Top 6 Tools for the Modern Designer

Whether you design websites, advertisements, marketing materials, or one-of-a-kind images, your ability to produce high quality finished projects often depends on the tools you have at your disposal.

If you aren’t using the following design tools, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to thrive.

1. Preview

mavs_shape_tool-jpgIf you have a Mac, then you already have one convenient and easy tool available. Have you tried Preview? Simply right click on any image file – or simply open it up – and Preview is ready to go. You won’t get a ton of sophisticated features out of this resource, but it’s the most logical choice when you don’t want to open up another program and go through multiple steps, just to make a simple tweak. Options include resizing and cropping images, adjusting color settings, deleting or cloning certain areas, and more.

2. Canva

LP_AddTexttoPhotos_Screenshot_-962x541One of the easiest tools to use online is Canva. This powerful image creator lets you create a number of image types based on popular standard templates, like social media graphics, Kindle covers, infographics, real estate flyers, postcards, and more. When signing up, make sure you choose the “personal use” option, as this allows you to access the free tools. If you want premium images, Canva will charge you on a per-image basis. However, you can always use your own images for free.

3. Shopify Logo Maker

shopifyNeed to create a quick logo for personal use, a client, or a mock project, but don’t want to go overboard with complicated features? The Shopify Logo Maker is designed for this very purpose. It lets you create simple logos using text, icons, and various positions. It won’t allow you to create a complex logo with dozens of individual features, but it’s the perfect tool for quick turnarounds.

4. Infogram

editorAs you know, infographics are very popular right now. If you can find a way to streamline the infographic design process, then you can make a lot of money in today’s market. Enter Infogram. This powerful tool is labeled as a “data visualization product” and lets you quickly turn data into infographics, charts, and interactive elements. There are dozens of types to choose from and you can even sign up for a free account. Paid accounts obviously open up an entirely new set of functions.

5. Pixlr

pixlrDon’t want to pay the monthly fee associated with Photoshop? Pixlr is a great alternative. If you’re familiar with Photoshop, the Pixlr layout and functions will feel very similar. It even opens .PSD files and keeps all of the original layers intact. It’s a simple, yet robust tool that allows you to get all of the functionality you need, without having to maintain a monthly license fee. This makes it the perfect solution for casual designers.

6. Avocode

avocodeWith Avocode, frontend developers can code websites or apps directly from Sketch designs of Photoshop. The tool quickly and efficiently analyzes files and brings everything together in a beautiful UI design. With intuitive features and simple attributes, Avocode is a no-brainer. It saves time, money, and lots of frustration over the long haul.

Try Them All

As a designer, you have tons of high quality tools available at your disposal. Make sure you’re continually trying out new resources in order to avoid becoming outdated.

These are some of the best tools available. They are all either free or very cost effective, which makes them easy to use.  Read some reviews, ask your peers, and give them a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

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