8 Tools and Apps Every Graphic Designer Should Have [2020]

graphic design
graphic design
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The best way to express a story in the digital space is through designing, through the use of creative and artistic elements. Consumer choices are changing remarkably with shortening attention spans, and no one is interested in reading long texts anymore. Great color choices and attractive designs play a crucial role in getting the desired attention from your target audience. These are terrific times for graphic designers, but unfortunately, nothing comes easy.

With high competition in this trade and picky (but savvy) customers, a designer’s job is getting tougher in certain aspects. Creating innovative and unique designs is not a child’s play in today’s digital landscape, especially when more and more clients are trying to attract more and more customers through great and timeless marketing communications and emblems.

graphic design

Designing is, of course, subjective as any other art form and herein lays the problem. Many times absolute ‘masterpieces’ are rejected because the individual customer could not relate to it. Graphic designers have to be mindful of their customers’ requirements and vision, and understand their consumer base during the creative design process – Free Advice: Adopt a Client-Centric Approach

Read also How Designers Can Stay on the Right Track with these Amazing Tools

Thankfully, there are several excellent tools and apps available out there that can assist designers in this arduous job.

Sophisticated Smart Phones

Two-thirds of the world population is now connected through mobile phones. If you have a modern smartphone and you know how to maximize its usage in this day and age, you are sorted.

For graphic designers, it is no different. It makes their work easy, efficient, and worry-free. Designers can work anywhere and every time. The need to connect to a computer or a tablet has subsided with high tech smartphones to avail of the mobile app design services.

Transferring files to the computer is not even a problem anymore as they can also be sent to customers directly through smartphones on the go, whenever one wants it. The name ‘smartphone‘ suits these new classes of mobile devices quite fittingly; they are smart in every way. All a designer has to do is to know about the latest apps and get familiarized with the capabilities and limitations of these graphic design apps.

Behance app

Getting lucrative assignments is never an easy task. Designers must showcase their work on the right forums to get noticed. Using various platforms is always a good idea to reach out to as many prospective clients as possible and let them know the quality of your work.

Behance is an app by Adobe that provides a fresh platform for users/designers to exhibit their work efficiently and showcase their talents. It is like a virtual art gallery that works as a networking podium for clients and designers. 

The mood boards of this app are one of the many great things about this app. Designers can add a single image or an entire project or portfolio on boards. Other Behance members can also be added to any board by users. App features like the ones that have been mentioned, facilitate smooth collaboration and seamless sharing of ideas between users, whether they are in the same town or on opposite sides of the world.

Monitor Calibration apps

We all know graphic designers are peculiar about the colors. When their work is printed in any form, they want the exact color code or right color pallet they have envisioned or used in their design on the screen. However, it is not uncommon for colors to appear a little different when the designs are printed. 

It makes the life of a designer a little more complicated. However, with so many amazing applications, we have a great solution now, specifically for this purpose; monitor calibrators are specifically designed to rectify this issue. It is attached to the monitor and adjusts the brightness.

This device basically adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the surroundings. This helps designers to stay away from blunders.

Read also 10 Unconventional Logo Designing Tips for Everyone

Steadfast Hard Drive

Saving every design on the cloud and drive is probably the best option. However, designers need to have a dope external hard drive to be on the safe side. However, it is vital to go for reliable name brands so that you can trust the hard drive with your data. 

We don’t have to tell how essential designs are to their creators, and losing them is like a nightmare. This is why not every hard drive can be or should be trusted.

Several lightweight hard drives are available easily that are portable and super-easy to carry. Choosing a hard drive can be tricky, and the following things should be considered:

  • Security
  • Storage
  • External features
  • SSD vs. HHD
  • Probability 
  • Durability

Stylus and Graphics Tablet

Graphic designers have a dominant tech gene that pushes them to find a digital substitute for everything. They, of course, desire a replacement for paper and pen as well. Sketching and doodling are innate to designers, and for that, electronic pens can work best.

Many designers are still fascinated by the idea of drawing with their hands despite having elaborate mouse pads and touch screens. 

The innovative tablets are available with a stylus to give artists the feel of a pen. It is like drawing with a regular pen but only getting the results digitally. You can call it a modern pen and paper.


This app, designed for sketching, prototyping artwork, and illustrations, is the preferred choice for many designers because of much easy-to-use functionality.

Procreate offers various tools and brushes to make artwork intricate and detailed. The different color modes and visual effects integrated into this app are beyond amazing. Every digital artist will agree that the most significant thing about digitalization is the power of undoing what has gone wrong. Procreate provides the same opportunity to designers. This guarantee enables designers to come up with perfect designs through constant reiteration and going back and forth on the many intricacies.

Animation abilities of Procreate are certainly unquestionable. Plus, these are coupled with a full-fledged brush library and numerous layer modes and effects. The customizable interface makes this app highly convenient for designers.

Vectornator X

If a designer is interested in working with vector graphics, then this app is a must-have. 

And, there is no price tag for this app, yes! It is absolutely free. 

Logos, vector designs, and illustrations can be created as per requirements. This app can work with PDF, SVG, and AI files. 

This app is especially helpful for designers who are just starting out in vector graphics. Designers who are already working in vectors will also find the app extremely useful. 

Vectors are favored by audiences and designers alike, which adds to the value of this app all the more.

Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a blessing for many designers. Designers, who have seen the power of Creative Cloud, are grateful to Adobe for simplifying their design.

Adobe already offers famous tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. 

Adobe Creative Cloud is no different; it also assists graphic designers in more ways than one. Designers can save typefaces, color palettes, and graphics that they like to use in the future.

It saves a lot of time and frustration on the designer’s end when they land new projects. Their favorite tool will be easily accessible through this app. As the digital world moves at a rapid evolutionary pace, applications like these will be instantly accepted. Designers have very little time to waste, and not finding something on time can add to the frustration.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a simple solution to avoid the constant annoyance as it keeps everything organized and available for easy access when needed.


Even with all these tools and apps to assist designers and artists, there is no denying graphic design is a tough job. The toughest thing to do for any creative mind is to tone down their creativity. Designers sometimes have to do exactly that in order to match the specifications provided by clients.

It can get really tricky at times to get your message across as to why a certain design is perfect for the given scenario. The tools and apps mentioned here may help designers to an extent, but the ultimate production control and execution lie with them.

Even with all the tools at your disposal, if you don’t have the creative ideas and the design ability to execute those, then nothing can help you bridge that gap. There is nothing more creative than an artistic human mind when it comes to the generation of ideas. Once the idea is conceived, it can be polished through different means.

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