Sharpie Pens

I’ve put together this list of some of my favourite design tools. I’m pretty impatient so a lot of these are about time saving. I’ll be adding new things as I find them so check back every now and then…

Make App Icon

makeappicon

That sinking feeling that I used to have when someone asks me to create a new app icon is a thing of the past thanks to this. This site turns icon creation into a joy. It’s worth trying out just to watch the charming little toaster animation.

MakeAppIcon will take a hi-res image (it even takes a PSD if you are too lazy to export) and generates all the icon sizes you’ll need for iOS and Android apps. It names them all according to the latest guidelines, pops them into neat little folders and then you email yourself the zip. The site is regularly updated to keep up with the ever changing demands of new phone sizes and resolutions and has proved itself to be a trusty old friend.

I still pretend to roll my eyes when I’m asked to make a new icon but it’s just to keep up appearances. I get this fired up and have a cup of tea while I think about how quickly my colleagues may have these assets.

https://makeappicon.com

Name Changer

Name Changer App

You’ve exported a load of assets with underscores in the file name as requested. Hang on, what? You want hyphens instead? I just exported 300 jpgs. Ragh. Ok give me 10 seconds… that’s how long it takes. Name changer is an essential app which removes the potential dangers of renaming bulk files manually; not only can you make mistakes but it is soul destroyingly time consuming. Free download link below

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21516/namechanger/download

Craft by InVision

Craft type panel

This is a nifty little plugin is available for Sketch and Photoshop. It enables you to quickly generate content for mockups without having to use precious brain power. The options are already expanding but the two I use most are the Photos and the Type panels.

The photos panel can be linked to a folder, dropbox folder or from Unsplash.com (royalty free, hi-res photos). The plugin allows you to drop in a photo as a scalable smart object the width of your canvas or mask.

I love the Type panel for generating meaningful copy because ‘user@email.com’ and ‘lorem ipsum’ is never going to capture anyones imagination.

https://www.invisionapp.com/craft

Small PDF

This is a real gem. If you have ever created a PDF and tried to reduce the file size using Adobe you are going to understand why I love this one so much. I don’t know how Adobe do it but they really know how to pad out the PDF with a lot of unnecessary weight and make it a miserable task to lose it. This tool is brilliant, you can do lots of other stuff on that site too.

http://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf

Unsplash photos

Cute dog

Unsplash is a brilliant hi-res free photo library. 10 new photos are released every day which are added to an impressive catalogue all available with free-license. I think I lost a good hour scrolling this site, don’t miss the search and filters, they are pretty discreet.

https://unsplash.com/

Colour contrast analyser

We can all be a bit lazy about checking contrast, especially when time is short but this is an app you can download and have on stand by.

http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/

Tiny png

Tiny png

This lovely tool compresses pngs while preserving transparency, you can upload and download in batches and appends the file so you don’t have to duplicate or rename first.

https://tinypng.com/

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