Top 10 Must Have Tools Every Designer needs in 2024

Discover the essential tools for designers in 2024 with our top 10 must-have picks. Elevate your design game using these expert-recommended resources. Stay ahead with the latest design trends and optimize your workflow for success.

Written By:
Alabi Mercy
Published Date:
Feb 19, 2024
Updated Date:
Jan 10, 2024


“designers actually can change the world for the better by making the complicated simple and finding beauty in truth.”

— Michael Beirut, 79 Short Essays on Design


In the realm of graphic design, the right tools wield the power to transform creativity into impactful visuals. As we venture into 2023, the call for innovative and effective design instruments reverberates stronger than ever. Irrespective of whether you're a veteran artist or an aspiring designer, this comprehensive compilation of the essential top 10 tools for graphic designers in 2023 stands as your compass for optimal work efficiency, streamlined workflows, and unbridled creative expression.

1. High-Performance Laptop or Desktop

A powerful computer is the backbone of any designer's toolkit. Always go for a laptop or desktop that seamlessly navigates complex design software and multitasking demands without compromising speed or fluidity. Prioritize features such as a rapid processor, generous RAM, and a dedicated graphics card to ensure unhindered design endeavors. Check out the best laptop for a graphic designer here.

Feature: A robust computing system capable of handling complex design software and multitasking without compromising speed or efficiency.

Advantage: Seamless execution of design tasks, rapid rendering of high-resolution graphics, and smooth multitasking for enhanced productivity.

Benefits: Uninterrupted workflow, reduced waiting times, and the ability to handle resource-intensive projects effortlessly.

2. Cutting-Edge Design Software

design software

Be familiar with the latest things in design software to tap into advanced features and functionalities. Adobe Creative Cloud, encompassing revered applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, remains an anchor for many designers, however, accessing this depends on your location. Meanwhile, emerging platforms like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe Photoshop, offer intuitive interfaces and distinctive capabilities to amplify your creative potential.

Feature: Access to the latest design software with advanced features and functionalities.

Advantage: Leverage the full potential of modern design tools, stay updated with industry trends, and create cutting-edge designs.

Benefit: Enhanced creative freedom, the ability to experiment with new techniques, and the creation of innovative design solutions.

3. Precise Drawing Tablets

For those inclined toward tactile artistry, a drawing tablet is an indispensable asset. Wacom Intuos Pro or Huion Kamvas Pro tablets provide a natural and precise drawing experience, emulating traditional mediums' finesse. These devices empower you to sketch, illustrate, and retouch digital artwork with the grace of tangible creation.

Feature: A tactile input device that enables natural drawing and precise control over digital artwork.

Advantage: Mimics the feel of traditional drawing, offering an intuitive and hands-on approach to digital illustration.

Benefit: Greater artistic expression, finer detailing, and the ability to create lifelike illustrations with digital convenience.

4. Color Management Tools

Color management tools

Precision in color representation underpins graphic design's essence. Invest in tools such as X-Rite ColorMunki or Datacolor SpyderX to impeccably calibrate and profile your monitor. These instruments secure consistent color reproduction across various devices, ensuring your designs manifest true intent.

Advantage: Consistent and accurate color reproduction across different devices, ensuring designs appear as intended.

Benefit: Elimination of color discrepancies, enhanced visual coherence, and the creation of designs with precise color accuracy.

5. Rich Stock Photo Libraries

Access to premium stock photos and illustrations elevates design projects exponentially. Align with renowned stock photo libraries like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or Getty Images to access an expansive array of royalty-free images, vectors, and graphics. This reservoir of visual assets lends unwavering support to your creative vision. Check out this website for stock photo; DEATH-TO-STOCK:

Feature: Access to extensive collections of high-quality stock photos and illustrations.

Advantage: Enrich design projects with professional visuals, eliminating the need for custom photography.

Benefit: Time-saving, diverse imagery options, and the ability to enhance design narratives through well-curated visuals.

6. Diverse Typography Resources

Typography's significance in design is nonpareil. Embrace platforms like Google Fonts, Adobe Fonts, and Font Squirrel to immerse yourself in a versatile range of fonts. Additionally, consider delving into premium font libraries like Hoefler&Co or Monotype or Velvetyne  for distinctive and expertly crafted typefaces.

Feature: Access to a diverse range of fonts, both free and premium.

Advantage: Varied typographic choices to match different design aesthetics and project requirements.

Benefit: Design customization, consistent branding, and the ability to evoke specific emotions through typography.

7. Project Management and Collaboration Tools

Designers navigating collaborative terrain necessitate efficient project management tools. Platforms like Trello, Asana, or Basecamp streamline communication, task organization, and project tracking. Concurrently, collaborative arenas such as Figma, InVision, or Zeplin expedite seamless interaction and feedback exchange during the design journey.

Advantages: Efficient task organization, transparent communication, and effective teamwork.

Benefits: On-time project delivery, clear communication, and the ability to maintain project momentum.

8. Prototype Prowess

To manifest your design visions into interactive prototypes, wireframing and prototyping tools are indispensable. Software like Adobe XD, Sketch, or Framer empowers you to shape interactive mockups, evaluate user experiences, and iterate designs seamlessly. These tools serve as a realm for refining your concepts before their definitive materialization.

Feature: Software for creating interactive prototypes and wireframes.

Advantage: Visualize design concepts, test user experiences, and iterate designs before final implementation.

Benefit: Enhanced design validation, reduced development iterations, and the creation of user-centric design solutions.

9. Social Media Optimization

search engine optimzation

With social media's role amplifying in marketing and branding, dedicated design tools are pivotal. Applications such as Canva, or Adobe Spark supply templates, graphics, and editing prowess customized for diverse social media platforms. These tools simplify the endeavor of creating captivating posts and upholding brand consistency across the social spectrum.

Benefit: Consistent branding, eye-catching posts, and enhanced engagement on social media channels.

10. Online Learning Platforms

A designer's journey thrives on perpetual learning. Online platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning present an extensive array of design courses guided by industry luminaries. Elevate your skill set, explore new design paradigms, and glean insights from professionals to refine your creative edge.

Feature: Access to a plethora of design courses offered by industry experts.

Advantage: Continuous skill enhancement, learning new design trends, and staying relevant in a dynamic industry.

Benefit: Personal and professional growth, expanded skill set, and the ability to offer diverse design services.


As the design landscape evolves, the tools at a designer's disposal play a pivotal role in shaping their success. The top 10 must-have tools outlined above offers an array of features, advantages, and benefits that cater to designers of all levels. By leveraging these tools, you can streamline your workflow, amplify your creativity, and elevate your design projects to new heights. Stay attuned to emerging technologies, embrace these tools, and unlock your full creative potential in the dynamic world of design.