6 Graphic Design Software for All Occasions – 2. Affinity Publisher: Best value desktop publisher

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The best graphic design software makes it easier to set up designs ready for professional printing and distribution. Creating artwork and other designs for print is a unique activity – and so you’ll need specific software to match.

Namely, a dedicated vector-based graphic design program. While there is perfectly good drawing and painting software available, as well as photo editing software , it’s all about having the right tool for the job. Ideally, you’ll want a tool that caters specifically to designing in vector graphics, that also features color editing options that will work in CMYK and HSB on top of the more common RGB. This is especially a concern for the graphic design industry, where the images and designs used may need to be recreated in very large formats that require professional printing services.

Therefore it’s essential for the graphic design packages being used to be able to cope with clear distinctions and demands inherent to all levels of print and publishing processes. Desktop publishing software can often cover the same bases, but that’s more focused on general publishing rather than image design.

Additionally, while there are dedicated logo designers out there, often a design team will need to be able to do more than just that.

Additionally, you may be interested in the best laptops for graphic designers. As a replacement for DrawPlus X8, Affinity Designer opens in new tab is not a rehash and was built from the ground up over a five-year development project by Serif. Specifically aimed at professional designers and how they work, this software can handle a very wide scope of design tasks, including web, branding, concept art, typography and even repeating patterns, as you might need on ceramics, wallpaper or soft furnishings.

Affinity Designer is great at handling complex and heavily layered documents with smoothness. It can render at 60 frames per second, and zoom and pan across documents without any visible lag. Inherent cloud functionality also makes it a good option for teams of designers working towards a common goal.

Essentially, Adobe Illustrator opens in new tab is the vector version of Photoshop, and the two share many common tools and functions to aid designers who use both. Adobe Illustrator has been a crucial tool in the graphic design industry since and is widely regarded as one of the best vector drawing applications. However, if you want to design graphics that can be rescaled from a postage stamp to a giant billboard, then Illustrator is certainly the tool of choice.

There was a time when Adobe Illustrator was available for a one-time price, but Adobe now only offers this product on the Creative Cloud CC suite, and it is not cheap.

It might have a powerful feature set, regular updates and be available for both Apple Mac and Windows PC, but the cost is prohibitive for occasional users. The main star, of course, is CorelDRAW itself, which isn’t just a vector-drawing package but also includes a desktop publishing feature as well, so you can design projects with a multi-page layout.

The latest version includes a number of improvements, such as for handling web graphics, editing vector effects, and the template menu has been simplified. In addition to these, is the ability to easily search through your images as thumbnails. Overall, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite offers a veteran range of software that remains very up-to-date, and widening its use to Apple users as well as Windows can only be a plus.

Due to the complexity of vector illustrations, most software for creating them is locally installed, but Gravit Designer opens in new tab has online options too. The cloud-based version that runs from any browser and can automatically save to the online storage or locally.

Our experience is that the online version can get slow with complex designs, but the locally installed versions cope much better. There are plenty of impressive examples designers have created using Gravit Designer that prove it can be very effective at some jobs.

Gravit Designer PRO allows for unlimited online storage, increases resolution to upto dpi, increases the print options to CMYK and HSB on top of RGB, plus there’s also the ability to work offline, advanced export options, and version history, all available for a reasonable yearly subscription.

Most business people often shy away from free software for valid reasons, but Inkscape opens in new tab is certainly worth looking at before you commit to buying CorelDRAW or an Adobe CC subscription. Inkscape is a vector design tool that offers broad file support, extensive text manipulation, and both Bezier and Spiro curve types. It also has an extension model that allows new features to be easily installed, and there are some amazing ones available.

The only reservations we have are that even on a powerful PC, this software can be slow at times when a complicated process involves rendering. As a GPL licensed app, along with Windows, Linux, and Apple Mac versions, you can also download the source code and compile it for whatever version of Linux you are using. Check out our full Inkscape review here.

Rather than the scatter-gun approach of other applications, the creators of Sketch opens in new tab built a tool to address a relatively narrow requirement. Sketch is focused on screen design, specifically creating the icons and interface elements for websites and applications. And, as the software is exclusively available for the Apple Mac, mostly designers working on iPhone, iPad and macOS applications are going to find it useful.

That said, it can be used more generally, but its strength is creating slick user interfaces. Sketch is one of the best UI tools in the market and it offers a brilliant, minimalist user experience with its intuitive keyboard shortcuts and smooth running. It also boasts a vast library of Sketch Plugins and is quite feature-rich. Sketch is available for a single user license. However, licenses for multiple devices are available. Its latest version, Xara Designer Pro X opens in new tab , is a comprehensive design tool that can work with both bitmaps and vectors with equal aplomb.

That means it can handle DTP desktop publishing , graphic design, illustration and photo manipulation tasks in a single tool. For those wanting to mock something up rapidly, a license gives you access to over a million archive photos and illustrations to incorporate, along with hundreds of template layouts and thousands of design elements.

