If you work in the creative industry, chances are you know that Adobe Creative Suite is the industry standard when it comes to design. However, whether you are a graphic designer or a marketer, every creative needs an arsenal of tools to streamline your workflow.
These four essential tools are simple, yet effective and have proven to be useful in graphic design – but there are many uses beyond just that. From my own experience – these tools have saved me time, money and have increased my productivity. BUT! The best part about these tools? The convenience factor. It doesn’t matter if you are a design beginner or a seasoned art director – these tools will help maximize efficiency and more importantly, make your life easier.
Safari / Chrome / Firefox / IE8
Have you ever seen a font that you really liked and wanted to use – but didn’t know what it was? Fount solves that problem. This is a tool used to identify any web fonts on any webpage. Fount identifies the specific font name, text size, weight and style in a clean box that seamlessly integrates with your browser. What’s convenient is that there are no downloads, plugins or extensions needed to use this tool. Simply bookmark the Fount webpage and you’re good to go. To identify fonts, all you need to do is click on the bookmark and then the text.
Google Chrome Extension
ColorPick Eyedropper is a tool to sample and identify specific colours from webpages. The eyedropper on this extension is very accurate – it can pinpoint the exact colour per pixel and displays the colour values in RGB, HSL or as a hex code ready to be copied into your work environment. This tool is great for identifying spot colours or a client’s company colours as many companies have strict guidelines about their branding and corporate colours. Using this tool makes it easy to reproduce any colour accurately.
Google Chrome Extension
This extension is probably one of my all-time most used tools as a designer. So simple and saves me so much time. Full page screen capture is an extension that does just that – it captures FULL screenshots of your current webpage. Now I’m not just talking about a regular old screenshot that captures what you see on screen – I’m talking the e n t i r e webpage that you can scroll up and down on. Gone are the days of screenshotting chunks of a site only to have to piece it together in Photoshop! This tool is so easy to use and it’s quick & easy for sending clients website mockups or revisions for approval.
Windows / MAC / iOS / Android
TrackingTime keeps track of the hours spent on any project and the tasks within them. This tool combines the organization power of a project management software with the accuracy of a timing app. You are able to track each task in real time or enter the time sheets in manually. This tool is a software that has proven to be very useful especially in an agency setting as there are often many clients and many projects to keep track of. What is powerful about this software is the ability to view analytics and generate reports based on clients, tasks, projects, time frame, and many other parameters. This makes project management much easier and provides detailed breakdowns of how much time is spent where for your paying customers.