RESOURCES I LOVE!
Open Colleges recently asked me to share some "Resources I Love" and below is what I gave them. If you are a budding design student, you may find these useful (note: I've added some more, just for you!)
Staying up with the latest trends in graphic and web design is a must. While I have received on-the-job training, I’m largely self-taught before beginning a Open Colleges Digital Design course, and that means worrying that my designs are not up to the standard of University grads.
Before 2006, I knew zilch, zippo, nada about computers and software. So, I spent four years dedicated to teaching myself the Adobe Suite and the only way I could learn was from online resources, which also served to inspire me.
The first useful site I found was deviantArt. A social media page for artists. I uploaded my works and got great feedback, critiques and tips. I learned so much and this is when I started playing with Photoshop and created digital works.
After four years of playing, learning, succeeding and failing (and building a strong online presence - Google ‘Simone Yvette’ sometime...), I was lucky enough to get a job at a newspaper in advertising and online media management. Boy, did I learn fast when I had a weekly deadline, business clients to satisfy and a paper that would look like poo if I didn’t get the print settings right! This is where I began using InDesign. What I learned working at a newspaper was invaluable.
My dream job was outsourced and I out of necessity, I began my own web and graphic design business. Along the way, I have found so many great online resources and wished someone had pointed them out to me a long time ago. So let me share some with you.
All of these should be in your Google Chrome Bookmarks Bar (and if you’re not using Chrome, you should be).
• Google - definitely your best friend.
• Google+ My Business - list your business on Google+ My Business to increase your SEO and visibility on Google Maps and more.
• Creative Market - this one is both a resource and inspiration. Follow them on Facebook, they have the best posts!
• Adobe Stock - beautiful stock at realistic prices.
• Udemy - a great selection of quick how-to courses at an affordable price.
• dafont - free fonts! Yes, not all of them are there, but there are certainly more than enough to satisfy any hard-core font fanatic (like me).
• Dropbox - for receiving and sending large files with your clients.
• You Tube - look up quick how-tos. Eg, how to convert text to curves/outlines in InDesign. You need to know this.
• Vector Stock - you might know how to create vector like a pro, but this royalty-free stock site can save you some time.
• Vision6 - a really great eNewsletter tool with excellent reporting features. Links directly to Xero for importing your client's contact details.
• Pancake - a great time-saving app for invoicing and billing clients online.
• SnapChat tutorial - SnapChat is the next HOTTEST social media business tool that you should start using, if you aren't already. This tutorial helps those still in the dark on how to use it (like me!)
• The Doing Academy - all about creating profitable, lifestyle businesses for female entrepreneurs! Their Facebook page is full of insightful and useful discussions.