Useful Digital Design Tools

I never realized how many digital design tools I’ve integrated into my work space until one sad day when I worked from home. My Photoshop was 3 versions behind, none of my typical tabs were saved, and my extensions and fonts were nowhere to be found but my cozy office computer. Here’s what I realized I can’t work without:

Shutterstock’s Adobe Plugin

Guys. I cannot tell you how many times I have downloaded a picture from Shutterstock, plugged it into my design, and then realized it just wasn’t “the one”. Rinse and repeat that 5 times, and I’ve blown through a good chunk of my daily download allowance. If you run into the same problem then BOY do I have news for you! Shutterstock has a magical plugin that allows you to search, and even edit, photos right in Photoshop so you can better visualize your design before you download.

Yes, you read that right. You can edit the still-watermarked photo while you take your sweet time deciding whether or not it’s worth the credit. I’m not sure how long this handy extension has been available but I just found it by actually scrolling down the Shutterstock homepage ( I typically never scroll past the search bar). Remember to stretch outside your comfort zone, kids.



If you’re an illustrator AND an iPad user, you probably already have this. But just in case you don’t, look into Astropad. It connects your iPad to your Mac, turning it into a giant drawing tablet. This is so useful if you’re looking to work on the big screen rather than the actual pad itself.



On that note, I love my iPencil. I’ll be honest with you, I jumped from a crappy Wacom tablet straight to an iPad and iPencil but it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re a tablet connoisseur then I’d do some more research than my humble opinion, but I can say I genuinely enjoy it. 

The iPencil can go for 30 mins with just 15 seconds of charging time which is great if you’re constantly forgetting to charge your devices like I am!

If you’re like me you sit in front of your computer for 40 mins just trying to pick a damn font before you even think about the rest of the design. WordMark allows you to type in text and see said text in every single font downloaded to your machine. SO useful in weeding out  good fonts! I’ve passed up some good fonts in the past because I just didn’t think the ABC sample looked good until I saw it with the text I was using. I don’t use this all the time but it’s a great place to start if you’re struggling with fonts.



I’m sure most of you who already use, or use a better version of, these plugins. I’m still learning, so please let me know if I’m missing out on something cool!

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