphics.

As we mentioned before, being a specialized program to work with vectors, it is used to make illustrations, caricatures and logos.

The main advantages of using Adobe Illustrator are:

  • Lines are sharp at any size.
  • Allows you to print in high resolution or reduce the file size.

Its main drawback is that the drawings tend to look flat, making it difficult to produce realistic drawings.

One of the variants of Illustrator is Adobe IIlustrator CS6 , which allows faster and more stable work on large and complex files, speeds up daily tasks, and helps to better capture the visual field.


Gimp is a program that is used for editing and manipulating images. Furthermore, it is a cross-platform software as it can be used on various operating systems.

It is a good option for developers and graphic designers , since it allows you to work on creating graphics and logos, cropping photos, combining images, changing formats, etc.

Although Gimp was created as an alternative to Photoshop, the latter still dominates the market.


This graphic design program allows you to crop photos, change their colors, edit them and retouch them. However, it is not a substitute for Photoshop, since one of its strong points is its search engine and indexing based on the file name or keywords.

Another advantage of Picasa is that it allows us to create photo CDs, personalized albums, and wallpapers. Without a doubt, a simple and effective retouching tool.

ACDsee pro

It is one of the most complete programs to improve and control the production of images. It manages digital images, processes them, edits them, and publishes them in all common file formats.

With this complete graphic design tool you can even work with and convert RAW formats from most digital cameras.

ACDsee pro offers endless possibilities to work with photos; from filing them, evaluating them, classifying them, optimizing them, to transferring them to online services.


It is not a photo retouching tool, but an image composition tool to communicate an advertising message; a poster, an image for social channels, a logo or a brochure.

Canva is an online platform accessible from devices with full browsers, it does not work on mobile devices.

To use it, you have to register with a username and password. These are its two main functionalities:

  • The Picks Editor : Designs made by the Canva team that can serve as inspiration or be used as the basis for new designs.
  • Design tutorials : Tutorials with tips for creating designs.


It is an online photo editor that allows you to quickly make changes to photos without having to download or install any application. It can be done directly online, with the web browser you are using.

It offers several tools to edit photos, including the pixlr editor. that allows you to edit, retouch and modify quickly and easily.


It is an editor for vector graphics, illustrations, diagrams and logos (“similar” to Illustrator). Like GIMP, INKscape is cross-platform software, that is, it is compatible with different operating systems.

This allows you to have a wide network of users and communities in which you can participate or ask for help to carry out your digital work.


In this article we have listed some of the most used graphic design software for photo editing or creating graphics and logos.

There will be designers who use some of these, or there will be those who use all of them, depending on the work they have to do and its complexity. The important thing is that today those who work in graphic design know that they have all these online graphic design programs as tools to facilitate and embellish their work.