Here is a list of tools that I constantly use in my small business to keep things running smoothly, and look good doing it!
*these are affiliate links, but I only ever recommend products and resources that I truly love and use consistenly.
Flodesk is not only intuitive and easy to use and navigate, but it is SO beautiful! It is also really easy to integrate onto your website, whether you want a ribbon banner, pop-up or full-page opt-in.
I have worked with other email marketing platforms and found them to be quite clunky, so now Flodesk is my go-to!
Adobe Creative Suite
graphic design software.
The graphic designer's bread, butter and jam! This is what I learned to use in design school and I have never looked back.
I mainly use Adobe Illustrator (for logos, Instagram graphics and smaller print items), Adobe InDesign (for e-books, catalogues and other publications), Adobe Photoshop (for image touch-ups, editing and simple gifs) and Adobe Lightroom (a more intuitive way to edit photos, specifically colour balancing).
fonts, templates & mockups.
This is my go-to for beautiful fonts with different levels of licensing. Everytime I have a branding project, this is one of the first places that I look not only for fonts, but for inspiration too!
Their mock-ups are STUNNING! They are a great way to not only showcase my work for my portfolio, but I add them to brand presentations to show my clients what their visual identity will look like in real life.
I personally don't use templates as I custom create everything for myself and my clients HOWEVER if you are feeling uninspired or short on time, Creative Market does have some stunning templates available for purchase.
This is a marketplace where a lot of graphic designers sell their fonts, templates and other graphics so the images that are on there are insanely good for mood board inspo. Supporting my fellow designers is something that is really important to me, which is one of the many reasons that I love this marketplace so much.
user-friendly graphic design app
This is something that I recommend to all of my branding clients who aren’t design experts so that they can easily create on-brand graphics across their digital collateral. After creating their brand guidelines, I craft custom templates using their brand colours, fonts and patterns and then transfer it over to Canva.
The free version is good for simple graphics BUT the Pro version allows you to upload your brand’s fonts and logos and keeps it in a brand kit so you will always have access to it.
stunning royalty-free stock images.
I have been using Unsplash since my last year of uni, so you know that this is a good one! This is a website where you can download beautiful stock photos that you can tell have been taken for the love of taking photos, especially since it is a free platform. Since they are lovingly created, they are excellent for branding and social media mood boards, and a lot of the images that pop up in my mood boards end up becoming a part of the final product!
There is always an opportunity to credit the original photographer too which is very important to me.