As a graphic designer, you probably have a lot on your plate and you may find yourself lacking time to sit down and start working. Luckily for you, there are plenty of tools and resources to help you manage your work faster and more efficiently. In this post, you’re going to find some of the best tools beyond Adobe Creative Suite that will not only help you with design but also in creating design elements to help with your work.
Being a graphic designer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use advanced cutting-edge design technology to create exceptional work. Sometimes, even the simplest of tools can be your best friends. Here is the ultimate list of tools that you can use to make your work easier and more efficient:
- Paletton – Previously known as Color Scheme Designer 3, Paletton is a color wheel in which you can change parameters to determine which shades of colors mix well. The tool is fairly simple to use even for beginners and provides you with detailed information about each shade of color in the palette. You can easily export the list of colors in the palette as HTML, CSS, LESS, XML, SASS, or text.
- Font Squirrel – Font Squirrel is an online font resource, where you can find the perfect font to go with your project. You can find hundreds of different fonts classified according to type and usage. The tool even lets you customize fonts to fit the specific project you’re working on. And the best part is that everything is available for free.
- Piktochart – You may be able to create charts, presentations, and infographics from scratch. But there may be times you need to quickly put together something and you don’t have enough time to start from scratch. Piktochart is an online tool that can help you create high-quality infographics and presentations using a wide range of existing layouts.
- Texturemate – Texturemate is an excellent resource for free textures, patterns, and brushes; which you can use in your design projects. You can choose from hundreds of different textures, which are neatly categorized by type or color. So just picture your design and then select a texture based on your vision.
- Flat Icon – Flat Icon is an online resource for free icons that you can use for your design project. You can choose from a huge selection of icons, which have been neatly sorted according to how they can be used. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can find icons for digital marketing, e-learning, and more. You can also conduct a search using a certain keyword or phrase related to your project to find relevant icons.
- Subtle Patterns – Subtle Patterns is a pattern resource created by Top Total. Designers submit their pattern designs, which you can then download and use in your design project or as an inspiration for your design. If you’re having some trouble coming up with a background for your design, this resource could be the perfect solution for you.
- GIMP – GIMP is an open source image editor available for free. You can use this software to retouch photos, create original artwork, or create your own graphic design elements. Using this tool, you can easily manage colors for your design and come up with unique icons to suit your project. It is one of the most widely-used graphic design tools next to Adobe Creative Suite.
- Autotracer – Need to quickly convert a raster image into a scalable vector graphic to use in your design? The Autotracer lets you do just that. You can upload raster images such as GIFs, JPEGs, and PNGs; and then the tool does all the work. You can even choose from a range of output formats including SVG, Adobe Illustrator, Encapsulated PostScript, and more.
- Noun Project – The Noun Project is a platform where you can find a multitude of high-quality icons, created and contributed by other designers. You can use all of these icons for free provided that you credit the designer. You can conduct a search using any key phrase or term relevant to your project and then choose your favorite icon from the search result.
- Color Lovers – Need more color inspiration for your project? Color Lovers helps you browse through thousands of color palettes contributed by users. Or if you simply want to see whether the palette you’ve created would have mass appeal, you can submit it here and see how people respond to it.