Apps I use as a graphic designer

  • Affinity Designer

    Commercial Mac Windows iPad Website

    A few months ago I entirely ditched Adobe products because of the price ($49.99/month), the subscription model, the fact that you have to use their Creative Cloud in order to use their softwares and to sync anything, the way Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign are bloated, the fact that often you can't use the softwares if you don't have an Internet connection because Adobe must be able to check your license… and so on and so on. Before doing that, I had heard about Affinity Designer and it seems like a great and cheaper replacement for both Small Adobe Photoshop iconAdobe Photoshop and Small Adobe Illustrator iconAdobe Illustrator. It is. I use it everyday for work and I absolutely do not regret this change!


    Affinity Designer icon
  • Affinity Photo

    Commercial Mac Windows iPad Website

    Since I switched to Small Affinity Designer iconAffinity Designer as my main graphic design tool (coupled with Small Sketch iconSketch), I also started using Affinity Photo from Serif to replace Small Adobe Photoshop iconAdobe Photoshop.
    It's a great software to edit and retouch the photos I use in my creations and web designs. It's also a great app for RAW development if you have the use for it. Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo cost $49.99 each so it's a pretty good deal compared to the price of the subscription's model of the Adobe Creative Cloud.


    Affinity Photo icon
  • Sketch

    Commercial Mac Website

    Sketch is a vector drawing application that I really love. I mostly use it for UI design or for wireframing and it's a great piece of software. It's smooth, lightweight, complete and has a large ecosystem with a great community and lots of resources and plugins.


    Sketch icon
  • QuarkXPress

    Commercial Mac Windows Website

    Since I no longer use Adobe software, I've also stopped using Small Adobe InDesign iconAdobe InDesign. I'm currently using QuarkXPress and I'm waiting for Affinity Publisher to come out. I know almost nobody uses QuarkXPress nowadays but, after using it for some times, I find the 2017 version pretty good. QuarkXPress was the industry standard before InDesign took the lead, but I find that the developers have done a good job to catch up and you might want to try it to see for yourself.


    QuarkXPress icon
  • Swift Publisher

    Commercial Mac Website

    Swift Publisher is a nice little page layout software that does a really great job for the price. It's not comparable to Small Adobe InDesign iconAdobe InDesign or Small QuarkXPress iconQuarkXPress but it's a good solution when you only need to make a quick flyer or business card. The software costs is pretty cheap ($19.99) so you might want to give it a try if you're looking for a page layout software but can't afford the two industry's behemoths.


    Swift Publisher icon
  • Photopea

    Free Web Website

    Photopea is an online photo editor, made with HTML5. With it, you can open, edit and save PSD and XCF - Small Adobe Illustrator iconAdobe Illustrator and Small GIMP iconGIMP files and convert them between multiple formats (PSD, XCF, JPG, PNG and WebP). I use this tool a lot when I'm on my Linux laptop or when I just want to do a quick edit and don't want to launch Small Affinity Designer iconAffinity Designer for that.


    Photopea icon
  • Flinto

    Commercial Mac iPhone Website

    I use Flinto (or sometimes Small Principle iconPrinciple) for quick prototyping apps and websites. It lets you create anything from simple tap-through prototypes, to comprehensive prototypes with impressive interactions. There’s no programming or timelines. It’s the prototyping tool designers have been waiting for.


    Flinto icon
  • Gravit Designer

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web Chrome OS Website

    I recently discovered Small Gravit Designer iconGravit Designer. It's a free vector graphics tool that can run as a desktop application or in your web browser. The app has a nice and clean UI and is full of features. The software is cross-platform (macOS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, web browser) and Android and iOS mobile apps are coming soon.
    Gravit Designer is pretty recent so it's not as stable and complete as Small Adobe Illustrator iconAdobe Illustrator, Small Sketch iconSketch and Small Affinity Designer iconAffinity Designer, but it's completely free and the app is evolving fast so you might want to take a look at it and maybe give it a try.


    Gravit Designer icon
  • ImageOptim

    Free Personal Mac Software as a Service (SaaS) Website

    ImageOptim helps me reduce the size of the images I use in my creations and web designs. It's excellent for publishing images on the web or making websites and mobile apps smaller. ImageOptim removes EXIF meta­data, such as GPS position and camera's serial number, so that you can publish images without exposing private information (but there's an option to keep the meta­data if you need it). Small Caesium Image Compressor iconCaesium Image Compressor is also a really great alternative that you can download, use online or with the command line.


    ImageOptim icon
  • Smash

    Freemium Mac Web Android iPhone Website

    We all know Small WeTransfer iconWeTransfer. But it's limited to 2 Go and it's not always the most stable service when you have to send important files quickly to a client. A few years ago, I stumbled upon Smash which is a similar service to WeTransfer but with unlimited file size. The service is really reliable and fast. Since I discovered Smash about two years ago, I haven't used WeTransfer once.


    Smash icon

So, these are some of the tools I use as a graphic designer. If you found this list interesting, feel free to share it on social media and to make your own list about the software that you use. You can also suggest some apps I might have missed on my inbox on AlternativeTo or on my Twitter account.

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