Graphic design has come a long way in terms of development and the tools that are available to create amazing graphics. Technology is at the core of graphic design and as technology improves, so does graphic design.
Computers have tremendous graphics processing powers, and with intuitive programs, complicated rendering procedures of the past have become an effortless click. All that is required is the creative mind to give a couple of commands, and you have a masterpiece. However, there are a couple of items that any graphic designer should have to be a super designer.
Have you ever wanted to replicate a color, but found it difficult to eyeball the swatch for your digital project? No longer do you have to waste time with trying to match a certain color. Cube, by SwatchMate, is a wireless device that records RGB, CMYK and Hex values to import to your favorite graphic editing program’s color library.
It’s the perfect little tool for in studio or on-the-go creativity. If the color speaks to you, take it with you and use it on projects as you go. It has never been simpler to match colors.
It’s often a good idea to step away from the screen for a couple of hours. Going back to the traditional pen and paper isn’t just good for your eyes, but a change of scenery can serve as the ultimate inspiration for those times where you hit a brick wall. Moleskine notebooks are the perfect carry around book to help you put your thoughts to paper.
Just ask Hanna Bautista, working at AustralianEssays, ‘’Sure, you could use just about any little notebook, but any artist will tell you that the quality of your paper can have a huge effect on the quality of your work.’’ She adds, ‘’Moleskin is renowned for their quality, and you can get just about any size or shape book to carry with you.’’
Photo by Moose
We get it, not all graphic designers are making a killing. You might be starting out and work is scarce, but you need your inspiration if you are going to deliver work of any significance. Music has been scientifically linked to creative thought. It is therefore imperative for any graphic designer to have a music library for every mood.
Luckily, there are a couple of music streaming services that allow you to listen to more music than you will have time for in a lifetime. If you don’t have excess cash, you need not worry because these services provide free options. You just need to listen to an ad here and there if you can’t pay the subscription. It beats having to carry your music library with you.
Check Fugue, the free stock music service which you can also use as your music-streaming resource
There are hundreds of tools available to make your life as a graphic designer easier. However, with the digital age came the age of information overload. We spend more time on our mobile devices than ever before and get bombarded with images that can inspire us. Then came the advent of the screenshot. No longer did you have to navigate back to an image to go and save a copy.
The problem is that because it is so easy, we tend to take so many screenshots, our phones become cluttered. Screenshot Journal helps you to organize your thoughts and inspirations and lets you group your screenshots the way you want to. That way, you can easily go back to your library and see why an image inspired you.
It happens to the best of designers, and there is nothing that stops you from using the tools that are available to help you out. Artist’s block can be a real pain, especially when you have loads of work, but zero inspiration. It is as if your creative mind does a reboot and you have to cope with the frustration of not being able to do anything worthwhile.
Tools like Coolor is a nifty little tool that helps you generate color schemes to your heart’s desire. You never have to sit in front of your screen and stare at it for hours, hoping to get something done. Let the tech do the work for you and provide you with that inspiration when you need it the most.
Photo by Moose
The design world is ever changing, and you need to stay abreast of what is going on. However, just knowing what is going on in the world of design isn’t always enough. There are times where your own creativity fails you, and that is when you need inspiration from others. It’s not like you’re stealing from anyone else or anything like that. You would feel honored if someone viewed your work for inspiration of their own.
Panda is a Google Chrome extension that scours design communities like DeviantArt and Dribbble and showcases all the newly published designs from these sites on one page. It makes it easy to keep up to date and also see what your favorite designers are up to.
This might be a very underrated piece of equipment, but a quality rucksack is essential for the designer on the go. You need something functional that can store all your tools of the trade and also give you quick access to them in your times of need.
The bag needs to be somewhat robust, but also comfortable. It is going to take some shots along the way, and you want to protect your gear as far as possible for as long as possible. Therefore, you don’t need to feel guilty when you splurge on a decent rucksack. Afterall, it is the single bag that contains everything you need to make a living.
There are many tools available besides the ones on the list, but if there is one tool that you will never have enough of it is a tool for inspiration. You need to be inspired to produce quality work. Surround yourself with as many sources of inspiration as you can.
About the author: this is the guest post by Howard Robson, a blogger from Melbourne that enjoys traveling, photography, computer games and meeting new people.
Read useful tips on how to become a graphic designer and check 6 temptations of a graphic designer creating icons.
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