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Designer Tools

Design is a quick, collaborative and iterative process. Today, we are sharing some of our favorite tools of the trade, the apps and websites we use everyday to make our workflow a little bit easier. We believe that these apps will help you communicate better, work faster and add some oomph to your design!



Gone are the days of printing out designs and marking them up with red sharpies. Now this can all be done digitally with Skitch. (‘Thank goodness’ say all the trees!) Skitch allows designers to markup screenshots using arrows, boxes and text, and quickly send it to another designer or developer. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and Skitch helps clear up any confusion about which box it is that you are talking about.

Availabe on Mac, iPad, and Android


Cloud App

Designers often work closely with other designers, art directors, developers, and clients on creating concepts and defining website layouts. With CloudApp you can drag any image into the app in your toolbar and it creates a sharable link automatically copied to your clipboard. CloudApp also allows you to customize the URLS and auto-upload your screenshots.

Requires OSX 10.6.6+


Little Ipsum

When creating a wireframe or design comp, designers usually use Lorem Ipsum, or Greek text, as a placeholder for where text will go. Little Ipsum is a speedy app that lets you easily pick up a few words, a few sentences, or a few paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum text, using their handy drop-down menu in your Apple top menu toolbar.
And, for those of you who are so inclined, you can use Hipster Ipsum – which comes either neat or with a shot of Latin.

Requires OSX 10.6.6+


Google Web Fonts

Until recently, designers were limited to standard web fonts when designing sites (think Arial, Georgia, Courier). Fortunately, designers can now choose from an abundance of webfonts for their sites. Google Fonts is a great, free resource that allows you to easily embed any number of fonts on your website. Google Fonts are open source and run on Google Servers – so they load fast and are reliable. Another bonus is that designers can download the font file and work with it in their design mockup. Skillcrush loves Google’s font library, in fact, our website uses their san-serif, Noticia Text.

All computers
Free (suggested donation)


Subtle Patterns

The web has gotten a lot of dimension recently. Textures, gradients, and layers, oh my! Luckily, you can get your hands on some awesome background patterns from Subtle Patterns. Subtle Pattern gives you two nice ways to download their resources: via a package where you download all of them in one fell swoop or you can collect only the ones you love in .png form and play with them yourself in Photoshop.

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