Wednesday

Get Creative with Design Software for Mac

There is so much design software for Mac users to get creative with out there. Here are 10 of our favourites.


It’s a mixed bag, that’s for sure! We are truly spoilt with some cutting-edge software solutions, but the ten we have chosen cover a range of bases.


Essentially, no stone has been left unturned. Of course, we’ve got some graphic design and prototyping tools on the list. However, expect to see some fantastic 3D sculpting mastery and some home design solutions too!


There's some great design software for Mac users out there... Credit: Free-Photos/ Pixabay

There’s some great design software for Mac users out there… Credit: Free-Photos/ Pixabay



So, we hope that we’ve included something for every one of our readers to get excited about.


Without further ado, let’s take a look at ten top pieces of design software for Mac.


DrawPad Free Graphic and Logo Designer



First of all – DrawPad allows you to easily create graphic images, all from the comfort of your Mac. This free graphic and logo designer specialises in image composition and manipulation.


So, it’s a top tool for all types of graphic design projects. These can range from creating invitations, sketches and paintings, to diagrams, icons and other web graphics, including banner ads.


Key Features include:


  • Pencil and brush tools for drawing, sketching and painting.

  • Work with both raster and vector images.

  • Image layers allow for non-destructive editing.

  • Add effects such as bevels and shadows.

  • Editing features including crop, rotate, resize and flip.

  • Insert shape objects, including circles, rectangles, polygons, stars, word/thought bubbles etc.

  • Supports .PNG, BMP, JPG, GIF, PDF, and SVG formats.

Moreover, DrawPad has a good range of pencil and brush tools, and raster and vector images. You can also access image layers for non-destructive editing, and effects, like bevels and shadows. It has a selection of basic editing features to choose from including crop, rotate, resize, and flip.


Therefore, DrawPad Free Graphic and Logo Designer for Mac is a top image manipulation app. The interface is easy to navigate, with standard toolbars to access the various tools on offer.



Corel CAD



CorelCAD combines industry-standard CAD features, precise 2D drafting and 3D design tools, and advanced .DWG file support. Essentially, this app allows you to open, edit and share files in .DWG format for easy collaboration.


Using customizable 2D drafting and 3D design tools, you can communicate your ideas with precision. Moreover, you can experience immediate productivity in an environment filled with industry-standard features such as the Ribbon UI and enhanced layer tools.


Key Features include:


  • High-performance CAD engine.

  • Industry-standard tools.

  • Precise and comprehensive 2D drafting and 3D design tools.

  • Advanced .DWG file and CorelDRAW graphics support.

  • Access and re-purpose your design assets from within the new Design Resources.

  • Flexible options to customize and automate for PC and Mac.

Some new features worth mentioning include the new Head-Up Display toolbar, and the new Quick Input tools. By using the new toolbar, you can select various entities and then zoom in on them to make required changes.


Overall, CorelCAD for Mac is an industry standard application that has an impressive array of features, it is compatible with all major CAD apps, and it uses a smart and intuitive interface.



AstroPad



AstroPad converts your iPad into a professional graphics tablet for your Mac. So, use your iPad to draw directly into Photoshop and any other Mac creative tools you know and love.


AstroPad is built for the needs of creative professionals. It features breakthrough network technology that keeps up with you, even when wirelessly drawing. It really works, allowing you to work from your desk or the sofa.


Key features include:


  • 2x faster than AirPlay.

  • Provides a natural drawing experience.

  • Works with any Mac app.

  • Supports most iOS styluses.

  • Pressure sensitive.

  • True Retina resolution.

  • Accurate palm rejection.

You can use your iPad as a drawing tablet for your favourite Mac tools including: Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Corel Painter, Manga Studio, Pixelmator, Mischief, and any other Mac app you like!


Whether you are a professional digital artist or a hobbyist, AstroPad for Mac offers the most powerful way to draw on your Mac using your iPad.



Edraw Max



Edraw Max is a handy flowchart design app, and allows you to visualise your ideas. It gives you an easy-to-use interface with drag and drop features and a great variety of built-in symbols for creating flowchart and data flow diagrams, and more.


