The 20 Most Popular Design Tools and their Users

Ever wondered which are the most popular design tools and their number of users? We did too!

So we partnered with Mostash to create an exclusive infographic depicting the 20 most popular design tools, calculated using a ‘magic’ formula based on the results taken from three different popularity ranking websites.

We used the stats from Software Informer, Wakoopa and iUseThis. For the number of tweets per minute, that you’ll see below, we used the wonderful Twitter Tussle.

The artwork was done by Ricardo Cavolo (all credits appear at the bottom).

Surprised by the results? Some tools that we were expecting to see in the top 20 are actually way down below…

To view the infographic at a larger resolution, simply click on the image below. Feel free to comment and let us know what you think…small

Credits: Software Informer, Wakoopa, iUseThis, TwitterTussle, Ricardo Cavolo, and Mostash

  • Kris Efe

    I didn’t even know that Picasa was considered a design tool… What does it do? I only use it to upload my images and videos.

  • Mia Lazar

    :) nice design so, so cool..

    • Ben Stokes

      Totally agree with you there Mia :)

  • Mana

    What about inkscape?? Surely there must be loads of people using it out there..

    • Michael Beckwith

      Hear hear!

  • Sean

    Nice Ben & Jerry’s ice cream theme.

  • Tony Thomas

    As a web designer I’m really surprised to see fireworks is so low on the list, also another app which I discovered recently and kind of half expected to see on the list is Bohemian Coding’s Sketch or atleast Draw It

  • Sifex

    Lol photoshop would probably double if you counted hacked copies ^^ chepies.

    VERY NICE though, well presented.

  • Freehand User!

    This graphic is missing the never stay die and very loyal following Freehand users. Check out

  • Ryan

    Man I’m really suprised that photoshop didn’t run the table.

  • Jorgen

    I’m surprised to see MS Paint

  • Michael Beckwith

    What are some of the ones below the top 20? Any chance we could get 21-30?

    Also, I am quite happy to see The Gimp with such a strong following. I come from a FOSS background the past few years and got used to The Gimp as opposed to Photoshop.

  • natasha

    i can’t believe how popular paint is! wooow! and i’m quite shocked illustrator isn’t in the top 5… wooow!

  • Balagopal P

    Nicely Done. Really Interesting Concept. Cheers

  • Ryan Quintal

    Ahhh yes, Picasa. The poor man’s iPhoto.

  • Liam

    where the hell did you get your data, why is photobucket (and other things like it, acdsee, picasa etc) on there?


    Photoshop with less then 1 million users? No. Not at all.

  • Peter Kaizer

    What about good old standards based html, css and a great text editor like Textmate! Those are my design tools of choice.

  • Childmonster

    Top photoshop. Its alway right :))

  • Curtis Scott

    MS paint and picassa – Really? Who would have thought it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ashnee

    The design is cute…. but I think the data is poorly represented. So how does the height or size of the mountain correlate with the data? Photoshop has about 3 times as many users compared to Corel Draw, but its mountain is just a little taller than Corel Draw’s. This is sloppy infographics..

  • Giacomo Colddesign

    My love photoshop is the first one…:)

  • Lena Doppel

    Funny to see Paint. It’s old, it’s crappy, but it’s free and easy to use. Apparently feature’s aren’t everything.

  • helium

    Really surprised about Picasa lol.

  • Burg

    Hm, strange what people consider design tools these days. Though this explains a lot the stuff we see out there that’s called designsomething…

  • Andy

    I agree with Ashnee about the poor visualisation of the data but I also think the data is somewhat flawed.

    First of all, the data has been collected from a group that has obviously not be filtered for actual designers. Aren’t they the ones who actually use design tools?

    Flickr is a design tool? Merely serves to prove my first point.

  • david praznik

    i read webdesigner depot a lot and i don’t want to be locked out as a negative critic but this infographic has many misleadings. in real life among designers, corel draw is definitely not 3rd (c’mon…) and Flickr is certainly not a design tool. i also agree with @Burg about “this explains alot…” and @Ashnee about “The design is cute…. but I think the data is poorly represented”.

    about freehand commnet: the most importand freehand features are integrated in illustrator cs5, so let it go ;)

    • the-sniper

      your’re so right. I just wonder, why the hell are Flickr, Photobucket… a tool

    • Walter

      Hi David and thanks for your comment. As we mentioned the data was extracted using the online tools described. The actual numbers for sales are only available to the owners, so we made out best attempt at this using the tools available at our disposal to get these numbers.

      The word ‘tools’ in our case symbolizes websites, apps, software, etc. We needed an encompassing word of some sort :)

      • david praznik

        thank you walter :)

  • Buzz Web Design

    For many years my main tools of choice where QuarkXpress and Freehand, but I think Photoshop being top is right for where I’m at today.

    Coral Draw 3rd is a shock to me I’ve never come across anyone using Coral Draw professionally.

    Like the graphic!

  • JP

    I see people kind of bashing Corel Draw here… I used to be like that… an Illustrator fanboy. They’re both applications to work with vectors, and it’s not using Illustrator that will make you look like a professional, you’re just falling in the Adobe branding trap.

    I’ve been a hardcore Illustrator guy for some years, but several times I’ve wanted to do certain things that I couldn’t with Illustrator, or I just had to use other Adobe software to do it… with CorelDraw I could do it all in one most of the times.

    A recent example was, I had my resume in PDF, and I wanted to edit in InDesign (I’ve lost the .idd file and only had PDF). The thing is, InDesign CS3 (version I have) cannot open PDF (what the hell)… Illustrator can open the PDF but since my resume is 3 pages you’d have to have 3 separate PDFs… what an insane crap of workflow… so I just go into CorelDraw, I open PDF, edit what I want and export it to PDF again. My previous headache was solved in a breeze with Corel Draw. It was been the leading app in the industry for a number of years… just in recent years things reverted. Adobe has more than enough money to make people using Illy feel like they’re a hotshot designer.

    Guess what? It’s not the tool… it’s the dummy using it… I’m sure there are plenty of talented designers, or artists producing amazing work on Corel Draw, and vice versa.

  • Brian E. Young

    I worked at a job using Corel Draw a decade ago and it was a great tool with a lot of features that are difficult to find in the Adobe Suite. It’s native font creation tools were great and using streamline was better than what is now Illustrator’s live trace. I now use Illustrator due to access more than anything. To each their own.

  • neo tech blog

    yeah Photoshop is first i love it

  • dimni

    I think is underrated.
    It’s a really cool free alternative to gimp and 1000 times easier to use!

  • Brett Widmann

    This is a cool post. I like the unique way it is displayed.

  • Catalin

    as usual, it was a pleasure to work for Webdesigner Depot