The global pandemic has transformed the lives of so many individuals in the working population. As businesses shift from traditional offices to remote work conditions, graphic designers are no exception. Although a significant majority are already working from home as freelancers even before the pandemic, remote work presented an entirely new experience to some.
As more countries have started to ease COVID-19 protocols, including lockdowns and physical social distancing, things are gradually beginning to return to their normal state. However, remote work setups in the graphic design landscape are likely to stay in the long run.
According to a recent report by Forbes, 77% of designers expect client companies as more open to hiring remote graphic designers. Going forward, businesses in the graphic design industry have recognized the sundry benefits of remote collaboration and are keen to keep it as a permanent setup in place of traditional offices.
Part of what makes the lives of graphic designers much easier when working remotely include a variety of graphic design tools that help them carry out their day-to-day tasks. In this blog, we compiled the best virtual collaboration tools and graphic design software that professionals often use in graphic and web design.
What Are Remote Collaboration Tools?
Freelancers make up 90% of the whole graphic design industry. These graphic designers who work remotely rely on collaboration tools to work in unison with their teams and clients. These tools for remote teams come in different varieties and purposes, all sharing the same goal of fostering interaction and communication between people working together as a group.
Some examples of remote collaboration tools include project management apps, good invoicing software solutions, video conferencing tools, and file management software.
For remote graphic designers, the tools allow for full team visibility and accountability. By using a specific collaboration tool, it is easier for each member on the team to see the bigger picture of the tasks they are working on and gauge their individual progress. Furthermore, these graphic design tools help teams stay on the same page while working on different projects.
What Is Graphic Design Software?
A graphic design software enables graphic or web designers to craft and create a variety of visual content, from billboards to brand logos and infographics. These tools cover the essentials of visual design, enabling professionals to create a cohesive content with consistency, impact, and a clear message for the target audience.
Basically, a graphic design software uses either CAD, vector, or raster graphic reading and editing methods to create, modify, and view digital art. This type of software is often used in creating eye-catching logos, digital fine art, clip art web graphics, digital photos, and more. It comes with a unique set of features that allow users to tweak colors, shapes, lines, and textures of digital art and images.
With this tool, graphic designers can easily create stunning and appealing visuals for blogs, websites, printed materials, social media posts, and more.
What Is File Management Software?
Graphic designers often use file management software to store, organize, and share files across multiple devices. This software enables users to create and store new files from a computer, laptop, or mobile device.
From a single, unified platform, users can easily access all the files stored on the system and organize them in different hierarchical arrangements, such as categories, tags, and folders for easy classification.
Creative teams and graphic designers rely on file management platforms for sharing files of bigger sizes and better quality. These tools allow users to share and present their work to clients using large-scale previews and better quality options for each file.
Through file management platforms, designers and creatives can easily store their project files remotely and make them accessible to their clients and other designers.
Best Remote Collaboration and Graphic Design Tools
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were already giving graphic designers the opportunity to work from the comfort of their homes or from wherever they want in the world. Sure, there are still a few organizations that require graphic designers on site, but the pandemic caused a major shift that forced even the largest organizations to fully adapt to a remote working environment. This made remote working conditions more widely available for graphic designers.
That being said, here are some of the best remote collaboration tools and graphic design tools used by graphic designers in various industries.
Procreate is an indispensable digital illustration application that allows graphic designers to create their own drawing and paintings from their iPad tablets. Packed with features specifically designed for creating art on a mobile app, the application enables users to bring any of their ideas to life. With Procreate, users can create and enhance illustrations, photographs, and 3D artwork.
The application can be used for crafting and designing anything, from banners and small logos to full-size posters and packaging designs. With its streamlined and user-friendly interface, Procreate allows users to work on their craft faster and more efficiently. It also offers multi-touch gestures for effortless control.
On top of those, Procreate lets users pair Apple Pencil to their iPad tablets so they can start drawing right away. The application comes with optimized brushes that work natively with pencil devices from Apple, allowing users to maximize its pressure and tilt. Procreate also allows users to customize Apple Pencil’s brush responses.
Additionally, Apple Pencil comes with a range of keyboard shortcuts that lets users access an array of advanced features. By simply pairing any compatible keyboard to an iPad tablet via Bluetooth or iPad Pro Smart Connector, users can access commands for adjustments, selections, color, and eyedropper.
02. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite of graphic design, web development, and video editing applications that allows users to create and showcase their creative work. Basically, the suite of apps includes Acrobat DC, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Adobe Photoshop is arguably one of the most popular graphic design tools that graphic designers use in creating digital art. It is known for its robust features, ease of use, availability, and performance. The application also offers a number of website design templates that designers can use to create spectacular designs for their clients.
