I know how many tools I use on a daily basis to get things done and simplify my workflow as a Graphic Designer. There are just some tools, tips, and tricks, that I use almost daily for personal use and my business, which makes designing so much easier. Let’s go through the list that I have made:
1. Adobe Photoshop
Now this is probably a given but I design in Photoshop, when I have to create a website, logo, brochure, advertisement, whatever it may be, it all starts in Photoshop. To me it is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it to its full potential, its something you never fully learn, there are so many tips and tricks that I still learn new things all the time. Because of its versatility, I can easily switch my products over to XD, InDesign, or Illustrator in just a couple of clicks.
Dafont.com is an amazing Font tool that I use all the time. It’s completely free and super easy to use. Sometimes the thousands of fonts you have and don’t use won’t work and you need another one for design. This website is an awesome tool for anybody really, not just designers.
This is something that I use constantly and I mean constantly… I’m using it right now for uploading photos to this post. Dropbox is an online storage tool with many different features like signing documents, they even have a scanning tool for your phone to upload receipts and anything else really. It’s amazing and I’ve been using it for YEARS, I have thousands of files on it and you can access it from anywhere which is great.
Free to use but I suggest upgrading, for me, I have 2 terabytes of storage which is awesome, you can install it to your computer and you basically have a second hard drive that you can access from anywhere. Today is the first time I’ve checked and I have only used 97 gigs.
“If you do good work for good clients, it will lead to other good work for other good clients. If you do bad work for bad clients, it will lead to other bad work for other bad clients.” – Michael Bierut
It makes sense why you haven’t heard of this awesome software. It’s used as a reference program so instead of having a folder or 20 tabs open with photos and websites you like. PureRef lets you drag and drop photos and text straight into their software.
It’s not free, you get it by making a donation so if you want to can get the program for $1. Its an awesome software and I recommend it to anyone that designs on a daily basis.
5. Envato Elements
There are tons of places to get stock images, brushes, videos, inspiration, and more but Envato Elements has this all in one place. It’s truly a massive library of designer needs and I use it all the time. Envato Elements cost about $16 per month. That’s the only downside, but it pays off in the long run. Especially if you are starting a design business or freelance work.
You have probably heard of this one but if not, you need to get on it. It is free to use and amazing. Sometimes designs and design packages can be really big files, and I hate sending things through google drive. WeTransfer is an awesome solution to this, you can send files up to 20-gigs+ with a paid version or up to 2-gigs with the free version, which is a hell of a lot better than googles 25-megabyte cap.
Unsplash is a great free stock photo website that I use often when Envato doesn’t have what I need. It has tons of images you can search and even references them for you so you don’t have to spend extra time. It’s great for making websites, wallpapers, and brochures, etc…
This website is actually incredible, look professional with Better Proposals, you can design a proposal either from scratch or from 160 different templates and send it to your clients. It can track who opens them and do follow up emails, also you can sign your contracts from the first proposal. It’s incredible, and they look incredible! Let’s not forget your clients will love this as well.
GoFullPage is a Chrome Extension and one I wish I would have discovered a long time ago and I’m actually using it for this post to get all the website photos. This extension takes full-page screenshots. Okay cool, why is that important, because it captures the entire page from top to bottom. One long image but you can also edit the image, crop the image, and way more. This is perfect for capturing websites you’ve designed or articles, etc…
Below is a screen capture of the GoFullPage using their software:
These are not obviously all the tools I use, I dabble in everything. I design in all types of software, I am certified in Adobe as well at AutoDesk programs. There are tons of tools I use constantly and some I use every once and awhile. I hope this list has helped you as I know these tools have helped me over the years!
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