Most Used / Most Important Design Software

Hi Everyone. We’re working on a project here at Core77, and one of the topics under discussion is creating a list of the most popular, most frequently used, most important design software among our audience. This is a very informal poll, but if people could list the three most frequently used software packages in their day-to-day job that would be very helpful.

Feel free to also add your thoughts on what sort of software you think people SHOULD be using, even if you’re not fortunate enough to use it yourself at your current job.

Any information is appreciated!

  1. Email/calendar
  2. Internet browser
  3. Spreadsheet/document

My day-to-day job is management.

Design Software

  1. 3D CAD - Creo Elements Direct Modeling - (Solidworks is more common in the industry though)
  2. Rendering - Bunkspeed Pro (Keyshot also works)
  3. 2D Illustration - Illustrator/Photoshop

AutoCAD & Catia are common in aircraft/transportation industry
InDesign for presentations. However, businesses like PowerPoint for creating, sharing and modifying presentations.
Sketchbook Pro for digital sketching

[ Deleted ]


  • Solidworks
  • PS/AI
  • Sketchbook Pro


  • Win7 Snipping tool
  • Powerpoint
  • InDesign


  • Outlook
  • Excel
  • Skype
  • Illustrator
  • Outlook
  • Chrome

other: keynote, indesign, photoshop

3D: Solidworks
2D: Illustrator/Photoshop
Rendering: KeyShot
Office: PPT, Outlook, Chrome

3D - Alias Design
Rendering - Either Alias or Keyshot
2D work - Illustrator / Photoshop / InDesign
Sketching - Alias Design / Sketchbook Pro
Admin - Microsoft Office

1 - Sketchbook Pro
2 - Solidworks
3 - Photoshop

Win7 Snipping tool

Illustrator/InDesign interchangeably

Love that MM included the Snipping Tool, I use the hell out of that as well. When combined with cut-and-paste into Outlook its probably the most productive software I use.

For project management - especially for graphic design stuff we have been using Basecamp, which is a browser-based repository of all communication/images. So helpful and blows away traditional ‘email’ thread-based management of products.

Rhino for 3d modelling
V-Ray plug-in for rendering
Bongo plug-in for animation
T-Splines plug-in for organic modelling
Photoshop for image creation & editing
After Effects for compositing and video presentation

3D: Solidworks, Modo, Rhino (T-Splines), Geomagics, zBrush, Alias, Sketch Up, C4D, Alias, Fusion 360, Mesh Mixer, Blender.

Rendering: Maxwell, Lagoa, Shot, Keyshot, Octane Render, V-Ray

2D: Adobe Suite, Keynote, Prezi.

your brain

  1. IronCAD - 3D Modeller similar to Solidworks (interested to see if anyone else uses this program ?)
  2. Rhino - 3D Modeller for organic surfaces
  3. Indesign - 2D

Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster…

Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster…[/quote]

This means…?

Dear gawd.

The most important design software is the one you customer uses. If you want an internship in Frace you better speak French. If you want to work at Harley Davidson or Kohler is would help if you spoke their language.

  1. Solidworks - 3D modelling and technical drawings
  2. Modo - 3D Rendering
  3. Adobe illustrator/photoshop - Line drawings, photo editing, marketing material