Questions tagged [tools]

Questions regarding hardware or analogical tools (but please use software-recommendation for software ones!)

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102
votes
7answers
581k views

How to change the color of the artboard in Adobe Illustrator?

It is practically impossible to edit a white illustration on the default white artboard background. Hiding the artboard makes the whole work area receive the artboard's white color. So, is there a ...
64
votes
14answers
5k views

Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

No matter how nice the composition, flow, and lines of my design are, if I am not copying directly from nature, I have a very difficult time picking a decent color scheme. It either looks too drab, ...
46
votes
24answers
149k views

Why are Apple Macs used so much in the graphic design industry?

Why is it that graphic designers more often use an Apple Mac? I am studying graphic design and I am hoping to do some freelance work in my spare time. I have a unit in my studies to discover why Macs ...
33
votes
9answers
28k views

Are graphics tablets worth it?

I've always felt curious about graphics tablets, but I've never even used one. Most people I know either give up or love them. I'm not a big illustrator myself, but I do the occasional doodle and ...
32
votes
2answers
118k views

How to align objects side by side with a specified distance between them in Illustrator?

I am creating an animated sprite list in Adobe Illustrator. I finished creating the sprites and used the Horizontal/Vertical Distribute Center commands to distribute the objects equally in some area. ...
27
votes
14answers
175k views

How to set the rotation point and use Transform Each in Illustrator?

I have a triangle I'm trying to rotate in Illustrator using the Object->Transform->Transform Each command, but I can't figure out how to set the rotation point like I can if I just use Free ...
26
votes
1answer
33k views

How to delete the path between two nodes, but not the nodes themselves in Inkscape?

I have a contour object, and I would like to delete a part of it (a line). So I converted the object to a path, selected the Edit paths by nodes tool and deleted the unwanted nodes, now I have the ...
25
votes
7answers
25k views

Learning to draw: start in the pen and paper realm or the digital space?

My question is should I start with paper to learn to draw or learn to digitally draw with Photoshop or Illustrator or any image manipulation application. I am thinking of using a book or some other ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Is creative writing needed to be a graphic designer?

I want to be a graphic designer but I'm awful at writing copy, editing, coming up with slogans and catch phrases. Do I really need to learn Writing, Spelling and Grammar and such to be a successful ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How to make a circle with grid on the outside ring

I made something like this: I did this with the Ellipse Tool and the Line Tool. Now the circle is accurate, but the lines inside are very inaccurate. Is there another tool that does the same thing ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

What analog tools should every designer have today?

Prior to the proliferation of software, namely Adobe and Aldus, a designer needed an entire toolbox full of things to get a job done. From t-squares and triangles, to ruling pens, masking tape, photo ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How do big design companies share art files

Many projects with many files all uploaded by humans on one server will get messy, by definition. Even if they have a structure, when 1000 of people work on projects there will be made mistakes. How ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Web-based workflow solutions for graphic designers (hosted and self-run)?

There are some common tasks in almost every graphic designer's workflow that are made immensely easy by the Internet, but are often clumsy to handle through traditional channels like E-Mail. ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What tools would Monks use when DESIGNING a large illuminated letter or pattern?

The answer here: https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/35128/2611 got me thinking about how illuminated letters were designed. There's a lot of resources out there discussing illuminated texts ...
12
votes
1answer
64k views

How can I find the coordinates of a pixel in Photoshop CS4?

Lets say i create a new document of 800px x 800px and I take the cursor on a particular point in the document. How would I know which pixel this cursor is at this moment?
9
votes
3answers
719 views

How to prove an image has been released under Creative Commons?

Assume you use some images with a Creative Commons license. The creative commons license states that the license cannot be revoked if you acquired the images while published as Creative Commons. ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What printing techniques or folding tools can I use to hand fold a commercially printed design without it cracking?

I recently created some tickets that were professionally printed then hand folded into an origami heart shape. We used 170 GSM paper and I'm not sure what ink the printers used. They arrived ...
9
votes
3answers
47k views

Adobe Illustrator error creating text constrained by shape (Area Type Tool)

I am newer than new to Illustrator, but am trying nontheless to design a logo for my friend. The most basic of operations is to create an ellipse, correct? I have created a circle with this tool, ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the best software for creating exam paper template?

I regularly create exam papers in Photoshop with two types of pages: left and right. We create the questions in Word and then add them into Photoshop. However, this process takes a lot of time and ...
8
votes
8answers
9k views

iPad in Graphic Design: actual usage

Most of my work I perform on MacBookPro, but also I have a retina-iPad device which I never use for any type of graphic design, thus I am looking for solution to the underuse of this costly device. ...
7
votes
4answers
12k views

How do you call “Charte Graphique” in English?

This is not really a translation question - more of a designer vocabulary. How do you call the set of visuals, logos, designs, colors, fonts... that make a whole design project? In French we would ...
7
votes
7answers
78k views

How create rounded corners for a layer or selection in Photoshop

I have a white screen area 142x113 px in Photoshop. I select half of this area and tried Select ⇒ Modify ⇒ Smooth but it does not work the way I expected. I tried decreasing the ...
7
votes
3answers
409 views

How to convert object fill in to fine lines?

I am trying to find a way to convert a solid object fill in to millions (more or less) lines? for example: I am okay to use any tools but ideally I want output in SVG format (not necessary tho) ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I automate the process of cutting intricate shapes out of paper?

I am trying to find whereabouts and name for this kind of automatic paper scissors, source of image here. I understand it so that one plugs in image with formats such as vector and raster and then it ...
7
votes
6answers
55k views

What computer hardware matters to a graphic designer?

