The role of a designer is so much more than just ‘colouring in’. In fact, the UI design process for mobile apps web or games can be lengthy and requires raw talent, flare and imagination – add that to the fact that as a designer you’ll be required to manage the project, communicate with the client and attend meetings, it’s a busy job.
Technically, design software is now available on PC too, however generally a designer needs an iMac or MacBook – and you’ll need a DSLR Camera in order to capture unique images; to get ideas down on paper as soon as they come to you, get a notepad or sketchbook to jot down concepts.
- Illustration tools:
Paper by FiftyThree is a great sketchbook app, while an Astropad Graphics Tablet can be used to draw directly into PhotoShop and Adobe Illustrator Draw for creating vector illustrations.
- Using layout tools:
No designer has the complete package without the Golden Ratio Calculator; use Modularscale for font size ratios, and use Responsify for grids and plotting other whitespace.
- Colour scheme tools:
For building up a set colour scheme around one single colour, use Mudcube Colour Sphere – also consider using Pictaculous for a colour scheme from an image, and COLOURlovers, which is like the Pinterest of colours.
- Perfect presentation:
Show lifestyle images of your designs in action with the Prezi online presentation tool and Placeit, while Visme Presenter is great when you’re looking for a drag and drop presentation creator.
- Tools for branding:
Use GraphicSprings to help create customisable logos by pen and paper – it provides a space that you can make alterations and customisations and is great for inspirational purposes with its useful tool to categorise logos. never forget the power of pen and paper.
- Completing research:
A Computer Arts subscription is a must-have for regular inspiration and advice, or alternatively, try using Niice to gather ideas on a drag-and-drop interface.
- Improving your working environment:
As a designer, you’ll need the optimum workspace to allow your talent and imagination to run wild. A comfortable chair is a must, as is a good desk. The purchase of a good desk and chair from the likes of office monster can prove worthwhile in the long run. You’ll also need a good pair of headphones to dig deep into your work.
- Photography tools:
A powerful photo-editing app such as VSCO Cam allows you to connect with photographers from all across the globe. You can also use programs like PicLab HD for layering text over photos, Gigapixel AI (see the website of Topaz Labs for more info) for improving the resolution of the photograph, and PicMonkey for speedy online photo editing.
- Typography tools:
As a response to a general lack of sources for fonts on design projects, Typewolf was launched. For a font library that’s personal, use Typekit – and try Typecast if you’d like to compare the best of fonts.
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Hey, I’m Rory and I am the ultimate accidental geek.
Born in London I was never interested in technologies until I started a part-time job at Apple and now I can’t get enough. Join me as a help you navigate the world of tech with some of my fellow geeks.