Tools, Tactics & Resources Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Becoming a graphic designer has become much easier in recent years, thanks to technology advancements and availability of online resources, like video tutorials, blogs etc.

Basic and entry level concepts are must to learn before you set yourself on the path to use software tools for graphic designing. But did you ever think what all it takes to become an impact graphic designer for your organization or a client.

If you have been wondering so for quite a time, then you wait ends right here. Let’s jump on to tools, tactics and resources you must use as a graphic designer to make a mark in the industry.

Top 10 Tools for Graphic Designers

1. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

After you learn Photoshop, the next important step is to begin using Adobe Creative Cloud, which brings you a gamut of creative tools, like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Adobe Premiere Pro. Moreover, you can work while you travel to any imaginable corner of this world since Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the freedom of using mobile apps for graphic designing.

2. Inkscape

Inkscape

Inkscape enables you to work on illustration along with image formats like Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. Inkscape is very useful for graphics that need to be printed in various sizes and forms. Inkscape comes for free and works very well on every OS.

3. Pixlr

Pixlr

Pixlr is a top-notch free online image editor that enables you to create, edit, layer and save images. It can be used within any browser and provides you access to the fully optimized mobile and desktop apps. You can work from anywhere with hundreds of fonts and photo effects. The best part is, Pixlr allows you to use all the tools that come with Photoshop, like blur, dodge, burn, sharpen, magic wand, and so on.

4. Wacom Bamboo

Wacom Bamboo

Wacom Bamboo is certainly one of the best tools that dramatically improves your ability to demonstrate, edit, alter, craft, draw, design, paint and tune. Being able to use a pen on a tablet for designing makes graphic designers feel as if they are drawing with a marker. The tool comes with in various shapes and sizes to exactly meet the requirements of graphic designers. However, experts suggest to begin with a medium size Wacom Bamboo.

5. PageCrush

PageCrush

PageCrush brings a collection of awesome designs and empowers graphic designers to display their artistic skills through valuable and delicate work. This tool has been playing a big role in promoting a powerful community of graphic designers.

6. Designers Talk

Designers Talk

Graphic designers face new challenges almost every day, for which they need expert advice. Designers Talk is a reliable community for graphic designers to find answers to their daily questions. Hundreds of thousands of active members share knowledge with each other on Designers Talk, and keep evolving as as a better-than-before graphic designer on daily basis.

7. PickMarkr

PickMarkr

Using PickMarkr, you can easily add watermarks to your creations – both customized and digital watermarks. Your copyright woes also end with this tool. PickMarkr enables you to add watermarks to your designs and documents in the form of both texts and images.

8. Visual CSS Tools

Visual CSS Tools

With the help of Visual CSS Tools, a graphic designer can easily edit their CSS codes. Visual CSS Tools gives rise to high productivity, a big reason as to why major graphic design services rely on this tool. Another big advantage of using Visual CSS Tools is that enables a graphic designer to see the effect of each selected property on the final style of the design.

9. TimelineJS

TimelineJS

TimelineJS is a great tool for graphic designers to create interactive and eye-catchy timelines. TimelineJS is available in more than 40 languages and is a vital part of all graphic design services.

10. Tableau Public

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is widely used by graphic designers to publish interactive data in the form of a descriptive infographic. Tableau Public sports an easy-to-use interface, which makes it easily accessible to all graphic designers. Tableau Public requires no programming skills and whatever you create looks great instantly (colors, fonts, text-size, margins etc.).

Effective Resources a Graphic Designer Should Use To Hone Their Skills

Google and your colleagues are the greatest resources to help you become one of the most sought-after graphic designers. It’s simple, the more you share with others, the more you learn. A graphic designer should make it a habit to religiously read books and articles based on core art. Follow great artists and their blogs. Movies, cartoons, games, comics are also brilliant sources of inspiration for a designer. Nature itself is a big resource to learn, you just need to observe and transform your thoughts into a creation.

There are many online resources also available for a graphic designer, but I have picked only the top 10, so as to not inundate you with cumbersome information. Let’s begin!

1. Skillshare

Skillshare

Skillshare brings graphic designers a unique opportunity to learn everything from calligraphy to coding from the masters, like Jessica Hische, Seth Godin, Brad Woodward, Jack Zerby, and Tal Safran. It’s a great resource to learn technical know-how of designing a website.

