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Digital design resources I love

by Simone Halloran

Looking for inspiration? Information? Or just some tips to make your learning journey easier? In our Resources I Love series we chat to our students to get the inside information on what resources they turn to when they are studying, creating and working.

This month, we talk to Open Colleges’ Certificate IV in Design (Digital Design) student and designer, Simone Halloran, who shares with us the resources she is using to inspire, inform and assist her work.

For me, staying up with the latest trends in graphic and web design is a must!

Before 2006, I knew zilch, zippo, nada about computers and software. So, I spent four years dedicated to teaching myself with online resources, which also served to inspire me.

After these four years of playing, learning, succeeding and failing (and building a strong online presence), I was lucky enough to get an advertising job at a newspaper and in online media management. Boy, did I learn fast when I had a weekly deadline, business clients to satisfy and a paper that would look terrible if I didn’t get the print settings right!

Later, out of necessity, I started my own web and graphic design business. Along the way, I have found so many great online resources and wished someone had pointed them out to me a long time ago. So let me share some with you.

Resources I Love

All of these should be in your Google Chrome Bookmarks Bar (and if you’re not using Chrome, you should be!).

  • Google – definitely your best friend.
  • Creative Market this one is both a resource and inspiration. Follow them on Facebook, they have the best posts!
  • Adobe Stock – beautiful stock  photos at realistic prices.
  • Udemy  – a great selection of quick how-to courses at a affordable prices (most are between $10 and $20).
  • dafont  –free fonts! Yes, not every font is there, but there are certainly more than enough to satisfy any hardcore font fanatic (like me).
  • My Fonts | Font Squirrel | What Font Is – these three are all great font resources and some are really helpful when you need to identify a font.
  • Dropbox – for receiving and sending large files.
  • YouTube – look up quick how-tos. For example, how to convert text to curves/outlines in InDesign (you need to know this!).
  • Envatotuts+ – how-to tutorials and free online courses
  • Vector Stock – you might know how to create vector like a pro, but this royalty-free stock site can save you some time.
  • Photobucket | Flickr | – free image hosting, storing and sharing.

My inspiration comes from everywhere: life, other graphic designers, magazines and newspapers and online websites. Here are a few of my favourites…

  • Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest – There are so many talented people out there. Follow as many as you can to see what’s trending in the design world. I get so much inspiration from following graphic designers around the world on Instagram; definitely a fave of mine! Sales sites are good too – Redbubble, Zazzle etc.
  • TV – There are some great television shows that centre around interior or graphic design and I think the two worlds bounce off each other nicely. Watch things like The Block, any of the renovation/house-flipping shows on 9Life. You’ll see parallels that will inspire your graphic design work.
  • deviantArt  – get talking to other artists, photographers, and designers. They will soon tell you if your stuff works or not.
  • Adobe Inspire Magazine – if it’s pretty and amazing, it’s there, and it will inspire you.
  • Magazines | Newspapers | Printed Materials – good old-fashioned printed materials are a beautiful thing. Be inspired by the dedicated hard-working teams that bring you these products. While we’re at it, go to information/tourist centres and collect brochures, booklets, business cards and any other marketing material.
  • General online browsing/other graphic designers – see what others are doing with websites and design.
  • Life – talk to people and businesses. Experience life. Watch the world of graphic design evolve around you, it’s everywhere! You won’t be much of a designer if you sit in solitary confinement.

And for those of you starting out, here’s a 30-day Illustrator course by Vector Diary. You’re welcome!

If you would like to view more of Simone’s work, you can visit her website: Little Birdy Web Design www.littlebirdywebdesign.com.

Do you love design?

Why not turn your interest into a career with a design course from Open Colleges. Study online in your own time and at your own pace.

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14 Responses

  1. Geetha says:

    This blog is impressive and informative. It clearly explains about the concept and its techniques. Thanks for sharing this information. Please update this type of information

  2. venkatweetz says:

    Nicely Crafted blog post. best part is resource i love and its list. Worth reading.

  3. Web Wizards says:

    Great list of useful resources here. I would highly recommend the Adobe Kuler tool which is an awesome tool to create nice looking color schemes when designing a website. Cheers

  4. Suresh Nathanael says:

    Hi,
    This is nice one, really awesome Digital design resources. Nice part is Design resource i like and its list.
    Thanks for sharing this information.

  5. fws wm says:

    organized information with great set of resources. keep rocking mate

  6. Sujatha Chaitu says:

    wow, awesome article post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  7. RRB Bhopal Nic says:

    great designs,really very appreciable.

  8. Amanda Jones says:

    Thanks for sharing this useful list, it could really point an individual or small business in the right direction when they are just starting out.

  9. Jayne Simmons says:

    Good article, I use most of these tools myself and would recommend them also. Thanks for posting.

  10. Great Share. Some of the Big Brands also use Trendy designs on their website.

  11. Jaden Parker says:

    Thanks for this article. I really loved the designs given above. Will surely try the given tools and update you with the benefits.

  12. Rahim Khan says:

    This is really amazing Digital design resources. Nice part is Design resource i like this list. Thanks for sharing information with us.

  13. Hussain says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Great article Lot’s of information to Read…Great Man Keep Posting and update to People.Thanks

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