My Favorite Design Tools

It's been rainy and cloudy the past few days in the Dallas area, and I am smitten. Overcast days do something for me, but I don't necessarily know one word to pinpoint that "something". I just know that on those seemingly gloomy days, I am more pensive, more gleeful, more creative and more relaxed. Those days stir up in me the urge to sink into an overwhelming chair and doodle, read or write song lyrics. As a matter of fact, I wrote a song just this week. For the win. 

Digging up new doodles and designs is always fun for me; I can look up from my work and a significant chunk of time has passed. By hand, I'm not a great artist. But as we've trekked into a new world of empowering technology, I've become much more capable of piecing together designs with the help of a computer or tablet. I want to share my favorite design tools and why I love them, and hopefully you can grab one to use yourself!


1. Paper by 53- I use Paper on my iPad, and it's just too. dang. cool.  If you open up a blank Sketches template, you can draw, type, paint, doodle and more. You can create anything from a classic logo to a notebook of notes you wrote down from a meeting. While you can use your hand to draw, I recommend a stylus for best performance. Paper sells one specifically for the app.



2. Over- I use Over on my iPhone to add text to photos. I try to align most of my photos on The Cozy Keep Instagram to be within a certain scheme or range of styles. You can also add shapes, edit your photo to a specific social media app display, and use pre-made templates and designs. You can pay to use premium features, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the free version so far.



3. Pexels - Many times, I use my own photos for my design work and for my blogs. However, sometimes I am need of a good image or two. There are plenty of online options of free stock images (remember copyrights, people!), but many sites fail me when it comes to quality and types of photos. I enjoy using Pexels because it matches the brand I'm aiming for and reflects today's modern society. 



4. Pinterest Design Boards- This takes some curation on your part, but I highly recommend establishing a Pinterest board solely devoted to design and mood. But here's the deal: don't go looking for inspiration in the normal places. Peruse the posters category, design category, packaging and more. You'll soon realize that there are incredible designers out there who we can all learn from vicariously on Pinterest. Maybe you don't like the actual products or words that you see, or maybe you do. That's not the  goal. Your mission is to dig into patterns, layouts, fonts, color schemes, geometric shapes, sizes, packaging and more that you can adjust and apply to your own work. We create nothing from scratch, but we do create better, impressive things from observing and adjusting from one another. 


Let's stop there for today. Have a go at one of these! Go create, and let me know what awesome things your brain is conjuring up these days!

Alli ClementsComment