The price sees frequent discounts on offer. Pro X can also be found even cheaper on Steam. We’ve also highlighted the best laptops for video editing and music production. So what exactly is a vector and vector illustration and how does it differ from a bitmap.

Bitmaps, also known as raster images, are created using pixels, which are small dots of color. Think photographs! And while there are plenty of apps that offer vector illustration tools, if you want professional results with high-quality output, you need professional software. Graphic design is the creation and arrangement of visuals in a project to convey ideas or messages.

Graphic design tools or software enable users to work on various aspects of design — from vector graphics and photo manipulation to color editing, color correction, and much more.

When deciding which of the best graphic design software to download and use, first consider how serious and professional you need the software to be. If you are only looking to make simple designs and files then you have the option to be less fussy about which program you use. However, if you plan to develop anything for professional printing, it may be better to aim for one of the higher range and more expensive programs on our list.

To test for the best graphic design software we first set up an account with a range of different software platforms, either as a download or as an online service. We then tested it using a handful of images to see how the software could be used for the editing and development of each image. The aim was to push each software platform to see whether it could simply and easily not just edit a range of content types but also do so faithfully and consistently without introducing formatting issues or similar problems that would make them useless for printing purposes.

See how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar. Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences.

His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service SaaS applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner. Tech Radar. North America.

Affinity Designer. Reasons to avoid – No natural perspective grid. Adobe Illustrator CC. Reasons to avoid – Expensive. Gravit Designer. Reasons to avoid – Complex designs make it slow. Reasons to avoid – Can be slow at times. Reasons to avoid – Mac only. Xara Designer Pro X. Reasons to avoid – Windows only. Brian Turner. More about computing.


Xara vs affinity designer free

It’s the ideal graphic design software for those looking for a one-stop shop for all design chores. This app is constantly being updated with new features, while staying available for both Mac and Windows.


Xara vs affinity designer free


In today’s world, the majority of things happen digitally. In fact, our lives are becoming increasingly digital by the day. Design is no exception to this. There are plenty of online publishing tools to help you create and share your beautiful designs with your clients. If you want to create print and digital design assets, you will need to choose the right Desktop Publishing Software for you.

Amateur or professional , this blog will help you decide which software is the right one for you. Important disclosure: we’re proud affiliates of some tools mentioned in this guide. If you click an affiliate link and subsequently make a purchase, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you you pay nothing extra. Desktop publishing is defined as the creation of documents using page layout software on a computer.

There is no debate about the fact that Microsoft Word is the simplest and most commonly known word processor and document creation program for the common citizen. Desktop publishing software is commonly used by anyone who deals with publishing in print, and digital content, including graphic design and advertising agencies.

A specific advantage that Desktop Publishing Software programs have over normal document creation programs is that it allows proper alignment of photos and text according to guidelines you set. You have full control over the layout size, spacing, height, widths, and other document orientations that ensure you have a professional and high-quality output for digital and print.

Desktop publishing software has evolved in the new digital age, making these programs very user-friendly, allowing the average Joe the ability to create professional and beautiful documents and brochures without needing the skills and experience of a Graphic Designer. As the idea of Desktop Publishing Software has broadened sizeably since its introduction in the s ; many diverse software options have appeared, each having its pros and cons.

Then there are also countless open-source desktop publishing software options such as LibreOffice Suite and Scribus. The introduction of Desktop Publishing Software presented the opportunity for small businesses and freelancers the means to take the advertising of digital and print into their own hands.

When choosing the right Desktop publishing software, you need to prioritize which categories are important to you, such as:. It is as simple as identifying the needs and areas where Desktop Publishing Software can provide a solution and finding the right software for you to get there.

We have compiled a list below of the 21 best Desktop Publishing Software Tools. There are way more tools out there than just 21, but we think these are the ones worth looking at. We understand that your lives are busy, so to save you some time we have done the hard work and research for you. Better than that, we have compiled all that information into a neat and succinct table for you to look at.

Adobe InDesign. Affinity Publisher. Microsoft Publisher. LibreOffice Suite. Vista Create. Swift Publisher.

Kofax Power PDF. Conga Composer. Okay, so you have looked at the numbers. But, you also understand that numbers aren’t everything. We have done some in-depth research into the above tools and laid it all out for you below so that you can be certain you are choosing the right tool to suit your needs.

So to help you choose the Desktop Publishing Software that is right for you, here is a description of twenty Desktop Publishing Software currently available, free and paid:. For over a decade, InDesign has been the go-to design software for print professionals. Some noticeable features are multilingual support , style sheet management, markup coding , the advanced management of Adobe fonts, and its integration with other products offered by Adobe Creative Cloud.

This is the gold standard for desktop publishing programs. However, you may want to look at other alternative options this list has to offer before deciding. The developer, Serif, has done a good job of creating a range of apps that are a cheaper alternativ e to Adobe suite.

One noticeable feature is the program allows you to work with multiple file types vector and rased and it gives you full control over your color choices!

