Designer Toolbox - Tools I Use To Create

December 16, 2013

(I used two different resources to create the above, for example!)

My major is 'visual design,' but most just end up calling it 'graphic design.' Any way you swing it, I like spending my time at the computer designing. I like to draw and take pictures, and just make things in general - but the heart of my creative interests revolve around design.

I've always got this project or that project going on, but every project somehow starts the same way. It always starts with me gathering inspiration and digging through my metaphorical designer toolbox for help. So, here are some resources (not nearly all) that help me get going on a design project.

Adobe Creative Cloud - I pay monthly to have every program I need at my finger tips! All the programs are the most up-to-date versions and are continuously updated as needed. Also, the student pricing makes life easier for those people like me who are on a budget.

Blank Notebook - sketching out ideas is always a great place to sort out what's working and not working. Plus, it's a great place to cull the craziest of ideas that may not seem possible on the computer.
Dribbble - looking at other people's work is always great inspiration! Looking to fellow artists and past artists in history is also a great way to wrap your mind around new ideas and ways to execute them.
Pinterest - these boards are my go-to's for some quick inspo (one|two|three|four)
The Die Line - another great resource for seeing other people's awesome work.

Free Fonts
Lost Type
Fonts of Chaos
Free Typography

Stock Photos/Backgrounds
Unsplash - 10 new high quality stock photos uploaded every 10 days. Totally free.
Subtle Patterns - I used this when constructing my current blog design. Has tons of seamless and subtle pattern options.

Creative Market - great place to gather tons of web goods. There's everything from fonts to textures to icons to whatever else you can think of!
Designer Toolbox - great for finding out standard sizes for things like business cards and envelopes. It even has a Lorem Ipsum generator.
Mood Boards - These from Liz and these from Betty Red Designs are both wonderful.
To-Doist - perfect for keeping up with tasks that need doing!

Do you have any specific websites/tools/apps you use to do your best work (no matter what your field of interest)? Please share!

This post was inspired by this series over at Promise Tangeman's blog!

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  1. this post is so helpful! thanks for sharing the design tips, i'm going to check out the free fonts section!

    lindsey louise


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