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30 Useful Online Resources For Graphic Designers

30 Useful Online Resources For Graphic Designers

How would you like to be able to use the same resources that graphic designers use, so you can create amazing websites and other projects? There are plenty of well-known, and not-so-well-known tools on the Internet that the world’s top designers use for many of their projects, and you can access these same tools for all of your projects. Here are 30 of the best online resources for graphic designers of all levels.

1. UI Cloud

uicloud

    This is the world’s largest user interface design database. You can download more than 46,608 UI elements, such as progress bar, music player, and more.

    2. Free Stock Images

    freestockimages

      You will likely be needing images for websites and documents, and you don’t necessarily want to pay for them.

      3. Kaku

      kaku

        This is a great free tool to use if you deal with clients and associates from other parts of the world. This plugin will let you translate text layers into a variety of different languages, and it is easy to use.

        4. Psddd.co

        pss

          This is a great site to use for PSD files. You will also have access to UI and blurred background elements. Find all kinds of templates and more, for free.

          5. Gridzzly

          griz

            If you need grid paper, don’t bother running to the store, or trying to use a ruler and a pencil to create it. Instead, use Gridzzly to create grid paper you can print out for free and use any time.

            6. Colour Lovers

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            colour

              Sure, you have a decent color pallet on your computer, but you likely only have the basic Pantone color pallet. This website has more than three million free color pallets which you can use to inspire you to create amazing projects.

              7. Subtle Patterns

              subt

                Sometimes, you just want subtle patterns for backgrounds. Find about 400 different patterns here for free. You can even get a Photoshop plugin.

                8. Size Marks

                size

                  This Photoshop scrip will convert rectangular marquee to labeled measurement mark. This is a great free tool for web designers and front-end engineers.

                  9. Webydo

                  web

                    Design a website for free, and you don’t even need to use code, so it is also super easy. You can manage content, and even publish independently using Webydo.

                    10. guideguide

                    guide

                      It can be really hard to use guides when you are creating websites. Guideguide will show you how to easily use guides. You can download this tool for Photoshop 3.1.3. There is no cost to use this site.

                      11. No More Banding

                      nomore

                        Don’t you just hate it when you try to do gradient colors, and they end up banding? Put an end to it with this tool, which is free to use.

                        12. Make App Icon

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                        makeapp

                          Here is a fast way to turn your designs into app icons. Simply drop your files, and your icons will be created for you. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and it’s free.

                          13. Hexy

                          hexy

                            You don’t have to select layers, highlight text, or open the Color Picker to get a hex value of a certain color any longer. Just use the free Hexy eyedropper tool to click on any color on the object, and copy it right to your clipboard.

                            14. Perfect Effects 3

                            perf

                              This is a site for photographers, where you will be able to add effects. The great thing about this site is that it is faster and easier to use than other photo editing software, and it is free.

                              15. Cut & Slice

                              cut

                                Export assets to various devices quickly and easily with Cut & Slice. You can even name layers for a better workflow. This is a free Photoshop plugin.

                                16. Layrs Control 2

                                Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.59.23

                                  Download this Photoshop extension for free, and make doing this tedious job a whole lot quicker and easier. Here you will find seven scripts to make layering actually seem like fun.

                                  17. Prisma

                                  prisma

                                    If you miss those great color swatches from Illustrator in Photoshop, you can find them here for free. Connect layers and then re-color them together using multiple PSD files.

                                    18. CG Textures

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                                    gq

                                      It can be difficult to find the best backgrounds and textures for your graphics. At CG textures, you will find just about any texture you can think of, free of charge. One of the really neat features of this site is that you also can check out tutorials on how to use the textures.

                                      19. Free Behance Presentation Builder

                                      behance

                                        Build presentations for your Behance portfolio in a single click. This free PDS File and Action tool is easy to use, so you can build presentations without worrying about all of the hard stuff.

                                        20. WhattheFont!

                                        myfonts

                                          Sometimes you see a font that you really like, but you don’t know what it’s called so you can’t use it. Now, you can send a screenshot to find the closest match to the fonts you like, at no cost.

                                          21. Fribbble

                                          fribble

                                            When you need icons, you can get them at Fribble for free. Some of the neat tools you can use include a Halftone Pack, an iPhone/iPad PSD Mockup, and a Sketch Icon Set. You even get 50 free icons.

                                            22. Velositey Version 2

                                            velo

                                              Using Photoshop, you can design an awesome website in a matter of seconds, for free. Choose from loads of templates and modules, and get the design aspect out of the way so you can get down to the nitty-gritty of creating a website.

