Graphic design. While many 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, here are the top 7 graphic design apps in the Mac App Store — priced from free to $59.99.
Autodesk Inc. has two versions of SketchBook in the Mac App Store: SketchBook Express (free) and SketchBook Pro ($59.99). Think about SketchBook Express as that fairly basic Paint program that comes along with Windows (except for Mac, of course). It offers a way more intuitive interface, however, along with more drawing tool options, colors, etc. – all of which offers you the potential to create some seriously impressive drawings and graphics without spending a dime. Judging by the comments of people upgrading to the premium SketchBook Pro offering, the company’s freemium model seems to be working well. SketchBook Pro is geared toward the professional graphic designer, including layer control. Other popular features from the Pro version include its high quality brushes (pencils markers, airbrushes, erasers, flood fill tools, blur, sharpen brushes – you name it) as well as custom brushes – even from your 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.
Graphic Design Studio
Built by Macware, Graphic Design Studio is priced at a cheap $1.99. The tool is simple, yet powerful, and is perfect for beginners looking to familiarize themselves with graphic design. The program allows you to create vector art, used by professional designers every day in their work. The app comes with a guide as well as pre-designed vector artwork, which means you won’t be starting from scratch either. This app is great for creating things like buttons, icons, logos, and email graphics on the fly — perfect for anyone building their own website or even marketers looking to design simple graphics for their materials. And at $1.99 — if it doesn’t work out for you, or you graduate on to more sophisticated tools, you can move on without having made much of a dent in your wallet.
Logo Design Studio
Like SketchBook, Logo Design Studio offers a lite and a premium version. Logo Design Studio Lite is priced at $1.99 and Logo Design Studio Pro is priced at $39.99. Regardless of version, these apps are all logos — and claims to be the #1 selling logo design software out there. The Lite version comes with 110 pre-designed logo templates and 400 vector graphics to help you get started. The Pro comes with even more, — 1,000 pre-designed logo templates and 2800 premium logo objects (on top of background effects – 25 in Lite and 500 in Pro). The Pro version of the app even helps you come up with a slogans and taglines, alongside providing guidelines around the trademark process.
Built by Mapdiva, Artboard is a vector drawing app with the tagline, “Artboard drawing software for everyone. Simple. Powerful. Fun.” The app’s creators say its aimed at helping you design logos, floor plans, drawings, web graphics, fashion and technical drawings. Priced at $19.99, you can give it a test drive with their free trial offering. The software is has simple tools and not as many pre-designed templates or graphics, but it does have layers features and provides quick access to iPhoto and your photo folders.
Jumsoft is for anyone who wants to add basic yet unique, high quality, and high resolutions graphics to their work — without having to create them from the ground up. Catering to professionals who need to include graphics in their documents, marketing, presentations and more, Jumsoft features 2800 pieces of original, pre-perfected clip art graphics. Pink pumps, blenders, cell pone towers: these are just a few examples of the graphics you’ll find in categories around everything from leisure and toys to electronics and medicine. The clip art comes in either .PDF or .PNG formats, with a transparent background for the most flexibility. Marketer in a small company? Jumsoft might be your savior.