Some of my favorite design tools.

Some of my favorite design tools.

Ever just want to make things easy for yourself? Of course you do! Everyone does. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite resources that make the challenge of designing a little easier, and then talk a little bit on how I pair fonts together. 

Also, I use programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, which are pretty heavy duty design software that you might not have access too. But I hope some of these tips will carry over in to any program you have.

Anyway, on with the show!

Graphic resources:

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the noun project

The Noun Project is a collection of simple vector symbols, most are free for personal use without a license. It's great basic imagery, better than wordArt, for putting together some simple posters. I've used it before when putting together some icons that needed to be understood across language barriers and for graphics in professional presentations. 

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I love these simple backgrounds. They are a great backdrop for almost any imagery and add a ton of texture. They also make great website backgrounds as they are seamless and load quickly in the background. Prepare to spend some time flipping through pages of patterns. 

font resources:

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DaFont has a really large selection of fonts and some pretty useful tools to help sift through tons of fonts to find the one you need. I personally like the "preview" box, where you can enter a phrase and see how it looks in each font (as seen in the picture).

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Lost Type

This website is run by a team of designers, so naturally it has some really fantastic fonts! The fonts are really well put together and professional. And it's donation based, so you can pay however much you feel appropriate for the font you love, with all the money going directly to the designers! It's great when you don't have a ton of money to invest in a project, but still want professional results.

font pairings:

Some basic tips to pair fonts:

  • Use 2 or 3 max. More than that and it takes a ton of work to make them work together.
  • It's all about hierarchy. Header font, sub header font, and body font. 
    • Header is usually your most interesting font.
    • Sub-header provides some contrast or color.
    • Body font is always the most simple and easy to read. 
  • Don't use fonts that are too similar. I.E. Two handwritten fonts, or two slab-serif fonts.

This is a headline

this is a subheadline

The rest of this body font....

 

More examples:

 1. Cubano, Baskerville, Tahoma  2. Wisdom Script, Big Noodle Titling, Georgia  3. Abraham Lincoln, Taller Evolution Revolution, Century Gothic

1. Cubano, Baskerville, Tahoma

2. Wisdom Script, Big Noodle Titling, Georgia

3. Abraham Lincoln, Taller Evolution Revolution, Century Gothic

You can search pinterest for font pairing ideas as well. Check out our pinterest board for some inspiration!

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