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Best Software For Graphic Design Mac

Best Software For Graphic Design Mac

Graphic design on a Mac is a seamless blend of power and elegance, with sophisticated tools designed to cater to the creative needs of professionals and hobbyists alike. Choosing the best software to express your artistic vision is crucial to producing high-quality work that stands out. This blog will explore some of the top graphic design software for Mac users, offering insights into their capabilities, advantages, and potential drawbacks based on my personal experiences.


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is, without a doubt, an industry staple in the realm of graphic design and image manipulation. It stands out for its comprehensive toolbox and unmatched layering capabilities, making it an ideal choice for tasks ranging from simple photo retouching to complex 3D design and illustration.


  • Extensive range of advanced editing tools
  • Robust layering and masking features
  • Seamless integration with other Adobe Creative Suite applications


  • Subscription-based model can be expensive
  • Steep learning curve for beginners

Sketch screenshot

Sketch is highly regarded among UI/UX designers for its simplicity and intuitive interface. Notably optimized for Mac, it helps users swiftly transition from ideation to final designs with its vector-based workflow, making it a favorite for creating interfaces, websites, and icons.

Official Website


  • User-friendly interface catering to UI/UX design
  • Strong community with a wealth of plugins
  • One-time purchase with a free trial available


  • Limited functionality beyond screen design
  • No native print design features

Affinity Designer screenshot

Affinity Designer has established itself as a formidable contender in the vector graphics arena. It shines with its non-destructive editing capabilities and the ability to switch between vector and raster workspaces effortlessly. For Mac users looking for an affordable yet professional tool, Affinity Designer is a notable choice.

Official Website


  • Non-destructive editing with unlimited history
  • Hybrid vector and raster workspace
  • No subscription fee with a reasonable one-time cost


  • Lacks some advanced features found in competitors
  • Smaller user community compared to Adobe products

Procreate screenshot

Procreate, though primarily developed for the iPad, has won the hearts of digital artists and graphic designers alike. Its wide array of brushes, speed, and the natural drawing experience it provides are nothing short of remarkable. When paired with a Mac using Astropad or Sidecar, Procreate offers a compelling illustration environment.

Official Website


  • Exceptional drawing experience with customizable brushes
  • Robust animation features
  • One-time purchase with frequent free updates


  • Mainly focused on raster graphics, less on vector
  • Initially available only for iPad

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is synonymous with vector graphic design. Its versatility is unsurpassed, allowing designers to craft everything from intricate logos to detailed illustrations. Its deep integration with other Adobe products through Creative Cloud makes it a solid option for a seamless design workflow.


  • Comprehensive vector design tools
  • Advanced typographic controls and effect options
  • Wide array of third-party plugins


  • Monthly subscription fee
  • May be overly complex for beginners


In the ever-evolving world of graphic design, committing to continued professional growth is a key to long-term success. Keeping abreast with the changing trends and technology is essential. Design conferences and webinars are great ways to network, learn new skills, and stay current.

Another essential aspect to consider is the importance of a robust hardware setup. The synergy between software and hardware can significantly affect your productivity. Ensuring that your Mac meets the system requirements for these graphic design applications positions you to utilize their full potential. Moreover, considering external graphics processors (eGPUs) could propel your Mac’s graphic processing capabilities to new heights.

Lastly, investing time in mastering the fundamental principles of design will add immense value to your work. Whether you’re using Photoshop for photo editing or Sketch for interface design, understanding the underlying concepts of composition, color theory, and typography makes a remarkable difference.

Maintaining an eye for detail, cultivating a personal design style, and continuously experimenting will allow you to evolve and refine your craft over time. Remember that great design is not only knowing how to use software but using it to effectively communicate and amplify your creative voice. Your tools should empower you to bring your unique perspective to life.


Top contenders include Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, both part of Adobe Creative Cloud, as well as Affinity Designer, Sketch, and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite designed specifically for Mac users. You can find these at their respective homepages: Adobe Creative Cloud and Affinity Designer.

Many professionals prefer Adobe Photoshop for its extensive features and Adobe Illustrator for vector graphic creation, both highly regarded in the industry for professional work on Mac.

Yes, GIMP and Inkscape are widely used open-source options that work well on Mac systems for those looking for free graphic design software.

Sketch is a well-known vector graphics editor and user interface design tool that has been developed exclusively for Mac users.

Canva and Adobe Spark offer user-friendly interfaces suitable for beginners, making graphic design on Mac approachable and straightforward.

Affinity Designer provides professional features at a one-time affordable price as an alternative to subscription-based softwares for Mac users.

For vector graphic design on Mac, Adobe Illustrator stands out as a leading industry-standard software, followed by Affinity Designer and CorelDRAW.

Yes, cloud-based tools like Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which includes Photoshop and Illustrator, work seamlessly on Mac, offering syncing capabilities and collaboration.

Adobe Photoshop is renowned for its comprehensive photo editing tools and capabilities, making it a dual-threat for both photo manipulation and graphic design on Mac.

While traditional graphic design software may not specialize in 3D modeling, Autodesk Maya and Blender are powerful options for 3D design available on Mac.