Above all, it allows you to create intuitive diagrams for your ever need, thanks to rich forms, templates, enhanced effects and themes.  You can also create a vast range of designs, this is thanks to more than 50,000 vector built-in graphics.


So, you can enjoy creating infographics, Venn diagrams, flow charts, business cards, Gantt charts, maps, floor plans, and so much more.


Key features include:


  • All-in-one diagram software.

  • Create flow charts.

  • Free templates.

  • Extensive symbols, icons and shapes.

  • Fast and intuitive editing.

  • Built-in cloud storage.

You can access your work on any device, as it is based on cloud storage. Edraw Max also provides a range of collaboration tools that allow you and your team to edit files simultaneously. You can even share your designs with others via HTML links.


Overall, this is a great piece of all-in-one diagram software for Mac. It gives you all the tools you need to create detailed diagrams. It integrates well with office apps and has some powerful functions. The interface is intuitive and easy to get to grips with.



MagicaVoxel



MagicaVoxel is a free 8-bit voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer. It includes a rendering engine and a top set of tools to create and edit various 3D, 8-bit models.


The best bit? It’s incredibly easy to use. Simply choose whether to add, remove or paint voxels, and draw straight on to the model to shape and colour it however you like. You can then jump into render mode and bring your model to life.


Key features include:


  • Create and edit 3D, 8-bit models.

  • Built-in path tracing renderer.

  • Extensive export capabilities.

  • Fully customisable interface.

  • Insert pre-made shapes and patterns.

  • Set custom keyboard shortcuts.

  • Extensive export capabilities.

MagicaVoxel has a comprehensive set of tools to help you easily create impressive designs. It includes a great set of brushes of various shapes, and you can easily adjust specific sections of your model using the right tools.


Overall, MagixaVoxel for Mac is a lightweight 8-bit voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer. The intuitive interface makes it great for creating unique 3D models with ease. It is 100% free to use for any project, and does not require a commercial license.



ProtoPie



ProtoPie is a prototyping tool for designers and engineers, and is incredibly well-designed! Essentially, it allows you to piece interactions together. So, you can create realistic prototypes for any digital product, in a way that’s easy to use and understand.


Don’t worry. You don’t need any coding knowledge when using ProtoPie. It is incredibly simple to import your designs from Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma into ProtoPie and turn them into highly interactive prototypes using your design experience.


Key features include:


  • Create prototypes for any digital products.

  • No coding knowledge required.

  • Import designs and add interactions.

  • Test on any device.

  • Add sensors.

  • Test prototypes directly, or share in the cloud.

  • View gallery of creations by other designers.

It includes the ability to incorporate advanced features into your prototypes. You can take advantage of the sensors in your smart devices, such as the gyroscope, compass, microphone and proximity sensor. This allows you to add a realistic touch to your prototypes.


ProtoPie for Mac can also build prototypes that communicate across multiple devices. So this means you can think big, with accurate testing for cross-device interactions, such as messaging or payment apps.


Overall, it’s an incredibly useful prototyping tool for designers and engineers. It requires no coding knowledge to use, which makes it great for collaboration and visualising ideas across teams.



Zbrush 2019



First of all, ZBrush 2019 is an advanced 3D sculpting and painting tool. It includes a vast number of premier tools to create incredible digital art in both 2D and 3D.


Essentially, it allows you to express your creativity in a natural way, giving you powerful tools to create stunning works of digital art. It enables the user to use customisable brushes to shape, texture and paint virtual clay in a real-time environment.


Key features include:


  • Shape, texture and paint in real-time.

  • Powerful features and intuitive workflows.

  • Sculpt up to a billion polygons.

  • Extensive rendering capabilities.

  • Non-photorealistic rendering (NPR).

  • Productivity features.

  • Advanced camera system.

So, increase your productivity with ZBrush. It includes a more efficient folder system that not only works as an organisational tool but makes it possible to apply actions to all contained meshes at once. This includes move, scale, rotate, duplicate, delete, hide/show polycount, and more.