Graphic designers use Adobe Illustrator to create appealing vector art and illustrations across desktop and iPad devices. The application comes with a range of features, such as recolor, custom effects, animated lettering, lay out text, and more. As a vector drawing and editing tool, Adobe Illustrator can be used for all types of media. From small edits to sophisticated designs, Adobe Photoshop offers users a variety of tools for every level of editing.
Additionally, the application offers a wide range of design templates allowing users to access images, videos, graphics, designs, and other creative assets. By simply selecting any design template, users can easily download and modify them as needed to accelerate the process of graphic designing.
On the other hand, Adobe InDesign is a layout and page design application ideal for print and media content. The application offers a wide range of features to help users create and publish books, digital magazines, interactive PDFs, posters,eNooks, and more. Its features are also useful in applying page design, layouts, and style.
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Sketch is a Mac-based application that enables graphic design teams to collaborate on the entire design process, from the early stages of designing to creating pixel-perfect digital art. It offers an intuitive user interface that lets creatives and designers build stunning artwork in a breeze. In addition, Sketch provides a set of intuitive vector editing tools that lets users scale up their designs and keep things consistent with the style of their art.
Sketch also lets creative teams work on design projects in real-time. It comes with a set of cross-platform features that lets everyone in the team share files, feedback, and insights in real-time. It has a shared library that provides users with instant access to a set of design files and components that can be used for any design projects.
Canva is a simple and user-friendly design platform that helps users create appealing and professional quality graphic designs. This tool is popular among novice designers and professional graphic artists alike for its simple-to-use features and drag-and-drop functionalities. From graphics and posters to visual charts and marketing content, Canva makes it easier to create professional-looking designs for almost every purpose.
Canva also provides a vast selection of images, fonts, and templates that let users create design projects from scratch. Its drag-and-drop editor enables creative teams to work on custom designs and templates that contain visual elements relevant to the style and branding of their clients.
05. Amazon S3
Amazon S3 is another useful graphic design tool that graphic designers rely on for document storage and management. It offers industry-leading performance, scalability, security, and data availability. Amazon S3 allows users to store and manage files and documents with unmatched compliance and audit capabilities.
The application lets graphic designers conduct data storage, backup, retrieval, and archiving operations via Amazon Web Services. Additionally, Amazon S3 comes with plenty of useful features for data transfer, access control management, versioning, and data replication.
The application can also be used for file sharing, enabling graphic designers to quickly transfer and share their work with their clients. Amazon S3 has an array of document management features, allowing users to organize, optimize, and configure data access according to specific business requirements.
Dropbox is another file storage tool popular among remote graphic design teams. It allows creatives and designers to preview and sync large files, store documents, and get instant feedback from their clients.
The application allows users to preview files in full resolution, making it easier for graphic designers to send Photoshop, PostScript, SVG, Illustrator, and Sketch files to their clients without having to sacrifice file quality.
Ideal for freelancers, agencies, vendors, and cross-functional in-house departments, Dropbox provides powerful storage, file sharing, and collaboration tools. It enables creatives and designers to collaborate with teams on larger design projects.
07. Google Drive
Google Drive is an innovative tool that lets graphic designers store files in the cloud and synchronize them across multiple devices. It provides easy and secure access to digital files, allowing graphic design teams to collaborate with each other while working remotely. The application ensures that all user files and documents are secure, private, and safe from potential data breaches.
Powered by AI, Google Drive’s search capabilities allow users to locate important files and documents with unmatched speed, reliability, and performance. The application works on most major platforms, allowing users to access files and images from computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
iCloud is a cloud-based file-syncing and storage platform ideal for Apple devotees. The application integrates well with macOS and iOS ecosystems, making it easier for users to store files through Finder. iCloud helps creative teams and graphic designers to securely store and update all their documents, videos, photos, design templates, and digital art across multiple platforms.
On top of that, projects and files from the iWork suite are automatically saved to iCloud, making them easily accessible to everyone in the graphic design team. This way, members of the team can easily stay on the same page while working together on the same design project. iCloud automates backing up images and files from a Mac or iPhone to help users easily retrieve their files in case of accidental deletion.
The Assortment of Remote Collaboration Tools For Graphic Designers
So there you have it—the best graphic design tools and platforms for remote graphic design. As you can see, most graphic designers rely on an assortment of tools and remote collaboration techniques to perform day-to-day tasks and complete their design projects. Collaboration tools, especially file- sharing platforms, play a crucial role in the visibility and accessibility of various digital projects, such as company logos, marketing content, paintings, drawings, and more. As remote graphic design becomes a key trend in the creative industry, graphic designers should carefully select the tools for remote collaboration. They should choose tools that can empower them to work more efficiently than ever, especially as part of physically dispersed graphic design teams for remote work.