Updated: Sep 21
Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, as every creative professional knows. Long gone are the days of using notepads and colored pencils to jot down ideas. Today, ideas have a new, virtual home. What’s more, these homes are that much prettier and detailed, and at any given point, you can access them from any device in the world.
As you may have discovered by now, we are huge fans of online tools and applications. Call us geeks, but once you take a look at the list of these design tools, you will wonder why we didn’t swap notes sooner!
1. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop: No designer’s arsenal is complete without these tools. Adobe tools are to a designer what a sketchbook is to an artist. Some start-up fashion entrepreneurs opt for a crash course to learn the basics and then develop skills on their own. Give them a try!
2. Sketch: Sketch is a simple, easy-to-navigate alternative to Adobe InDesign, as its Facebook Ads rightly claim. Grid guides are especially helpful for those with no eye for design except knowing that something looks good. You can also use Sketch for free for a while to see if you like it and create your basic garment sketches to share with the design team.
3. Ideaboard: GoMoodboard is an excellent way for startup fashion entrepreneurs to gather their ideas and design a professional mood board. The best part is that they come with pre-designed templates, so it is easy for a novice designer to get started with. Tools like this allow you to gather and share your ideas with the design team, primarily if you’re working remotely.
4. Pinterest: No article on design tools is complete without a mention of Pinterest. The original inspiration board is also a source of relevant pins. Create your own board and share with your external design team, or curate ideas from around the Pinterest globe to get started with. Pinterest is also very intuitive in that once it learns your search patterns, it begins to show you a lot of relevant content that you can also pin.
5. Coolors: Why generate a color scheme from scratch when a machine can do it for you, and perfectly at that? All you need to do is lock in one color after another until you are happy with the palate. You can then export this palette in a variety of formats such as SCSS, SVG, and COPIC without losing an inch of the precision. Again, for teams that are coordinating virtually, this tool is an invaluable resource to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
6. Pantone Color Finder: This is every designer and color enthusiast’s bible. Just enter the color number and see how the shades translate to your specific requirement. Even better, just enter a color name to see all suggested variants in one go. The beauty of this color finder is that everyone who accesses it and searches for a specific code sees the same exact color.
7. Canva: For the start-up fashion entrepreneurs, Canva provides templates, illustrations and thumbnails to be used in a variety of different contexts especially your social media marketing. The paid version unlocks many more features. Canva for Business allows you to standardize colors and use it for all of your communication needs.
Which of these tools have you already tried? How would you rate them in terms of ease of collaboration? Share with us in the comments.
Fuel4Fashion is a design, branding and technology consultancy for the fashion and apparel industry. We provide consulting and advisory services across design, business and IT processes to early stage and mid-sized apparel manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business with the help of smart sustainable management practices. Visit our website here and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.