The Best Graphic Design Tools For Productivity And Inspiration
Experts agree that design is important for business success. As a graphic designer, you’re able to help businesses set themselves apart from the crowd, and this is especially important for small business owners.
To be able to provide this great benefit, you need to have the best graphic design tools in your tool chest. There are a lot of options, but some are more effective than others.
Continue through this article to learn more about which tools you should add to your must-haves.
Organizing Your Tools
Before you start stuffing your tool chest, make sure you know how you will organize everything. Having folders on your computer that make it easy for you to find the tools you need can save a lot of time and frustration.
The tools below will help you get your design career in order, so you don’t feel like you’re careening out of control.
Inboard As A Mood Board
A major part of being a designer is being inspired. If you find yourself feeling like your imagination is dead in the water, having a mood board can help.
You might try to use Pinterest as a mood board, but that doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you might choose to work offline, and you want to have your inspiration readily available.
Using Inboard is a great way to turn your desktop into a Pinterest looking mood board. This makes it easy for you to get to the inspiration you need.
Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
Both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are great for graphic design. You can create mindblowing graphics with these tools.
You might wonder if they are the same thing or if you need both of them. One major difference is that Photoshop is based on pixels, while Illustrator uses vectors. If you want to design for online usage, then Photoshop will do, but if you want something that will give you high-quality images for print—it’s Illustrator all the way.
If you’re working with a team, it can be difficult to organize who did what, what’s approved and what’s not, and more. When you use Proofhub, things get easier for you right away.
Your approval process will be quick and easy since everyone works in one place. This is one of the top proofing and project management tools available.
If you’re a designer on a budget, KRITA is a great tool, not only because it’s free, but because it gives you a lot of functionality. This open-source painting program is great for concept matte painters, art, texture, comics, and illustrations.
You can have a lot of fun playing around in there, and it doesn’t cost you anything.
If you’re stuck and trying to figure out how to keep track of your ideas, Sessionlab is a great tool. You can easily break content into chunks and outline anything important.
Keeping your ideas on your computer can get to be a little haphazard, so using this tool can help you clear your mind and make finding things easier.
When you are designing, you need to think about who will connect with your designs. One of the best ways to do this is through user personas.
Userforge is a cloud-based tool that lets you do persona development. And you can also manage your personas there as well. This is the easiest way to create, share, and edit user personas as needed.
Pantone Color Guides
Are you confused about the colours and need a little help? Pantone colour guides are a great way to identify colours accurately. It’s helpful for design specifications, quality control, and communication.
Another tool you can use for colours is called Huesnap, which is a colour sharing community.
Trello is a great collaboration tool. If you like to colour code, organize and communicate, then Trello is a good tool for you.
You can invite people to your various boards and lists and make it easy to see who is working on what, what’s done, and what isn’t as well as where in the process everything is.
Much of Trello is free, so it’s a budget-friendly option when you want to keep the team on track.
Do you need to communicate with different groups quickly? Do you want to make your communication searchable?
If that sounds good to you, then Slack is the perfect team tool. It’s easy to set up, and all you need is someone’s email address to get them in the mix of communication.
The Slack channels are pretty fun as well, so you’re able to use emojis and even GIFs in some cases.
Sometimes as a graphic designer, you might find yourself out of motivation. When you use momentum on your browser, it will give you one goal to focus on as well as motivation.
Every time you open up a tab, you’ll see your daily goal, and you’ll see some much-needed motivation to keep you charging ahead.
Speaking with clients face to face—at least virtually—can be very helpful when you’re trying to give them what they want. Email and messaging can only go so far.
Zoom allows you to share screens, see each other’s facial expressions, and more. You can use many features of Zoom free without any limits, but there are some instances where you need to pay for a subscription.
Choosing The Best Graphic Design Tools
Now you know more about the best graphic design tools available to you. Instead of stressing out and wondering what you might be missing, you now have a nice list of options that can help you become even better at your craft.
Do you want to learn more about graphic design? Go through more of our blog today.