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Designing with Adobe-phobia

Technology is designed to make our lives easier.

But often times, the tech we use to design is really, really difficult. Case in point: Adobe.

The interface is completely nonintuitive, and it takes a lot of time to master. Adobe houses some incredible tools that can create entirely new worlds on our screens. Awesome, but not at all accessible for someone who just wants to make a small logo for their DJ name or turn a cool drawing into a sticker.

Bottom line is that design is fun, and there are hardly entry-level programs for creative people to go digital.

For those of you who don’t want to spend 7,240 hours in Adobe YouTube tutorials, here are some tips for making cool stuff without ever having to open up Photoshop or Illustrator ✊🏻

💎 Sketch

Not Photoshop™. A super powerful computer program that has a waaaay way lower learning curve. Since I mainly do UX stuff, this app is never not running on my Mac. If you need to work with vectors (aka editing shapes), open up this bad boy. Every other program exists right on your phone, but if you need a little more space and a little more oomph, Sketch is gonna be your best bet.

📒 Over

This app is so so awesome (disclaimer because I worked for them for a little bit, but still). They have templates that are optimized for screens (Insta posts, Facebook cover photos, etc), so you can see exactly how your creation will look as you’re making it. Hundreds of dope fonts, patterns, and pictures to pick from, and you can do it all on your phone. It even has more complex tools that you’d never expect to find on a mobile app, like mask, blend, and color dropper.

✏️️ Adobe Capture

Good at drawing but afraid to wander into the digital depths? This. App.Granted, it’s Adobe, but you don’t need any of its computer counterparts to take advantage (although it will sync with your Creative Cloud if you do have an account 😎🆒).

Take any black and white drawing, snap a photo of it with your phone, and watch it vectorize in front of your very eyes.

🎨 Coolors

Colors, baby. So satisfying. So important. So hard to get right. Luckily, a lot of color theory is math, which mean that computers are pretty good at it. is a random color generator, but the cool thing is that you can lock colors that you definitely want in your palette, or use HEX codes to add colors that you definitely need in your palette. What a time saver.

👀 Noun Project

So many designers and creatives opt to reinvent the wheel when it comes to icons and small graphics. In this case, we should take a cue from developers and use the resources that are already out there. Noun Project has pretty much any and every icon you could ever want, so it’s a quick and easy way to add visuals to your project.

There are a ton of other great (and free) creative resources out there that I didn’t mention, but these are just some tools to get you started on getting your ideas off of the paper and onto the screen!

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