                                              23. Liveshare PS

                                              invi

                                                Use this free tool to broadcast any Photoshop document to an unlimited amount of people via a LiveShare meeting. Everything is in real time, so if you make any document changes, they will be seen by everyone instantly.

                                                24.  Instagram Filters

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                                                devian

                                                  This app has 13 filters that are just like the app Instagram for Photoshop, and it is simple to use. You do have to buy the art, and the cost will depend on the work and the artist.

                                                  25. Typewolf

                                                  type

                                                    Choosing the right fonts for your website can be difficult. Typewolf will show you the fonts used on various real websites, so you can see how they look in use. This tool will also recommend fonts for you to use. This tool is free to use.

                                                    26. Free Images

                                                    free

                                                      Any time you need free images, this app has nearly 400,000 for you to choose from. No matter what you need, you are sure to find it here. There are even tutorials on how to use the images to your best advantage.

                                                      27. Free Lorem Ipsum Generator

                                                      layerhero

                                                        This free app will let you see how your design looks with default text or Lorem Ipsum. Customize options for generating words, sentences, and paragraphs in a single click.

                                                        28. FontAwesomePS

                                                        creative

                                                          This tool lets you search for icons, and then click to make a new layer shape that you can edit. There is a huge selection of font icons, and you can download this tool for free.

                                                          29. Photoshop Share Plugin

                                                          lay

                                                            This free tool lets you share your designs instantly. The great thing is that you can do it all from one app, so you no longer have to switch back and forth between apps.

                                                            30. Social Kit

                                                            social kit

                                                              This is from Made by Source, and it covers images, ad banners, and profile photos for social media. This plugin is free to use, and you will find customizable templates for Facebook.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Trapped in Suburbia via flickr.com

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                                                              Published on November 9, 2018

                                                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                                              Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                                              Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                                              So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                                              6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                                              When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                                              1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                                              Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                                              To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                                              In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                                              • Microsoft Excel
                                                              • Microsoft Access
                                                              • Statistics
                                                              • Data Analytics
                                                              • Adobe Campaign
                                                              • Quickbooks
                                                              • XML Database management system
                                                              • Filemaker Pro
                                                              • MATLAB
                                                              • Hive
                                                              • FORTRAN
                                                              • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                                              • SAS

                                                              2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                                              Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                                              Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                                              • Content Management System (CMS)
                                                              • Google Analytics
                                                              • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                                              • Email Marketing
                                                              • Web Page Design
                                                              • WordPress
                                                              • Digital Media
                                                              • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                                              • Campaign Management Software

                                                              3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                                              A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                                              • Adobe Photoshop
                                                              • Adobe InDesign
                                                              • Adobe Illustrator
                                                              • AutoCAD
                                                              • CorelDRAW
                                                              • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                                              • Maya
                                                              • Microsoft Word
                                                              • Microsoft Publisher
                                                              • Operating Digital Cameras

                                                              4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                                              The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                                              To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                                              • HTML
                                                              • C/C++
                                                              • Java
                                                              • Python
                                                              • XML
                                                              • UI/UX
                                                              • LINUX
                                                              • CISC and RISC architecture
                                                              • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                                              • Memory Management
                                                              • PCB Layout
                                                              • SQL

                                                              5. IT Troubleshooting

                                                              Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                                              So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                                              • Backup management
                                                              • Diagnostics
                                                              • End User support
                                                              • Client-Server management
                                                              • Installation and configuration
                                                              • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                                              • System administration
                                                              • Tech support

                                                              6. Enterprise Systems

                                                              Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                                              Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                                              The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                                              Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                                              Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                                              Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                                              1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                                              a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                                              Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                                              Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                                              b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                                              This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                                              c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                                              Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                                              Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                                              2. Rule the Social Media World

                                                              a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                                              Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                                              From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                                              b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                                              This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                                              c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                                              Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                                              Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                                              3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                                              a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                                              From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                                              b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                                              Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                                              The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                                              c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                                              The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                                              4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                                              a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                                              It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                                              From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                                              b. Canva Design School

                                                              From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                                              c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                                              62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                                              d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                                              The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                                              Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                                              5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                                              a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                                              IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                                              It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                                              b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                                              The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                                              Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                                              The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                                              • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                                              • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                                              • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                                              • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                                              • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                                              • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                                              • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                                              Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                                              Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                                              1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                                              It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                                              Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                                              2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                                              Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                                              For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                                              3. Look for Shortcuts

                                                              Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                                              4. Apply for an Internship

                                                              Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                                              By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                                              So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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