Software applications for graphic artists allow designers to turn their ideas into digital masterpieces. Whether graphic artists want to create a printable design, a web page, a visually stunning application, digital paintings or another artistic masterpiece, you need a software application than can keep up with your needs and demands. Below are the top five software applications for graphic artists, with most catering to the intermediate to advanced designer.
Adobe Creative Suite
The Adobe Creative Suite is considered by many to be the definitive graphic design software application for professionals. The Adobe Creative Suite combines Adobe’s best and most popular design tools into one suite. With this suite, you can drastically edit photos, create your own designs and graphics with an extensive list of tools, create web pages, create and edit flash designs and add graphic effects to make your graphics stand out from the rest, especially interactive designs.
The Adobe Creative Suite comes in five different editions, with each addition containing different Adobe software applications. The Master Suite is the most expensive at $2,599, but contains almost every Adobe design product for graphic artists. If you only need a single application, you can purchase individual components starting at $199. Free trials are available for most components.
Corel Painter 11
Corel Painter 11 allows you to take your artistic designs to the next level. Corel boasts the most advanced and natural digital painting tools available. Corel Painter 11 features realistic painting and drawing tools, especially when used with a pen and drawing tablet to give you the same looking textures as a real painting. Files can be imported and edited from programs such as Adobe Photoshop for advanced image editing.
Another benefit of Corel Painter 11 is the ability to experiment to your heart’s content with color variations and mixtures, brush strokes, textures and canvas arrangements without the usual mess or expense of using real paint tools. Corel Painter 11 is recommended for intermediate to advanced users, but beginners may also find the program to be a great graphic arts teaching program. This program for graphic artists starts at just $299, with upgrades starting at $139.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5
Corel offers another feature rich software application for graphic artists with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5. This suite offers a variety of graphic design tools including page layout, vector illustration, photo editing, web graphics, tracing and animation. The great thing about CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is the fact that it’s geared towards graphic artists of all levels with easy to learn tools. Advanced users will appreciate being able to jump right in, while beginners will have the hang of the program in no time.
This version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite supports over 100 files types and features learning tools, expert tips and video tutorials to help make your graphic designs even better. The suite also includes over 1000 fonts. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 starts at $499 for the full version, with upgrades from prior versions starting at $199.
QFX provides graphic artists with a combination draw and paint program. QFX uses an object oriented design, allowing users to create complex layouts. Users can take advantage of floating layers, multiple complex effects, transparent masking, soft edge masking and real time photographic compositing. QFX doesn’t contain as many features as more expensive or advanced graphic design applications, but does provide an inexpensive alternative for users wanting to create designs from existing photos or those wanting a more advanced paint application. QFX starts at just $69.
For graphic artists looking for a more technical design application, Canvas delivers with Canvas 12. Canvas provides users with extremely powerful vector illustration tools along with advanced raster image editing tools. Canvas allows you to import multiple formats. Users can augment files, add effects to them and then export them to another format. Canvas provides tools for retouching photos, paint or color correct scanned images, age photos and many other effects. From start to finish, Canvas provides advanced tools to handle every aspect of technical design. Canvas 12 starts at $599.
Many open source and cheaper alternatives to the above applications exist, but these are very stripped down versions. If you are a beginner, try a cheaper or even free graphic design software application before jumping in to professional design software. For professionals, the tools above provide you with everything you need in one application to prevent the need to jump between a variety of applications and tools.