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Useful Tools For Both Novice And Expert Designers

A few weeks ago, we communicated the importance of graphic design and its role in the competitive business environment. We discussed how it’s one of the most important foundations of a company and is crucial for standing out, building trust, and effectively communicating with an audience.

We realize that it can be difficult to find the right graphic designer, as well as communicate your vision to them. So this week, we’ll share some of our favorite tools and resources that our designers use, which are useful for both novice and expert designers alike.

Stock Photos

Photos convey what words can’t and can trigger emotions immediately. Whether they’re serving as a background, social media post, website hero photo, or mockup, there are so many uses for stock photos—especially when you don’t have much original content to work with.

  • Unsplash (Free)
  • Pexels (Free)
  • Pixabay (Free)
  • Adobe Stock (Paid)
  • Shutterstock (Paid)

Mockups and Templates

Whether you have years of experience or no design experience at all, there are some online platforms that can significantly increase your workflow and help with mockups, social media post templates, brochures, report templates, and much more.

  • Placeit (Subscription)
  • Canva (Free)
  • Envato (Subscription)

Font Inspiration and Sources

Typography is more influential than a lot of people think; besides, we can’t go a day without seeing several styles of typography. If you want to convey a particular mood or style, pay attention to which fonts you’re choosing. It’s equally important to select fonts that pair well together for headers and body text, as they affect information hierarchy and readability. Below are some of our favorite sites for fonts and font inspiration.

  • Adobe Fonts (Free with Adobe Creative Cloud)
  • Google Fonts (Free)
  • What the Font (Free)

General Inspiration

Sometimes ideas come out of thin air, but most times you need some inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with looking to others for ideas! When it comes to design, making a mood board can be a great place to start. Here are some sites our graphic designers use for inspiration.

  • ItsNiceThat
  • Pinterest
  • Behance

File Management

Staying organized with files is extremely important to us at Madak, as it helps our workflow. We store pretty much everything in Google Drive folders so we can access our work anytime and have the flexibility of working anywhere. WeTransfer is a convenient tool for sending large files for free. Bulk Resize is handy for decreasing image file size for multiple photos at once.

  • WeTransfer (Free)
  • Bulk Resize (Free)
  • Google Drive (Free)

Freelancers

If you are in need of a designer for a simple project, there numerous freelance sites to choose from. If our design team doesn’t have time for smaller projects, we outsource them to Design Pickle. Fiverr is also a great place to hire freelance designers for cheap with quick turnaround time.

  • Design Pickle
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • 99designs

Because we work with a variety of clients who have their preferred platforms, we get exposed to several tools—some of which we end up using ourselves! Whenever possible, we like to hold in-person design workshops with our clients just so they can see how we use platforms, which often results in our clients picking up on shortcuts they never knew existed. Never be afraid to ask for help or advice on which platforms to use; in the end, it will usually result in a more efficient workflow!