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A Few Tools to Keep You Company While Designing Awesome Websites

DZone's Guide to

A Few Tools to Keep You Company While Designing Awesome Websites

Whether you design as a freelancer, an in-house employee, or just as a hobby, these tools will help make your next project great.

· Web Dev Zone
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Whether you're a freelancer or a designer in a big firm, you will need a few rudimentary design tools to get your work done. Be it building a website from scratch or redesigning an already existing website. Website designing is not one task – it is a conglomeration of multiple tasks, both small and large, like communication, prototyping, photo editing, copywriting, and designing that contribute towards perfectly functioning platforms with which users can engage.

Most established website designing firms have their own set of tools they use for dishing out stellar website designing projects. BigDropInc.com uses premium editions of most of the common tools used by designers to create stunning website designs that are interactive and responsive.

Here’s our personal list of favorite design tools that all designers must try at least once.

Typography Tools

  • Google Fonts – This awesome tool is free from the search engine giant. It helps you find and use all their high-quality fonts for all your projects. Google Fonts promises great typography for all its users, and the fonts are spread out in over 135 languages. All the fonts are open source, so you can access any font that fascinates you, instantly.
  • Adobe Type Kit – This is a font marketplace from Adobe that promises the easiest way to purchase fonts. All the fonts at Adobe Typekit are supported by the subscription library and are usually available in web and sync.
  • FontFace Ninja –If you like a font you have spotted on a random website all you need to do is summon the FontFace Ninja. You can find stores that are selling your favorite fonts, right now. FontFace Ninja is free, and it has an app that runs on all computers and mobile devices.

Logo Design

  • Free Logo Maker – The Logo Maker is an open source tool that seeks to give you the best logo building options for your website. You can use logo templates and existing graphics to construct something unique within minutes.
  • Logo Garden – This promises a new logo for your brand in just a few minutes. Over 2 million logos have been made to date using this awesome online tool. The Logo Garden logo generator makes use of pick-n-click tools and thousands of font options to keep things snappy.
  • Squarespace Logo – All you need to do is put your company name in the provided field (on the website) and then get started with the DIY logo editor. You can search for symbols and use taglines to create an image for your brand that everyone will recognize.

Prototyping

  • Napkin – This is a fun and nifty tool that can be used to design quick mocks on any iOS device. This is a free prototyping application that is available on iTunes for download. This awesome tool gives you complete layer controls and artboard options. Even advertising professionals rely on Napkin for designing mockups on the go!
  • Axure – This is a paid, multifaceted tool that lets you design powerful prototypes for your website project. Creating highly dynamic, content-rich prototypes with Axure is no challenge at all. It can manage conditional logic, mathematical functions, and data-driven interactions without requiring a single line of coding.
  • Sketch –This is a paid professional design tool for all Mac veterans. It gives you smooth power and natural flexibility with designs. With Sketch, you can tackle complex processes with complete ease. They also have a trial version available.

Stock Photo

  • FoodiesFeedFoodiesFeed is an online reserve of the coolest and most varied food photos any restaurant, food blogger, or food seller would every need! They boast of over 900 premium photos that you can buy or borrow regularly. FoodiesFeed also offers all users lifetime access to their website.
  • Unsplash – This is a free resource of online photos. Unsplash makes it quite clear that you can “do whatever you want” with the photos you get from this online gallery. It has myriads of photos, spanning several themes and occasions, that are likely to suit all designers’ creative needs.
  • Little VisualsLittle Visuals is an online tool that offers 7 high-resolution images with every sign-up. As a matter of fact, this website too states, “use them any way you want.”

Stock Graphics

  • Round IconsRound Icons is a paid tool that promises you something no other icon finder can. It has a magnanimous collection of 30,500 icons that are flat, isometric, in line, and ready-to-use.
  • BrushezBrushez is a free tool that includes a miscellaneous collection of different styles of brushes. This has a wonderful collection of hair brushes, icon brushes, anime eye brushes, wings brushes, and so much more!
  • Icon Finder – This is a free tool that is extremely easy to operate. It has a live search option that allows you to look for icons inside its icon library. It is open source and the library is updated almost every day.

Infographics 

  • Canva  - One of the greatest infographic websites every created. Canva gives you a chance to create anything your website needs within minutes. It is available in over 30 languages and the website landing page has an amazingly interactive UX.
  • Easel.ly - Easel.ly is one of the very few free websites that have all the resources you may need to create your own infographics from scratch. It has an uncountable number of templates that ensure the easy and fast creation of website infographics.
  • Infogr.amInfogr.am is a wonderful tool that guides website designers through the entire creative process. You can create charts and other infographics with the DIY interface that is quite easy to master.

Colors 

  • Color Hunt – This is a freeware and an open source software that serves as an online curation of the most beautiful colors a designer could ever need. Color Hunt allows you to directly download the palettes you like, and share your choices on social media directly.
  • ColorZillaColorZilla includes options like an advanced eyedropper, color picker, color analyzer, and other goodies for all Chrome and Firefox users. Its CSS gradient editor has been compared to Photoshop as well.
  • Adobe Color CC –Another free goodie from Adobe that makes sure no designer ever runs out of color ideas. It is extremely simple to operate and has a visual palette that allows for the direct selection of colors.

Graphics Editors 

  • Photoshop – This is one graphics editor that tops all lists ever made. It is indeed one of the best tools in the industry. This paid tool from Adobe is perfect for touching up photos, designs, and artwork.
  • Illustrator – Another great idea from Adobe, Illustrator is a wonderful tool that allows all artists to better their vector arts. It can make all design concepts come true with minimum time and effort.
  • PixlrPixlr is a collection of photo editor applications that can make any imperfection go away in a jiffy. You can retouch colors, redefine photo borders, add scores of effects, or opt for a quick fix free of charge.

Inspiration 

  • Behance – This is one of the most popular websites for designers, where they can go post their own work. Behance is more of a social networking site for designers only, where they can make and post their portfolio, unique ideas, and creations over time.
  • DribbbleDribbble is more of a show-and-tell website/tool for all website designers. If you are in need of some design inspiration, look no further than Dribbble. It has hundreds of submissions for layouts, backgrounds, images, and icons each day that anyone can use.
  • Designinspiration – You can now showcase your art and creation without the fear of it being copied or stolen. Designinspiration provides the perfect platform for all designers who are in need of some inspiration for their next project. You can call this site the online nexus of the creative collective.

Conclusion

As you can understand, we had to suppress our temptation to go on and on. The list of tools useful for website designing is far from limited. Here we put forth the best 3 from each design category that you might want to try out before starting work with your next website design project.

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Topics:
web design ,web dev ,design tools

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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