Top 5 Most Popular Graphic Design Software Platforms for Mac

While many people go to school to hone the craft, more and more people are picking the creative process as a hobby on their own time. At one point you had to go out and purchase software (with a CD) to download graphic design tools. But today, if you’re a Mac user, all you need to do is visit the Mac App Store and the application will be sitting in your dock in a matter of seconds. Whether you consider yourself a beginner or a guru, this  is the top 5 most popular graphic design software platforms in the Mac App Store, which can assist and satisfy your imagine to create outstanding pictures.

1. Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC is available on all smartphone or tablet and especially our Mac. It also supports every file format available. Photoshop CC is a great option for creating our own comic books, graphic novels or anime. It has all the tools you need to make great backgrounds or other 2D images. We can easily upload photographs and, with a little photo editing magic, create vector art and use them as unique parts of your designs.

Photoshop CC includes illustration tools to create 3D images including freeform shapes, and shading tools to make them look more realistic. We can also see all edits in real time. This comic maker has round rectangles and other shape pads that can be edited individually or simultaneously to help proportion each together in our design. Basic pencils, pens, paint and pattern brushes are also available.

As with many comic maker programs, Adobe Photoshop CC focuses on design and illustration rather than scripts. While we can include some basic text in your comic books, this program really wasn’t designed for typing long stories. It won’t spell check our words or prompt when grammatical errors are found.


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Photoshop CC has all the features found in past versions of the software and includes all the specialty functions generally reserved for Photoshop Exclusive. This comic maker software lets us create, use and edit layers. Additionally, we can use the new Adobe generator included with Photoshop CC to create image assets, capture layers and image sections, and create image files of those selected parts with a quick click of our mouse.

One feature that is only included with Photoshop CC is the camera shake reduction tool. All cameras create a little blurring, since it is impossible to keep any camera 100 percent still. Photoshop CC automatically determines the path of the camera shake and reduces the blur of your images to produce amazingly clear photographs. Clear images are important if we want to superimpose or transfigure them into vector art images.

Since Photoshop CC is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud service, our image files will be automatically saved to a secure cloud network. This means we can access your files remotely from any computer, smartphone or tablet. This makes bringing work along on vacation easier, since we don’t have to lug your laptop around. Simply access our artwork from the hotel, library or hostess’ computer when we have a few minutes to work on our design. This also allows friends, family, coworkers and editors to access images through their devices if we give them access to our files.

One of the best things about Photoshop CC is that it supports every file imaginable, including PDF, PICT, TIFF and PNG. We can easily convert our files into other formats that are more compatible with friends’ or editors’ viewing programs.

Key features:

  • HDR capture for mobile
  • Pro edit mode for iPhone
  • Info panel for iPhone
  • Pro-level capture for mobile
  • Local adjustments on the go
  • Lightroom for Apple TV
  • Direct access to Adobe Stock
  • Boundary Warp
  • Shoot-through presets
  • Enhanced Tone Curve tool
  • Split Tone adjustments
  • Quick camera access
  • Complete color control
  • Easy photo retouching
  • Video storytelling
  • Adobe Portfolio
  • Stunning panoramas
  • Facial recognition
  • Video slideshows
  • Smart Previews

Price: multi-levels at individuals – business – students & teachers – schools & universities – start from $9/ month.

2. Inkscape

Another graphic design software platform that is highly recommended for Mac is Inkscape, a free and open source vector graphics editor with a unique native format that differentiates it from similar programs (Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, and Xara X). It has a clean, consistent, and very stable interface, and it uses SVG and Scalable Vector Graphics and an open XML-based W3C standard. SVG is considered as an excellent format for creating and designing logos and banners or any media that has been modified in vector mode. This is because the SVG format enables graphic designers and other professionals in the industries of marketing/branding, engineering/CAD, web graphics, and cartooning to create graphics that could be scaled to any size while retaining their original quality. Inkscape makes all of this possible.

The node editing functionality of Inkscape is one of its outstanding features. Nodes are the frameworks that show how vector graphics are created and they are associated to some mathematical operations. Nodes would enable artists and designers to manipulate objects, images, and graphics that are vectorized. Inkscape provides tools to move nodes and Bezier handles. Bezier handles are used to easily move nodes,

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Another feature of Inkscape is its object creation functionality. This functionality highlight tools such as the pencil tool, drawing tool, calligraphy tool, shape tool and text tool. The pencil tool allows users to do freehand drawings and the pen tool is designed for making Benziar curves and straight lines. When freehand drawing is applied through the use of filled paths that represent calligraphic strokers, the calligraphy tool is selected to do the the work. Its text tool supports multi-line text and full-on canvas editing. Meanwhile, the bitmaps of objects could also be embedded and this is done by using a particular command. This feature enhances the artistic skills of users  as these tools offer room for creativity.

