Top Tools Every Graphic Designer Should Have on Their Mac

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For a long time, the Mac computer has been a preferred platform for graphic designers. Apple Macs offer a user-friendly interface, a powerful ecosystem, and a robust collection of creative applications. To win brownie points from graphic designers, Apple introduced the mighty MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Pro/M3 Max). This laptop sets the benchmark for graphic design laptops as its powerful chips are capable of handling 4K and 8K video editing effortlessly. The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) is also an excellent option for graphic designers.

So, if you have a Mac, you already have a robust workhouse for all your creative projects. When discussing essential tools for graphic designers, don’t forget to check out Adobe Express for pic resize online which is a versatile feature that simplifies resizing images directly on your Mac. If you are ready to unleash your creative potential, we have a list of essential applications and resources you need to take your graphic design game on macOS to the next level.

Industry-Standard Design Software: The Big 3!

Adobe Creative Suite is a powerhouse design suite offering a comprehensive set of tools for graphic designers of all caliber. The key applications within the suite are these three:

  • Adobe Photoshop – This is the industry standard for editing and manipulating images. It offers unparalleled power for retouching, photo editing, creating digital illusions, and creating complicated graphic elements.
  • Adobe InDesign – This is the go-to application for design and page layout. The application is perfect for creating magazines, brochures, posters, and other multi-page documents. It offers precise layout control, seamless integration with other Creative Suite applications, and typography tools.
  • Adobe Illustrator – This is a vector graphics editor that excels in creating icons, logos, illustrations, and scalable graphics.
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These three tools are the industry bigwigs and must be in the arsenal of all graphic designers.

While the Creative Suite forms a solid foundation, you can consider adding other applications to your design toolkit to enhance your design workflow. These are:

  • Sketch – It is a popular choice for interface and web design, offering a user-friendly interface for designing website mockups, user interfaces, and app prototypes.
  • Affinity Designer – This is an affordable but powerful alternative to Illustrator. Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor.
  • Figma – This is a web-based design platform that has been gaining a lot of traction in the graphic design world. It has real-time editing capabilities, a cloud-based workflow, and version control.

Font Management Software

Having the right fonts close at hand is essential for graphic designers. If you are seeking a font manager for macOS, you can consider these options:

  • Typeface – This is an all-in-one font organizer and works as a designer’s personal assistant. With this font manager, you can do many things. For example, you can control your fonts, personalize your font collection, and ensure that all the right fonts are at hand.
  • Adobe Fonts – This provides you with access to a vast library of high-quality fonts directly within your design applications.
  • RightFont – This is an advanced solution on how to organize your fonts. It works with all major design software like Illustrator, Sketch, Adobe CC, etc.

Essential Utilities For Boosting Your Workflow

Beyond design-specific software, you need the following essential utilities to improve the design experience:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro – This isn’t strictly a design tool but is crucial if you work with a lot of PDF files. The tool allows for form creation, annotation, commenting, and advanced editing functionalities within PDF documents.
  • Mockplus – This is a prototyping tool that allows designers to create interactive prototypes of their design concepts. It is perfect for bridging the gap between development and design by enabling the creation of clickable prototypes.
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Design Resources: For Inspiration!

There are times when designers need a helping hand. This is where knowing the following design resources come in handy:

  • Adobe Stock – This provides you with a vast library of royalty-free stock pictures, vectors, illustrations, and video clips. It is a convenient way to access high-quality design assets that can instantly elevate your projects.
  • Pexels and Unsplash – If you are running out of time and need to use ready-made pictures, you can use these websites. They offer you a vast collection of free, high-resolution pictures. You can use these websites to find high-quality background textures, images, and other visual elements.
  • Behance and Dribble – These are popular online communities where you can showcase your design work. These platforms also offer a constant stream of inspiration from professional designers worldwide. So you can discover new trends and get inspired.

Final Thoughts

This curated list provides you with a solid foundation for building your Mac design toolkit. Of course, there are other applications and tools you can use to improve your design workflow and streamline collaboration.

If you are a graphic designer and wish to add more tools to this list, don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments below.


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