2021 is nearing toward the end and with just a couple of days remaining in this year, we are happy to look forward to the next year. So in large anticipation of what will next year bring us, we are taking a good design look at this one and making a list for you of what graphic design software you should learn and use in the upcoming 2022.
Before we dive into it in more detail and predictions please be aware that this article is based upon my personal opinion drawn from the research of current trends and standards. That being said let's dive right into details.
Whether you like it or not, Adobe has cemented itself with its flagship application Photoshop and how things are looking this situation will not change any time soon. Photoshop is an extraordinary pixel manipulation software that has the ability to work with both animations and vector graphics as well making it a great single application for all-around design needs. It has been industry-standard design software for the web, print, and all other kinds of design all over the globe and this will not change in near future. With its constant updates and expansion of its abilities, this is a must-have tool in your design tool belt. If you are looking to find work as a designer you will have to know how to work with photoshop.
Many will tell you that is photoshop for raster graphics, the illustrator is for vectors. First started as illustrator 88 on Mac right away it took first place for vector graphics from FreeHand and it continued on its path of vector dominance. After some time and more integration with photoshop Adobe managed to overthrow Corel Draw as well winning the title for best vector editing software with illustrator. Same as with photoshop, if you are planning to work in a serious industry you will need to know the illustrator.
We are still in Adobe train and it is moving hard, InDesign is graphic design software aimed for paper publications. If you need to create and prepare any kind of professional publication for printing InDesign is the application to go to. With its specific print aimed features it is a must-have for any graphic designer.
Corel Draw Graphic Suite
Once the king of vector and print design but dethroned by Adobe Corel Draw still has some punches to stay relevant in the field. With some cool features like symmetry and long shadows, it stands out from its competitors for its ease of use. Corel was always focused on easy to learn, and difficult to master and it is still following that kind of thinking. Granted not many employers will require you to be a master of Corel Draw but some of them will request that you are familiar with the application. One of perhaps the greatest advantages of Corel over Adobe is not locking you into a subscription making Draw suit a great choice for freelancers and designers that want to own software, not rent it.
The first software from Affinity was Photo, made as a cheap version one-time purchase competitor for photoshop. Later it has released Designer, also a one-time purchase competitor for illustrators. If we are going to take a good look into a feature for feature comparison, both Adobe and Corel will win over Affinity but if we take a look at a price that is a one-time purchase Affinity will win over easily. Priced only at $54.99 it is a steal, and taking into account that many designers will not require any very advanced features found in Corel or Adobe applications Affinity is the way to go.
Inkscape & GIMP
Speaking of price, nothing beats free, and both Inkscape and GIMP are completely free. offering very decent and competitive features applications will require you to get used to their own specific UI and workflow, but once you get a grasp of them, you will be able to do most design work in them. One of the downsides of using these free open source apps is their limited export options but if all that is required from you is to deliver a typical SVG, JPG, EPS, PNG, or PDF file you are good to go.
Free with basic functionality with the option to purchase more advanced features Colorcinch is a great application if you are on quickly developing and creating graphics for social media posts. Add quickly text or filters, quickly do the color adjustment and save for social apps. The application also within its basic boundaries can work directly on the website without you requiring to even install it making it one of a kind. Go try it at the official site and enjoy yourself.
If you have followed the graphic design scene you will notice that nothing has changed and it will not change in near future. This just speaks about how much industry is defined and how little change is there over time. I advise if you can to get and learn adobe suite since it is industry standard and is required from almost every employer today. Rest applications on the list are great alternatives and can bring you income and offer you a way to finish your project.