Tools don’t make the designer. It’s your process, mindset, experience, creativity, problem solving skills and sometimes just a gut feeling.
But still, the designer needs his tools and resources. Design is a job. Design is a business. We need to create, prototype, test and ship. Having the right tools and materials can help us to work faster and be more efficient.
I’ve personally used everything from this list at some point in my work and I truly recommend it.
Please note that there are some affiliate links, which means that I’ll make a couple of bucks off of your purchase if you click the link and buy a product. In other words, my next cup of coffee could be from you – thank you!
On Web Typography
CSS3 For Web Designers
Designing for Emotion
Design Is a Job
Responsive Web Design
The Elements of Typographic Style
Steal Like an Artist
The Design of Everyday Things
HTML and CSS
CreativeMarket.com is my favorite place to go for any digital design materials like icons, textures, illustrations, product mockups, stock photos and even design templates.
thenounproject.com is a catalog of symbols and icons created by designers around the world. You can download and use icons for free if you give credit to the creator or you can pay $9.99/month and use it without needing to credit the creator.
iconfinder.com is an icon search engine. You can search for any icon and quickly find the entire premium icon set associated with that icon.
Free Stock Photos
If you’re looking for free high-resolution stock photos that you can use in your design projects, I recommend checking these out:
Web Tools & Apps
fontastic.me is a great web app to build your own web icon font collections and use on your own website.
InVisionApp.com is my favorite tool for quick design prototyping and getting feedback on my designs. It’s not just a web app – check out their blog and email courses because they provide tons of information and valuable content.
HotJar.com is a web app that can help you optimize your design for conversion. You can generate heatmaps, watch screen recordings of how your visitors use your website and even measure your funnel conversions.
Gridlover.net is a very easy and free web app to create your own typographic systems with modular scale and vertical rhythm. It’s super useful and that’s how I usually start setting my typography for any design project.
Running Your Website
I run my own website on the Rainmaker Platform. It’s a great solution if you want to focus on building your audience and creating valuable content. You don’t have to worry about hosting or any system updates. There are tons of functionalities already built-in like membership, selling products, marketing automation, a/b testing, etc.
If you want to have more control over your website and want to host a WordPress website on your own, I truly recommend websynthesis.com hosting, which I use for my other website, Typespiration.com. Synthesis is one of the best managed WordPress hostings and that’s why it’s more expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, I would recommend checking out Flywheel, which I have also used for some smaller projects and a couple of clients’ websites.
The Genesis Framework is my choice for the WordPress framework. I’ve been using it since 2009 for all of my websites and I couldn’t love it more.