This is a list of the tools and resources I use in my work.
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with 32 GB memory.
LG 27UK850-W 27″ 4K monitor that can charge my laptop and phone simultaneously. Plus it came in white, so it looks good on my desk. (Yes, I’m the person who buys a bike or athletic shoes based on their color like you’re not supposed to.)
Twelve South BookArc closed clamshell stand, which frees up desk space.
Canon Pixma iX6820 wireless 11×17 printer.
Brother HL-L2370DW compact wireless 8.5×11 printer for quickly proofing layouts.
Canon Rebel XSi.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. Good in low light, plus nice bokeh for pretty, blurred backgrounds. I take pictures of samples with this, and sometimes photos to use in projects. Or just for my life.
I use Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat Pro through the All Apps plan, plus the huge library of fonts included with any level of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
I use Logo Package Express, an Adobe Illustrator extension, to create all the file formats needed at the end of a logo project. Pantone, CMYK, RGB, jpg, png, eps, yada yada. It saves a lot of time. Use my Logo Package Express discount code “jjd20” or this link to get $20 off your purchase.
Currently testing RightFont to organize and activate all the fonts I’ve acquired. I used to use Suitcase Fusion but it got weird so I ditched it.
Mainly Zoom, but I’ve also flirted with Whereby, which doesn’t require participants to download any software.
Sometimes I share a link to a Loom video with clients where I’m talking about what’s on my screen. They can watch it any time.
I use 17hats for sending proposals, contracts, and receiving online payments. Clients can make payments with a bank transfer, and the fee to me is only $5 max per transaction. Credit card payments can also be enabled. Credit card transaction fees are much higher than the bank transfer fee, of course, but a lot of clients understandably like paying with cards. I chalk it up to the cost of doing business and try not to think about it.
A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
They’re a splurge, but worth it. So smooth. I feel like they make me draw better? Or at least draw happier.
I choose the orange ones, of course. A small joy in life.
For sketches of logos and working out layouts. I usually use the back sides of old test printouts. If there’s anything that needs tracing and polishing digitally, I snap a quick iPhone photo of my sketch and Airdrop it to my computer.
For logos and wordmarks where more detailed iterations are needed. Sometimes it’s faster to polish something on paper than with a pen tool on a screen.
For holding samples, brainstorming, and note-taking during meetings. I like good ol’ college-ruled 3-subject Mead with the pockets.
Whichever is cutest at Target, for logging my hours. Most of my jobs are quoted with a flat price up front, so this is just for my own information. There are apps that can do this, but I like office supplies.
MyFonts has nearly everything I buy.
Adobe Fonts: access comes with any Creative Cloud subscription.
Google Fonts: current favorites are Epilogue, Inter, Poppins, Sarabun, Fira Sans, Barlow, Roboto, Space Grotesk, Lora, Source Serif Pro, IBM Plex Sans, and IBM Plex Serif.
Whatfont is a Chrome browser extension that identifies fonts used in websites.
When I want to match a piece of type or find a similar font, I run a sample through WhatFontIs.com and it will try to find the best matches.
iStockphoto, Shutterstock, or Stocksy, mainly.
Unsplash, Pexels, and others (see my longer list here).
Mr. Mockup, ZippyPixels, Graphic Burger, Is.graphics or Creative Market.