The Graphic Designer’s Toolkit: Essential Apps and Resources

Guest post by Meaghan Li ’15


Photo editing and manipulation: Adobe Photoshop


Photoshop is now a household name and an absolute staple in every creative industry that you can think of. It lets you enhance, retouch, and manipulate images for all of your everyday and professional needs, whether you’re amping up the contrast of a landscape shot, brightening the smiles in a family portrait, or tackling full-scale creative projects.

 Vector art and illustration: Adobe Illustrator

Before I began working as a graphic designer at Duke, Adobe Illustrator was completely foreign and utterly intimidating. Once you’re familiar with the interface and functionality of Illustrator, however, it becomes a seamless and intuitive powerhouse for all of your graphic needs.

Experimenting with color schemes and palettes:


Color Scheme Designer is an extremely simple and effective tool for creating gorgeous color schemes. Choose your base color, and the website will easily create a palette of complementary, analogic, or accented shades to match.

Creating photo mosaics: Fotor

Here at Duke Social Media, we love using collages and mosaics to showcase several student photo submissions and campus shots at one go. Fotor is my favorite tool for creating photo collages; not only is it simple and fast, but it also gives you several options to experiment with the style and composition.

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