The Design Tools And Apps I Use

Lately, a lot of people are asking me about the apps and tools I use as a designer. So I decided to open up my secret box and share a short list with all the stuff I use for my design work. 🎨

1. After Effects

One side effect of using After Effects: people will constantly ask you what software you’ve used. Many people are unaware of the wide angle of stuff you can produce with After Effects, and they’re always surprised to realise.

I personally go with AE for any motion work, animation, interaction design and prototyping. When I abandoned Adobe Animate (aka Flash) and started using AE, my animations have improved a lot and I learned many new techniques for creating smooth motions.

2. Sketch

The one and only for product design. I use Sketch and several of it’s plugins to design user interfaces, landing pages, data visualisations, and even icons. For me, Sketch is the most simple, intuitive and fast design software on earth, and it‘s the only app that runs 24/7 on my computer besides Chrome.

3. Photoshop

The mother of them all. Breaker of paint. The one that got me into design years ago. Even though I’m using Photoshop less lately, it’s still powerful and is one of the tools I can’t live without. I use Photoshop for photo editing, for cutting objects, and adjusting colors.

4. iPad Pro 12.9" & Apple Pencil

My new toy which is slightly becoming an integral part of my work. I like the portability, the intimate feeling when holding it, the screen size and the apps that work with the Apple Pencil. I use my iPad Pro for sketching and illustrating, and the apps I use are mainly Adobe Illustrator Draw and Procreate.

The Apple Pencil is amazing. I was surprised by how smooth and natural it feels. Since I got this pair, my illustration work has become much more fun, quick, easy, and I was able to achieve that authentic “hand-drawn” style of illustrations (the icons for this article for example). Watch how I draw with the iPad and the Pencil on my YouTube Channel.

5. Dot Grid Notebook

Love that notebook! This dots grid is very useful for many things such as logo design, icons, typography, and UI layouts. Even though I’ve been using the iPad Pro for sketches and drafts lately, I still love to go back to the roots of pen and paper. Something with this off-screen activity engages a different part of the brain and can bring better results.

6. Dribbble

My BFF for inspiration. I start my mornings at the office scrolling through popular shots on Dribbble for around 30 minutes. For me, it’s the best place to keep myself up-to-date with the popular trends, styles and techniques. I love seeing other designers work and I love sharing my work to get feedback. Dribbble is my tool for finding inspiration, ideas and best-practises.

7. Color Hunt

My side project, Color Hunt, has become a useful resource for me. I use Color Hunt to catch the right color palette for my illustrations, animations, and branding projects. Since all the palettes on Color Hunt are created by its users (designers from all over the world) It gives me the possibility to pick a palette of colors I would’ve never come up with by myself. Read more about Color Hunt here.


Thanks for reading!

I hope you found this list useful! Give it a 👏 and write a comment below if you have any feedback or question!

Gal