Resources to Start Designing

Believe it or not, there are quite a lot of free resources out there for people wanting to get into online design(Adobe isn’t the sole creator of design apps despite what people may tell you). Below are some options, happy creating!

Design Tools:

Free

Canva

  • This is a good tool for making any type of graphic design work if you’re just starting out. The templates are very self explanatory and it’s honestly hard to make an ugly design.

Tayasui Sketch

  • If you enjoy physically painting and creating like me, you realize what a pain it is to scan or take pictures of items to put them online. This lets you create art in different mediums, and it very realistic in my opinion. I have the app for mac and use the free version which is plenty in my opinion.

Marvel

  • Great prototyping app, and very easy to use. If you want to impress people to make them think you can actually build apps, this is the service to use.

InVision

  • This is a prototyping and design app that has clients like Amazon, airbnb, and Netflix to name a few. I just signed up for this but so far I’m very impressed with the capabilities. There is a lot available in the free version as well which I appreciate.

Dropbox

  • Just trust me on this one. It makes life so much easier and lets you access documents in one place and edit.

VSCO

  • I love this for photo-editing. It’s a simple design, and I like the option of posting onto your own page but you don’t have to.

Unfold

  • This is a good app for a more creative feel for social media. I’m sure you’ve seen the cute scripty letters that every single blogger is using with the photos in a template. This is what they’re using, and it’s useful for someone like me who likes to experiment with more artistic things for social media.

Dribbble

  • This is a good way to showcase your design work and see other designers work. There are also challenges that give you a prompt and let you practice designing for different things or with different themes in mind.

Paid

Adobe Creative Cloud for students

  • This includes photoshop, illustrator, lightroom, and many other tools. I use this almost every day, and I can’t recommend it enough. I am just now getting into the phone apps Adobe offers, and continue to be impressed (they were named the #1 best employers for new grads on Forbes list).

    • It is expensive, but I was recently informed that through the University System of Georgia you can get the cloud for $75 a year instead of the usual $30 a month.

Learn

InVision studio’s DesignBetter.co design education books (all online and free)

  • I would start with The Principles of Product Design. We read that for one of my classes, and the author Aarron Walter (who lives in Athens btw) came and spoke to our class.

Start playing around. It honestly is the best way to learn and I usually stumble across things I wouldn’t have found or experimented with originally because of a step-by-step tutorial.

This website has resources for different design tools I haven’t used, but may be useful.

If there are any I missed (I probably did), feel free to add your own favorites.