., click here to enter for a chance to win one of our many $50 gift cards we are giving away.

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Best Graphics Apps for Students (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .
Copy Share Link
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

Become a member or login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Unlock this lesson to learn about the top graphics apps for students

This graphics app guide will help parents learn:

  • What are the two main types of drawing apps available
  • The pros and cons of the top graphics apps on the market
  • Things to consider when considering a graphics apps

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about digital art tools!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Best Graphics Apps for Students (2024): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .
Copy Share Link
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

In today’s digital age, the ability to visually communicate ideas is more important than ever. Whether it's for a class project, a club poster, or just for personal creative exploration, having the right tools can make all the difference.

We've curated a list of the best graphics apps for students that are not only user-friendly but also packed with features to unleash students' creativity and help increase their graphic design skills. From easy-to-use interfaces to advanced functionalities, these apps cater to both beginners and budding graphic designers, ensuring that every project is not just completed, but shines with creativity and professionalism. Let's explore these digital canvases that are just a tap away!

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

What are graphics apps?

  • Graphic design applications or software are tools used to create, edit, and manipulate various types of visual content
  • There are two main types of tools available: vector drawing apps and raster drawing apps
  • ~Vector drawing applications create precise and scalable artwork based on mathematical paths. They can be more difficult to use and learn compared to raster apps, but the images can be resized without losing quality
  • ~Raster drawing applications create realistic paintings and drawings using pixels and typically give a natural brush feel. They are scalable but lose some quality when enlarged due to the pixels becoming visible
  • Graphic apps vary in complexity and purpose, catering to different needs from basic photo editing to creating sophisticated 3D models and animations. They are widely used by professional graphic designers in fields like advertising, film, web design, and publishing, as well as hobbyists, students, and educators
  • Graphic design apps can be used to create digital artwork that simulates traditional media like painting and drawing
  • Students also use these apps for designing page layouts for print or digital publications, such as brochures, magazines, and e-books

Procreate

Procreate logo
  • Procreate is a raster drawing app designed for the iPad for sketching, painting, and illustration 
  • There are many helpful drawing tools and over 200 brushes to choose from or artists can design their own
  • Procreate offers time-lapse recording and simple animation tools
  • Although there is a fee for this app, it is a one-time fee without a subscription and there are no in-app purchases 
  • Procreate is only available for the Apple iPad

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator logo
  • Adobe Illustrator is  a vector graphic design software that offers a wide range of brushes, tools, and other effects for creating logos, icons, illustrations, infographics, and more
  • Adobe Illustrator is widely used by professionals and works seamlessly with other applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Firefly, and Adobe Spark
  • Because of its extensive features and complex interface, this design tool can be overwhelming for beginners and requires a paid subscription. There is no free version available, but there is a free trial

Inkscape

Inkscape logo
  • Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that is great for creating vector graphics such as logos, icons, web graphics, and technical diagrams
  • This free tool has built-in drawing, shape, and text tools but can have a steep learning curve
  • Inkscape offers free templates, including cards, invitations, brochures, flyers, and more
  • The program can be used on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It cannot be used on an iPad 

Krita

Krita logo
  • Krita is an open source raster graphics software that is best for digital painting, concept art, animation, and illustration
  • The free graphic design software features a wide range of brushes and drawing tools
  • Krita can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebooks. There are tablets that are compatible, but it cannot be used on an iPad

Sketchbook

Sketchbook logo
  • Sketchbook is a raster graphics editor used mainly for drawing and sketching
  • The app is free across Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS, but there is a subscription required to access more advanced tools and features
  • It is easy to learn and use, but the brush options are not as advanced (as Procreate) and it is not ideal for creating complex animations

ArtRage

ArtRage logo
  • ArtRage is another raster graphics editor designed for digital painting and drawing
  • With this application you can mimic various art materials, such as oil paints, watercolors, pencils, and pastels
  • ArtRage is available for a fee on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices

GIMP

GIMP logo
  • GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is primarily a raster graphics editor but does offer some limited vector capabilities
  • It is a free, open source editor available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, but it is not available on an iPad or any other iOS devices
  • The software offers a vast set of image editing tools, including cropping, resizing, color adjustment, and filters
  • GIMP has a narrow selection of built-in brush options and offers limited animation capabilities

Conclusion

Students will find that there is an abundance of digital tools available for every type of artist, from the budding doodler to graphic design students, to the seasoned professional. Whether your interest lies in detailed illustrations, simple sketches, or experimenting with digital art forms, there's an app out there to suit your creative needs. 

The key to choosing the right app is to consider your skill level, the specific features you need, and the kind of art you want to create. Encourage your children to explore these apps, not just as a means of entertainment, but as a gateway to developing their artistic abilities and expression and a possible future as a graphic designer.  

More resources for parents, students, & educators

Canva Guide for Parents, Students, & Educators

Instagram Editing Apps Guide: Best Photo Editing Apps for Instagram

AI Art Tools Guide: Pros and Cons of the Best AI Art Generators

What is Anime? A Guide for Parents

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of
your membership plan. Click here to join.

Become a member or login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Unlock this lesson to learn about the top graphics apps for students

This graphics app guide will help parents learn:

  • What are the two main types of drawing apps available
  • The pros and cons of the top graphics apps on the market
  • Things to consider when considering a graphics apps

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about digital art tools!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.

Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round

Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast
each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on: