Must Have Design Tools
What would a designer be without some type of tool to create designs?! Today I want to share my must have design tools that I use to running my creative business! Everything on my list I use almost daily here at Proof & Parchment and would probably be struggling without them. They are not in any specific order since I really need ALL of them to keep creating! Also as a fun little bonus I’ve listed my wishlist upgrade item for each one.
Adobe Creative Suite
I use Adobe Creative Suite every single day and could not do my job without it! I also mentioned this software in my top small business tools post if you want even more info. The main programs I use are InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. Pretty much anything I create is done in one of those programs, but here is a breakdown of how I use each one.
Adobe InDesign: worksheets, social media graphics, product listing graphics
Adobe Illustrator: cleaning up hand lettering and calligraphy pieces, product files for print
Photoshop: product mockups, any photo editing
Wishlist Upgrade: Adobe Creative Cloud
I have had a small Wacom Table since college and I am so glad I kept it for all those years even when I did not use it. Since I have started Proof & Parchment and have been creating hand designed products it has been a life saver. I use it anytime I scan in and digitize my artwork. It saves me a lot of time being able to use the pen to get precise edits without using my trackpad or mouse. I have a behind the scenes post where I show what type of art I clean up using my Wacom tablet
Wishlist Upgrade: Apple iPad Pro
Pen & Paper
While I do use my computer and Wacom to finalize my designs plus do all of the blogging and business side of things. I do love and need my pen and paper. This is how I start off all of my designs! I love the freedom sketching by hand gives you, it’s easy to come up with endless concepts without having to deal with technology. Even though this is a necessity it’s also a luxury too since it gives me a break from staring at my computer and is possible to do anywhere. I have a variety of sizes of notebooks plus all the pens, markers, and pencils I could need for home and traveling.
I love love love my Apple MacBook Pro and would not want anything else to use. I am on my 3rd MacBook and and have no plans to switch. I love how well they function and that I can take them anywhere with me to get work done. This is especially great when working from home so I’m not tied down to my desk all day. I can get work done at a coffee shop or get last minute tasks done while on travel. Also all the software I need works great on it which makes it one of the essential design tools for me!
Wishlist Upgrade: iMac Pro for a home workstation
This may be starting to seem like an Apple ad….but this is really the things that keep my design business up and running. And my iPhone is an essential part of my business. Besides using it for apps like Instagram which I post on daily I also love the camera on it and use it for my business. I actually have a beautiful DSLR that I use occasionally but my iPhone is just easier and does a really good job with photos especially for social media postings and quick shots. It’s a lot easier to get out and take photos versus my fancy camera which I reserve mostly for photo shoots of new product mockups.
Wishlist Upgrade: the newest iPhone 🙂
Recap of Necessary Design Tools
Adobe Creative Suite for all things design on the computer
Wacom to clean up my hand lettering designs and custom calligraphy work
Pen & Paper to start every design project from scratch
MacBook Pro as my go to computer to do all the work
iPhone to photograph everything for the business plus run a few apps