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Cover image for My Top 5 Free Design Tools!

My Top 5 Free Design Tools!

Max Zander
Professional Opera Singer turned Full-Stack Developer
・3 min read

When most everyday people think about awesome, successful websites and applications, they probably aren't thinking about the code that working behind it. Don't get me wrong — this is not to knock any back-end or back-end-leaning full-stack developers. I just think it's not too much of a stretch to say that most users are going to be more drawn in by the front-end/UI elements of a page/app. So for any of you who are interested in the design aspect of development (or any of you who just want some help strengthening your basics): this one's for you!

I present:

My Top 5 Free* Design Tools!

(with possibly paid add-ons)

1. Coolors

Maybe you need some inspiration or maybe you're colorblind like me and have some trouble coming up with color palates of your own. If either of these sound like you, you should check out Coolors. This awesome tool generates palates for you and provides HEX codes for the each of the colors. See a color or two that you love but don't feel quite as passionate about the rest? Save the ones you like and with a click of your spacebar, you can generate other fitting colors! I love this tool and definitely recommend checking it out!

2. fontpair

Perhaps you're in need of some inspiration when it comes to fonts. Don't want to go with your tried-and-true? Trying to find something that fits your app's specific brand? Check out fontpair to find a font and then find complementary fonts for the rest of the app or site. I don't know about all of you, but my need for font inspiration may be even greater than my need for color inspiration sometimes, so I totally use this one a lot!

3. Canva

This one may be the most commonly-known tool on this list. Canva is an excellent tool which I mostly use for designing logos, but there's a ton you can do with it. Canva has both free and paid memberships, so I definitely recommend starting with the free one and seeing what you think, but I bet you'll love it!

4. WhatFont

Alright team — We've got another font tool! And this one's a Chrome extension! WhatFont is a fantastic extension for recognizing fonts on the web. How many times have you seen a font online and said to yourself, "Ooh! I love that font! I wonder what it's called..." Well, wonder no more, friends! With WhatFont, you can click on the text you're looking at and it will tell you what font it is! How handy is that?! Use it for help or use it just for fun when you're bored (I won't judge!).

5. Unsplash

Like the cover photo for this blogpost? Well, rounding out our list, is Unsplash, a source for royalty-free photos. (The photo above is a photo by Tim Arterbury that I found on Unsplash!) I use Unsplash a lot to make sure that I'm in the clear with photos with regard to royalties. Trust me, you don't want to be stuck with paying royalties you weren't expecting! Try them out and enjoy all of the wonderful photos on there!


Anyway, my friends, I hope you find these tools helpful and that they serve you well. I know they've been wonderful for me and I can't wait to see all the awesome things you all create with these tools at your disposal! Now go! CREATE!!

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