With so many tools out there (and more being created every day!), it’s time prohibitive to try each one. Lucky for you – I love testing new design tools and compiled a list of my five absolute favorite design resources. And for my full list (30+ killer sites!), download my Little Black Book of Design Resources. Link below!
This online tool was a total game changer for me. As much as I love the Adobe Create Suite, sometimes its robust features and functions can make down and dirty design projects (like creating social media graphics) more time consuming than necessary. Canva streamlines the design process significantly, while at the same time providing enough functionality so you can design some pretty killer stuff. Plus it’s free. FREE!!
One of the best parts of Canva is its HUGE library of free pre-made templates and graphics. And the paid graphics are only $1. Yes, you read that right – a dollar. You can’t even get a candy bar for a $1. 😉
2. Creative Market
This is my very favorite online marketplace for inexpensive graphics and fonts. As much as I would love to create everything from scratch, small budgets and tight timelines often require me to supplement my design projects with pre-made graphics. When I first started out, I thought buying graphics for projects was cheating (totally silly I KNOW!). But then I realized paying for certain elements was actually a smart business move allowing me to be a much more efficient designer. Plus most clients aren’t willing to pay for the time it takes to create 100% unique work.
The best part about Creative Market is the site’s Free Goods Of The Week. You can get beautiful fonts, graphics, templates, photos and other design elements for free. Many of the assets in my design library are freebies from this site.
There are a lot of great free image sites out there (here’s a link to my favorite free feminine stock imagery sites), however PicJumbo is the first one I visit when I’m sourcing images for a project. The quality of the pictures is fantastic and the styling is totally on trend. (Plus I love the story behind the site).
If you’re looking for great lifestyle photos for your blog or social media graphics, then I definitely encourage you to check out this site. And the best parts – 1. No attribution required and 2. Free for commercial use!
Choosing the perfect color palette can take time. And if you’re using professional design software, like Adobe Illustrator, then there is a lot of manual tinkering before you land on the perfect shade. Coolers is the best color tool out there, turning a tedious design task into a fun experience. Once you activate the tool, simply hit your spacebar and Coolers will auto generate a 4-color palette. From there, you can use the tool’s features to adjust each color until you have the perfect shade. And my favorite part – you can export all the color codes for easy reference for design projects.
This design tool BLEW MY MIND when I found it. Have you ever wished you could see what a word or phrase would look like in every single font on your computer? With Wordmark.it you can! I can’t tell you how much time this tool has saved. Finding the perfect font for a design project is a very time consuming process and this site radically reduces all that unnecessary trial and error.
Itching for more awesome resources? Click the link below to download my Little Black Book of Design Resources. These tools helped me streamline my design process and improve my skills, enabling me to more efficiently create graphics for my business and clients.
Now I want to hear from you. What are your favorite resources?