What Software You Should Use For Vector Artwork? Top 5 Programs For You.

When we are deciding which software we are going to use for our artwork we have to consider some main points. Let’s give yourself these questions:

– which artwork I want to create
– what is my current budget
– which platform I will use
– how much time I want to spend on the learning curve

Which artwork I want to create

It’s good for you to know which software is suitable for a specific project. 

1) creating logos and graphic design, illustration

2) painting landscapes, creatures, people etc.

3) edit photographs

4) create books, flyers, event invitations etc.

I do assume that you are already familiar with the difference between raster and vector, if not read Vector vs Raster.

For creating logos, graphic design and illustrations you will need vector based software, so in today’s post, we will be focusing on the top 5 programs for your vector based artwork.

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Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is professional, popular and well-known software on the market. It’s a part of Adobe Creative Cloud. It can be used to create incredible illustrative artwork, corporate logos, page layouts, website mockups and almost anything else that you might need. Many artists are working with it and you can find thousands of tutorials on the internet. The main disadvantage is its very expensive pricing and restrictions of Adobe itself. The basic understanding shouldn’t take too long to learn but deeper knowledge will require some time and nerves. Also for beginners, it can be very overwhelming. 

PROS

Professional

Known software all around the world

Many possibilities

Precise and unlimited resolution

Integrates seamlessly with other Adobe apps

CONS

Very expensive

Long learning curve

Can’t open files from other vector programs (Adobe restrictions)

Illustrator doesn't do as great a job when it comes to working with images.

Bouncing between Illustrator and Photoshop when you need to incorporate an image into a project can be frustrating

Supported platforms

– Windows
– macOS

Affinity-Designer-Logo

Affinity Designer - Draw Persona

Affinity Designer is kind of a newbie in this world but its already considered as a competition to some of the Adobe’s programs. It’s a very friendly and modern interface is a big plus. Still, there are features that AD is still missing compared to Adobe Illustrator. One of the advantages is that in Affinity Designer its easy to switch between three personas (draw, pixel, and export, more about personas here) to be able to use vector and raster together. For beginners, the pricing is very more than affordable and also not subscription based as many creatives are complaining by Adobe.

PROS

Modern and user-friendly interface

Affordable price

Supporting more platforms

- Personas

Lightweight, not crushing

CONS

Missing some features comparing to AI and other softwares

Missing ability to live to trace an image

Sometimes it's hard to locate certain settings

Text tools should be improved

No support for plugins, harder to find extra resources (like extra brushes etc.)

Supported platforms

– Windows
– macOS
– iPad

inkscape-logo

Inkscape

Inkscape is another very popular vector program used by professionals. Open source software helps ensure that people have access to excellent software tools irrespective of their capability to pay. Inkscape is cross-platform software- a fact that allows the use of Inkscape on Windows, Mac, or Linux and ensures that Inkscape documents can be opened on all computers. This is useful in organizations where various people must work together on documents, but may be using different operating systems.

PROS

Open-source

Cross-platforming

Inegration with GIMP (GIMP to Inkscape is the same as Photoshop to Illustrator)

Rich in features

Easy to learn, many tutorials online

CONS

Not very fresh looking interface

Occasional limitations or glitches in programming

No official support. Development is slow, updates are rare.

CMYK isn't supported properly

Not easy for beginners unless you want to spend a lot of time looking for tutorials

Supported platforms

– GNU/Linux
– macOS
– Windows

sketch-app-logo

Sketch

Sketch is another very popular vector-based program, only it is more focused on UX/UI design. If you are then planning to create a logo you will not succeed. Also a disappointing for many of you could be that’s available only for Mac users. It has a lot of adding and plugins and the pricing system is also not bad. The admirable feature is mirroring app when you can preview your designs In real time on your iPad, iPhone And web browser.

PROS

Fast opening big files with many layers

Tons of addons and plugins

Huge community to find templates and free samples

Integration with many other ecosystems

Symbols management

CONS

Only available for Mac

Prototyping functionality needs improvement

No lifetime license (only annual)

Support for SVG needs improvement

Missing basic image editing

Supported platforms

– macOS

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CorelDRAW

DRAW is a professional graphic design software to help you quickly and easily create modern fashion designs. Includes thousands of high-quality images, fonts, and templates. CorelDRAW delivers a collection of award-winning design applications that meet the needs of business and education customers across industries. If you will decide on this software you should be prepared for high pricing even though you can also choose subscription based, still, pricing can be compared to Adobe. On the other hand, the lifetime payment is worth it for many users.

PROS

CorelDraw combines the features of apps like Ai, Ps, and Id in one intuitive and easy to use application

High-quality outcome

Symmetry drawing tool

Vector preview tools

Possibility to do almost anything

CONS

High pricing model for artists with low budget

High pricing model for artists with low budget

Required powerful processor on your PC

Windows only

Not suitable for image editing

Supported platforms

– Windows

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Conclusion / personal opinion

If you would’ve asked me, I would suggest giving a try to Affinity Designer. I do own a subscription for Adobe apps. But its very pricey and I don’t like Adobe’s way of thinking and restrictions. So eventually I can’t wait to cancel my plan and move fully to Serif’s team.  Especially now when they released beta competition for Adobe InDesign – their Affinity Publisher. The team behind Affinity it’s really interacting with their customers and trying to offer very high-quality software for the very reasonable price. The other thing is that I love to use my iPad to create artwork and because many apps don’t have any support for tablets I felt in love with Designer immediately. I needed to go through some learning curve as well but for me personally, there is not much to complain about.

Let me know in the comments which program you are currently using or which one you are considering to use. Also, don’t be afraid to contact me with questions related to this topic, I will be happy to advise!