As it highlights its SVG format support, Inkscape is the perfect program used for generating  SVG format files and editing them as well. Furthermore, it enables users to do a live watching and editing of the document tree which is done in the XML editor. To export formats such as PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS and PostScript; command line options are also provided. With this capability, users would be able to work on art works and graphics that require high scalability.

Key Features: Node Editing, Node Movement, Node Alignment and Distribution, Boolean Operations, Path Simplification with Variable Threshold, Path Insetting and Outsetting, Bitmap Tracing, Objection Creation, Drawing, Shape, Calligraphy, Pencil and Pen Tools, Text To, Text Support, Object Manipulation, Tranformations, Layers, Z-order operations, Grouping Objects, Fully anti-aliased Display and File Formats

Pricing: Free version – Contact for more information


If you can afford a graphic design platform as Adobe Photoshop CC, another solution is GIMP, the software with a huge array of professional-quality functions for fine-tuning images and photos, and creating your own artwork from scratch.

It includes layers, highly customizable brushes, filters and automatic image-enhancement tools, and support for a huge number of plugins (some pre-installed, and others available to download separately).

Its active community of contributors means it’s in constant development, and any bugs are squished in short order. It all adds up to make a truly remarkable free photo editor that’s superior to many commercial programs.


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GIMP comes with impressive selection and montage features, various ways to retouch our images, cropping, noise reduction and colour adjustment tools, customisable brushes, gradients and so much more. There’s plenty for the more advanced user, too, including layer masks, bezier curves, filters and even an animation package.

The interface is highly customizable, and the GIMP community has produced a ton of excellent plugins that are all free to download. The program is loaded with tutorials and there’s plenty of assistance to be found in the active and helpful communitt.

Numerous digital photo imperfections can be easily compensated for using GIMP. Fix perspective distortion caused by lens tilt simply choosing the corrective mode in the transform tools. Eliminate lens’ barrel distortion and vignetting with a powerful filter but a simple interface.

GIMP is ideal for advanced photo retouching techniques. With the perspective clone tool, it’s not difficult to clone objects with perspective in mind just as easily as with the orthogonal clone.

GIMP also includes a very unique support for various input devices out of the box. We can bind often-used actions to device events such as rotating a USB wheel or moving a MIDI controller’s slider, change the size, angle or opacity of a brush while we paint, bind our favorite scripts to buttons.

Pricing: Free trial – Contact for more information


4. SketchBook

Two versions of SketchBook in the Mac App Store are SketchBook Express (free) and SketchBook Pro ($59.99). SketchBook Express is known as a fairly basic Paint program that comes along with Windows (except for Mac, of course). By contrast, SketchBook Pro is geared toward the professional graphic designer, including layer control.


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Other popular features from the Pro version include its high quality brushes (pencils markers, airbrushes, erasers, flood fill tools, blur, sharpen brushes) as well as custom brushes – even from our own imported images to create a custom stamp. With ability to important and edit photos, you can also enjoy playing with the tool’s photo effects.

Price: Free version – $59.99 for Mac

5. Affinity Designer

On this list, Affinity Designer could be another cheap graphic design program aimed at amateurs, but it was created specifically for professional designers accustomed to working in a Mac environment. With the ability to edit and create pixel layers, Affinity Designer ostensibly functions as an Illustrator/Photoshop hybrid.

For new designers and old pros, Affinity Designer offers a modern, intuitive user interface that allows users to transition almost seamlessly between it and Illustrator. Budding designers will find all the necessary tools clearly organized and accessible and the default toolbars and keyboard shortcuts will feel familiar to Adobe users. The learning curve is more like a gentle slope for designers experienced in Illustrator or Photoshop.


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Affinity Designer comes with all the standard pen and shape tools to complete complex vector and pixel-based artwork. With the persona toolbar—which divides vector, pixel and export tools into three separate sets—users can switch between tool sets without interruption to workflow. For designers who work in Photoshop and Illustrator simultaneously, using Affinity Designer may be a time saver.

Recent updates to Affinity Designer integrated PANTONE color swatches and the ability to activate artboards. These improvements are indications that the developers at Serif understand the needs of professional designers and are working to meet those needs.

Price: from $49.99

These above are top 5 best graphic design software platforms on Mac, let’s consider and choose the most appropriate solution for your passion and even business.


Top 5 Most Popular Graphic Design Software Platforms for Mac