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Designing is hard. Picking colours, choosing the right code editor and finding free stock photos (which don’t suck) is a trial every design from Padawan to Master will go through in their career. Luckily for you, we have a nice little list of our 5 most used design tools and resources that we think every designer should be using. You’re welcome

 

  1. https://coolors.co/

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Coolors is a sweet little palette generator made by this awesome Rome based designer, Fabrizio (https://twitter.com/_fbrz) that spits out a fully curated colour scheme in seconds. One of the awesome features we like is the ability to minutely adjust the colours that it creates – and with client feedback like this, “We like that blue, but can it be a little more blue?”, this little gem is a gift from the design gods.

  1. http://thestocks.im/

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The Stocks sources the best in design resources from around the web. From the perfect photos of cats, to the best videos of cats and even fonts that look like cats, The Stocks has everything you need for content in your cat designs. By indexing stock and resource sites in the sidebar, you can easily filter your choices of cat design resources by site, saving you from spending time jumping from site to site. Whats also pretty cool is they have tonnes of other resources, not just cat related! We give this site 5 cats out of 5.

  1. https://atom.io/

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Choosing a code editor is like choosing your starter pokemon; they all have their individual pros and cons, as well as fanatical user bases who relish the chance to push their favourite on to you (Squirtle is the only correct choice).

 

With this in mind, we’d like to take a moment to tell you that your current choice in editor is terrible and you should definitely be using Atom editor. Aside from the sleek UI, native Git integration and Open Source model, Atom’s biggest strength is it’s extremely active community of designers and developers creating plugins and packages for literally every aspect of coding. And all of it is free.

(Stay tuned for a future blog post on our favourite atom packages!)

  1. https://csspeeper.com/

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When designing for clients, be it through freelancing or in your day job, being able to create something that looks and feels like the clients own creation shows that you can not only create something that looks awesome, but actually has the clients values in mind.

 

Problem is, 95% of your clients don’t know about, or care about how what a style guide is. So we have to take matters into our own hands.

 

CSS Peeper is a cool extension for Chrome that allows you to scope out any site’s CSS styling, down to the specific page element. Need to know the padding, font and colour of an input field? What font the H1 is? No biggie, just run the extension and select the element you want to jack the design of and all will be revealed.

 

It’s kinda like a design cheat code.

 

  1. https://muz.li/

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One of the best ways of improving in anything, is to immerse yourself in it. Muzli is a hub of all the latest and greatest in creative articles from around the web, all formatted in a super easy to use grid UI, which constantly updates with new material to scan through. And by filtering down to your creative interests, you can surround yourself in fresh inspiration.

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