Given a much cheaper price for it being a one-off purchase, Affinity Publisher is becoming a big contender, especially as Serif improves and updates its programs. CorelDRAW is a graphic and drawing program that is vector-based and known to be popular with designers.

For a graphics program primarily aimed towards the non-designer production industry, it packs a powerful punch filled with pro-level features along with its ease of use.

Adobe remains to be the industry’s choice, due to its easy integration with other Adobe products which are already widely used, such as Adobe CC.

However, Corel has done a good job combining multiple tools into one software. Although it is expensive software, for professionals it’s definitely a go-to-software.

Many advertising companies have built-in editorial system s based on QuarkXPress, leading these companies to simply stick with the program instead of paying a subscription fee for Adobe Suite. QuarkXPress advertises itself as having three main functions, content design, content automation, and content intelligence. This provides users with a closed-loop for their content management lifecycle. A key high point of the program is its excellent stability and compatibility with other software file types.

Xara Page and Layout Designer combines all the text and page layout features from typical word processors and most Desktop Publishing Software tools with the added unique features from Xara. This would be the ideal software for beginner designers who are easing into the design world.

Microsoft has been the most commonly known software to create, publish, modify and print for every kind of basic documents for both personal and business use. Most businesses work with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher to complete and keep track of everyday tasks. In fact, for ease of convenience, they all come bundled together in the Microsoft subscription. Microsoft Publisher differs from Microsoft Word in the fact that it places more importance on page design and layout.

This means that you are provided with a lot more customization and flexibility. VivaDesigner is both a desktop app and a web app developed for compatibility for Linux systems that is designed with the Media sector in mind. With remote teams working becoming increasingly popular, one feature we feel is worth noting is the ability to track changes made to your document. Meaning you can know the exact time and date that anyone, anywhere, added or deleted something.

There is a free demo version with many capable features. While the paid version allows for a wider range of importing, exporting, and file saving formats. In fact, it actually out-competes InDesign with some of its functions.

Scribus is a free and open-source desktop publishing program that has been made available to most desktop operating systems. For someone who prefers not to pay for software, Scribus is a perfect solution. The app has been in development for over 15 years and uses a similar frame system and layers to that of InDesign and Affinity Publisher.

This Desktop publisher can be used to create professional and beautiful documents like leaflets, books, posters, even full-blow magazines. Some tools allow for creating interactive PDFs. Unfortunately, you don’t get much with regards to fonts and Pantone color matching, which isn’t supported, but Scribus tries to make up for this with its selection of versatile drawing tools.

Scribus is an excellent open-sourced software and is viewed as one of the best desktop publishing programs out there. If you are looking for a web-based publisher, Lucidpress is entirely browser-based.

While you can use Lucidpress for free, it has a few restrictions that push you to upgrade to the pro version. In the free classic version, you’re limited to 3 pages per document, maximum of 25mbs of storage, and a resolution limit to 72 DPI when exporting.

This might be doable for the average person looking to make a quick and easy flyer, but for professionals, this won’t cut it. There is also a collaborative workflow feature. As an absolute beginner , Lucidpress would be a good desktop publishing software to start with it’s a mash-up of a word processor, a web editor, and an InDesign frame system. Pagination was one of the first cloud-based database publishing softwares’. It allows desktop publishers to manage and create beautiful catalogs and print-ready documents, from any of your devices , anywhere you may be.

Even images and layouts can be uploaded to the system and then downloaded as complete documents when competing in either InDesign or PDF formats. These documents can be shared online on a desktop or mobile. Pagination is a very good alternative to InDesign with the added benefit of being a cloud-based software. Similar to LucidPass, Venngage is a web-based publisher which is entirely browser-based. Venngage is focused more on as an online tool for creating infographics , reports, and data visualizations.

Similar with regards to Word, you choose a template or color scheme and add text with changeable fonts, insert images or icons, and you can also add data graphs and charts. This is a better solution for B2B communication rather than creating and designing content for print or web publications. This isn’t Desktop publishing software aimed at a professional designer but rather non-designers in the business world looking to make their reports more visually appealing.

If you’re someone with a MacBook then iStudio is a big must as it’s free and easy to use it would be InDesign’s main competition if it weren’t for its limited software support systems it can run on. This software is started more towards marketers, social media advertisers , and designers.

Canva has a user-friendly interface for use even without design experience. It helps solve the problem of needing quick changes to an image or quickly creating creatives from people with no design skills. A noticeable downside is you’re limited to how you can save your files.

The creative templates offer users a basic start or good inspiration when designing for Social media posts or professional print. LibreOffice Suite is free and open-source, cloud-based software.

You can easily download it to your desktop and get going. Created in , LibreOffice Write soon became an alternative to market leaders such as Microsoft Word, thanks to its similar features. There are many programs that are a part of the LibreOffice Suite including LibreOffice Draw, which is an entry-level program, not specifically designed for professionals. Its wide range of features allows users to achieve good graphic results.

Then it also comes with Base, for creating databases, Math, a formula editor, and the ability to create charts too.


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