2. Book Cover Archive

Book Cover Archive

Book Cover Archive is one of the best sources of inspiration for graphic designers who are interested in book design. The site educates designers about book designs and styles.

3. Digital Arts

Digital Arts

Digital Arts is another great resource for designers to learn not just about graphic design, but 3D, animation, video, effects, web design, and interactive design too. Designers can add on to their knowledge via tutorials on many topics, like 3D printing, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and other useful techniques. Digital Arts Tutorial also gives access to news and articles.

4. Fonts In Use

Fonts In Use

Fonts In Use enables graphic designers to identify almost every typeface. Type identification and research becomes very easy with Fonts In Use.

5. Grain Edit

Grain Edit

Grain Edit has been around for nearly 10 years now. The site is an amazing resource for any graphic designer who is looking for a vintage aesthetic. Designers can participate in discussions with the site’s editor Dave Cuzner to learn about new and traditional design pieces as well.

6. It’s Nice That

It’s Nice That

It’s Nice That was incepted in 2007 and since then, graphic designers have been using it as a great resource of arts and design news and projects. A central blog on the site offers significant help to designers to learn designing. In addition, It’s Nice That features events, printed publications and designer’s work.

7. The Design Encyclopedia

The Design Encyclopedia

The Design Encyclopedia provides reference material about design to graphic designers. It’s no hyperbole to say that The Design Encyclopedia is a Bible for those designers who are looking for modern inspiration, applications, or historical information on the people behind iconic designs.

8. Lynda

Lynda

Lynda is a great resource to learn designing. It educates designers about InDesign, Flash, coding, layout design, typography, printing techniques, project management, business solutions, and whatnot. Graphic designers can have all the design related knowledge at their fingertips because such is the power of Lynda.

9. The Noun Project

The Noun Project

Iconography is an important part of graphic designing, and The Noun Project allows designers to become a master of the same. It is also a great platform for people all over the world to communicate with one another. The site offers great help to the designers looking for high quality stock icons and icon inspiration. Icon designers can also earn money by selling their icons on the site.

10. Kuler

Kuler

All your color-related concerns are addressed by Kuler. It provides you a great opportunity to create your own color themes and share them with the Kuler community. Kuler gives you access to thousands of color themes. The best part is you can change them as per your need too. Kuler is, without a doubt, the best source of inspiration on colors for graphic designers.

 

Apart from tools and resources, a graphic designer also needs to learn and deploy some tactics to be in line with their company’s or client’s requirements.

Tips To Know How One Could Become a Successful Graphic Designer

Focus on what you intended when you took up designing. Is it serving the purpose? Is it conveying the message you wanted to convey. Planning is important aspect before working on a design. You must have complete info about the subject you are working on. Wireframes and rough designs helps to see the flaws before actual design.

Update yourself daily with latest design trends and techniques. Try different art styles and challenge yourself to create your own unique art style. Designers are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses, so one should never fear of learning.

A designer often has the tendency to become the biggest hurdle for himself by believing that something challenging is impossible for him to live up to. We can learn anything via continuous efforts and passion can drive us to be more successful in our jobs. Always be open for suggestions and critiques. It sometimes helps to see your creation from a different angle.

And love what you do!

Any additional inputs on what a graphic designer could do to excel in the field of graphic designing are highly welcome in the comment box below.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi, I’d also suggest Placeit: https://placeit.net/ it’s a great mockup tool since it has professional quality and you won’t need to use any photoshop. By selecting an image, you can download a free version of your mockup with a watermark, so you can see the quality of the result.

  2. Thanks for such useful tool list my favourite one is the Adobe Creative Cloud it’s so much useful tool for animated video makers and related to that field

  3. Tableau Public is best to make the website video production and gifts implementation easier

  4. thanks for letting us know such useful list of tools my favorite one is pixlr its so useful fo animated video, makers for editing vectors and images online

  5. I’d like to suggest ProofHub in this list of graphic design tool. ProofHub lets you give complete transparency to your clients about what all is going on in their project. You can easily communicate to your clients who are dispersed across the globe and let them share their feedback on your first drafts in real-time, using Proofing tool. By discussing changes on the files itself, finalizing projects has become hell lot easier. By storing all interactions with the client in one central location you can easily access and find relevant information, past communications and more.

  6. You have explained all the major graphic design tools which can be used to become a professional in graphic designing. These are the best tool one can use. One thing designer should do is to look for inspiration everywhere for creating different type of designs. Between Thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge with us !

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