I've had my MacBook Pro since 2007 and I'm starting to think about what the next system might look like. I'm not made of money, but if upgrading a component helps to make me a more efficient worker ...
7
votes
7answers
49k views

Why doesn't the gradient tool appear over the object I've applied it to in Illustrator CS6?

Why doesn't the gradient tool appear over the object I've applied it to in Illustrator CS6? I have to click and hold down to adjust the size of the gradient on an object or just use the gradient ...
6
votes
2answers
97k views

How do I hide guides in Photoshop?

I am working with Photoshop and I was wondering if you can hide the guides temporally just like in Pixelmator?
6
votes
4answers
877 views

What is the name of hobby grade equipment to create photos where the background can be easily removed?

I know that in movies they use green screens or similar to be able to edit out the background from shots. But what is the name of a piece of equipment or setup I need in order to take a picture of say ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an “Eber rule?” (Ruler to measure type)

I heard someone mention a tool that was used for specifying type in the pre-computer days, called an "Eber rule." What was it and how was it used? Is it the same thing as a font ruler? And did I ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

Illustrator eyedropper: What effect does different 'Pick up' and 'Apply' settings have?

Double-click on the Adobe Illustrator eyedropper icon, and you get a useful panel of advanced options that allow you to control what it picks up and what it applies. Two columns, 'Eyedropper picks up' ...
5
votes
2answers
14k views

What is InDesign used for?

What is Adobe InDesign used for as opposed to Photoshop or Illustrator?
5
votes
5answers
258 views

Design software that allows reuse of common elements, like the DRY principal of programming

Often when I am designing for the web (be it mocks, or full spreads of websites) I have many repeating elements throughout my document. I am looking to follow the Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the fastest-drying pen?

I'm talking about real pens, not software! I love drawing with Sharpies except that I often smear the lines with my sweaty wrists! What's a similar black drawing pen/marker (felt tip or otherwise) ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What makes a Moleskine notebook so good and when should someone invest in them?

What makes Moleskine so frequently cited as the go-to sketchbook for artists. StackExchange offered us Moleskine notebooks (though I still never got mine!). There's countless pages on the web ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the best tools for testing how a website will look on different platforms and what are their pros and cons?

What are the best tools for testing how a website will look on different platforms and what are their pros and cons? This includes knowing how my layout/fonts display and functionality in various ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How to preview colors when using the color picker in Illustrator?

When using Adobe Illustrator, how do I preview my changes when I'm using the color picker to change the color of an element? Picking the color of an element is dependent on what's around it, so I'd ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Designing forms for printing in InDesign

I have to make a lot of forms in InDesign. Not interactive forms, just forms that need to be printed. It's really a pain making all the checkboxes, radio buttons, lines and text fields and ensuring ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How to input 'Registered Trademark' Glyph in Inkscape?

I went to: Text → Glyphs → and found the symbol. However, I can't get it from the window box to the artboard. I've searched Google & YouTube, but cannot find the answer. How do I type ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

Is there a color scheme designer like Kuler that can hold many colors (+30) at a time?

I'm designing a color scheme for a web application with a data dashboard. I want the graphs and data visualizations to have a default color palette with distinct colors that maximize the ease of ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What to look for in projectors to use in murals

To paint murals we will use an old 20th century overhead projector and transparencies to project images on a wall and draw preliminary outlines. Bulbs for the projector are getting hard to find. I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

Why doesn't the Shape Builder Tool let me select this specific shape?

I'm just starting to use Illustrator and I was watching some tutorials, but they don't have this problem. Why is this happening?
5
votes
3answers
563 views

iOS, Android, etc., tablet devices in a design workflow?

I'm going to have to spring for one or more tablets (iPad, Tab, whatever) for testing ePubs, digital magazine ads, site rendering, etc. Because I don't have the consumer nature and also because I'd ...
4
votes
1answer
746 views

The pros and cons of using the appearance panel to create complex shapes and strokes in AI

Recently, I've been going over some Lynda tutorials for Adobe Illustrator and there are several sections where the presenter uses the appearance panel to modify the shape and stroke (and add ...
4
votes
5answers
61k views

How to enable Paint Bucket instead of Material Drop Tool on CC 2015?

I'm using photoshop CC 2015 and I can't select Paint bucket anymore, only this annoying Material Drop Tool is shown instead of bucket in the Tools. any ideas?
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I create a twisted torus?

I need to do the following shape in Illustrator, if can be done by Illustrator. I think it can be done by spiral, circle and pathfinder tools but I'm not sure. Please I need the details of how to do ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

How to find which brush was used in a layer in Photoshop?

In a new layer, I selected the shape of the letter U and used a specific brush to brush in that selection in Layer 16 (in the screenshot below). Now I can't figure out which brush I used to get this ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

3D character modeling tool

I am working on building a Strategy Game (it will be in 2.5D), and for graphic design part we are using Illustrator and Photoshop for designing (including designing characters). Now we want to start ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it better to illustrate on matte paper or glossy paper?

I have searched for this question here but I did not see anything in regards to paper. I ask this question because some have chosen different types of paper when illustrating and I do not understand ...
4
votes
3answers
852 views

Is there delete anchor point tool for multiple anchors in Illustrator CC?

I'm looking for a way to remove multiple anchor points from path, but keppeing path intact. Now i select multiple points with lasso tool, then hit delete, then select 2 new end points and join them. ...
4
votes
1answer
817 views

What digitizer stylus would most naturally replicate the range of touch between a mechanical pencil and a Uniball micro-point?

I am looking to start digitizing my work by re-drafting it from sketch books. This question is less about specs and hardware and more about the feel of the media, both in terms of mechanical pencils/...