Overall, this suite includes an incredible range of tools to help you create and edit stunning pieces of digital art. The extensive renders and advanced universal camera will further extend your creativity, while the productivity tools will help speed up your process and reduce repetitive action.



Adobe Illustrator



Firstly, you can create icons, logos, drawings, typography and illustrations in a very enjoyable way. They can then be used for diverse platforms, including; print, web, video and mobile. That’s why the creators of the industry-standard vector graphics software describe it as ‘the state of the art of illustration’.


It’s used by millions of designers and artists. Thanks to Adobe Illustrator, they are able to create iconic work of any size, as well as typography that ‘says it all’. This is exactly what Adobe strive to create; the ability for users to draw attention everywhere.


Key features include:


  • Create icons, logos, drawings, typography and illustrations.

  • Great usability.

  • Step-by-step tutorials.

  • Intuitive interface.

  • Freeform gradients.

  • Use multiple files.

  • Presentation/ trim previews.

This program is always getting better, thanks to new features being rolled out regularly. Freeform gradients, global editing, a customisable toolbar and presentation/trim previews are up there with the most popular features.


Above all, Adobe Illustrator can help you create standout vector artwork for any project or occasion. Thanks to its precision, power and a deep toolkit, it has a worldwide following. A new Touch Type tool gives the user even more control over type too.


Overall, Adobe Illustrator is a top option if you’re looking for a straightforward yet powerful solution. Coming from a well-regarded brand, this product delivers a whole host of illustration and creative opportunities for novice and expert users alike.



Live Home 3D



Above all, this powerful home design software will allow you to create the house of your dreams, all from the comfort of your Mac. Live Home 3D is perfect for almost everyone. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional interior designer or just a homeowner planning some home improvements.


It helps you to draft detailed 2D floor plans and automatically build the structure in 3D. Wait, there’s more! You can also trace imported floor plans or start from scratch using the program’s smart tools!


Key features include:


  • Draw in 2D build in 3D.

  • Switch views.

  • Apply and add materials and furniture.

  • 3D walkthrough.

  • Several export options.

  • Great usability.

  • Share on social media.

You can start your interior design project by drawing a 2D floor plan with point-and-click drafting tools. This will allow you to measure out rooms and walls in just a couple of clicks. Then you can enjoy real-time 3D rendering! Switch views in order to see and walk around the structure in 3D.


Once you build the structure you can apply and add materials and furniture. Make use of Live Home 3D’s rich objects collection. You can choose from a built-in library of everything from chairs and tables to kitchen sets and appliances.


Overall, Live Home 3D allows you to bring your plans to life. Thanks to realistic previews and walkthroughs you will be able to completely understand what your finished plan will look like – inside and out.



Sketch



Sketch is an accomplished vector graphics editor. It was first released in late 2010 by Dutch company Bohemian Coding. Since then it has enjoyed popularity and success, winning the Apple Design Award in 2012.


Essentially, it is used for crafting the UI and UX of mobile apps and web. The designs created can be used by app engineers and web developers.


Although Sketch files are saved in its own file format (.sketch), they can also be saved in other popular formats. For instance, files can be saved as PNG, TIFF, WebP and JPG files too.


Key features include:


  • Craft UI and UX of mobile apps and web.

  • Save to .sketch or other popular formats.

  • Intuitive interface.

  • Dark mode.

  • Powerful vector drawing.

  • Pixel precision.

  • 2.7x faster than previous versions.

Thanks to Sketch, designers are able to get access to a drawing space of limitless size and layers, as well as menus, controls, windows, panels and palettes. Sketch promises to allow you to ‘create your best work’, thanks to an expansive plugin ecosystem and powerful features.


Overall, Sketch allows designers precious freedom and opportunities, all delivered in a neat package. Now you can do even more with Sketch, whether you want to speed up your workflow, add data to your designs or just want to add cat GIFs to your projects!



Final thoughts


So, as we’ve seen, there are scores of great creative and design software choices out there for Mac users!


Hopefully this has at least put you in the right direction, if you’re a creative type and planning to get more out of your Mac.


Check the full selection of Mac software on FileHippo.

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