Tools of the Trade


Are these graphic tools part of your creative arsenal? The latest in fun graphic tech.

The best graphic design artists are about more than the software or hardware they utilize in their work. The ones that truly excel have an artist’s eye and a creative sensibility that stands apart from the crowd. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy (and benefit from!) the latest gadgets and gizmos out there to do their job.

Drawing time

Apps that help graphic artists convert their illustrations into their design work. 

Procreate—An illustration app for iPads, Procreate saves files so they can be used with Adobe. Another bonus of the app is it lets designers save their drawings in multiple layers. It’s not pricey, and with an Apple Pencil you can draw directly on the screen.

Clip Studio Paint—Simple and affordable, this software offers an alternative to Adobe if you need to save some cash. It works on Mac, PC and iPad, and it uses bitmap/pixels.

Ron’s Brushes—Another option for designers seeking to do digital illustrations or paintings, this tool offers a variety of digital environments and atmospheres to give your work a new outlook.

Fun type

Graphic design isn’t just about images, the typography is also crucial, and these programs can help.

Astute Phantasm for Adobe Illustrator—Gradients and halftones your thing? This plugin tool offers a built-in pattern maker that lets you taper and more, until your heart’s content. If you have a thing for 3-D effects and color adjustments, this will be at the top of your must-have list.—Ever had to identify a font from a client’s old ad or campaign? It can be a challenge, one is there to help you tackle. Upload a good screen shot of a font to the site, and it will help you identify what it is.