Help Creative Juices Flow Better: Top 5 Tools to Design Better in 2023

In the ever-evolving realm of design, staying ahead of the curve requires more than just talent—it demands access to the right tools. As we navigate the digital landscape of 2023, designers have a plethora of innovative solutions that not only streamline their creative review workflow but also foster collaboration and enhance creativity. Here’s a list of the top 5 tools that helped creative agencies work better, faster, quicker, and smarter than the competition:

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud: Where Imagination Takes Flight

No conversation about design tools is complete without mentioning Adobe Creative Cloud. In 2023, this powerhouse suite continues to dominate the design landscape. Comprising industry-standard applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, Creative Cloud provides designers with a comprehensive toolkit to bring their creative visions to life. 

What’s New in 2023:

Intertwin for Illustrator: Love those “intertwining” logos but hate the “send to back” and “move to front” bits? Adobe just made that super easy with their new Intertwine tool that is built-in to the software. Our logo designer can’t live without it anymore!

Content-aware Remove and Select People comes to Lightroom: The 2023 brings content-aware removal to Lightroom. This feature is something that existed in specialised tools, but is now available within Lightroom! What’s even better is that you can now select specific people from an image and apply changes to them. Isn’t that just awesome and magical?

  1. Figma: The Collaborative Design Ecosystem

Figma has emerged as a game-changer for collaborative design, and in 2023, its impact is more profound than ever. This cloud-based design tool allows teams to collaborate quickly, breaking geographical barriers and fostering a truly global design community. UI designers increasingly use Figma for POCs, and creative teams brainstorm using Figma more than any other tool!

What’s New in 2023:

FigJam x AI: Integrating AI with FigJam helps creative teams visualise ideas, suggests best practices, and automates repetitive tasks so designers can focus on producing things of beauty.

Dev Mode: Dev Mode drastically reduces the time taken from concept to development, and helps teams get more done, fast!

  1. Procreate: Unleashing Creativity on the iPad

For designers who find their muse on the iPad, Procreate remains the go-to digital painting app. In 2023, it continues to be a favourite among illustrators, animators, and digital artists for its intuitive interface and powerful set of creative tools. Our digital animation team loves their new iPad app, and continues to favour it over all other options due to its versatility, and the endless possibilities offered by the iPad Pro!

What’s New in 2023:

Procreate Dream—A new app for iPad: Procreate just launched their new iPad app for animation called Procreate Dream! With this app, Procreate brings animation to the iPad, helping artists create outstanding animations with keyframing, cel animation, drawing, and compositing with gestures! Time to get creative!

  1. Trello: Project Management for Designers

While Trello isn’t a design tool in the traditional sense, its role in project management for designers cannot be overstated. In 2023, Trello remains a steadfast companion, offering an intuitive platform for organizing tasks, managing workflows, and ensuring seamless collaboration among design teams.

What’s New in 2023:

Integrated Design Boards: Trello has recognized the unique needs of design teams and introduced features like design boards, providing a visual way to manage design-related tasks and projects.

Automation for Efficiency: New automation features allow designers to streamline repetitive tasks, ensuring a more efficient workflow.

  1. Review Software: The Collaborative Canvas

In 2023, collaborative design is not just a trend—it’s a necessity. Collaborative review tools have transformed how designers collaborate, gather feedback and iterate on their creations. Platforms like QuickReviewer, Wipster, ReviewStudio, and Filestage have gained prominence for their ability to turn the review process into a seamless, interactive, and productive experience.

Why do creative teams love review software like QuickReviewer?

  • Real-Time Collaboration: Designers and stakeholders can collaborate in real-time, providing instant feedback and reducing turnaround times.
  • Efficient Iterations: The iterative nature of design is made smoother with features like version tracking and side-by-side comparisons, ensuring designers implement feedback effectively.
  • Centralized Feedback: Design teams can consolidate feedback in one centralized platform, eliminating the chaos of scattered comments and ensuring a clear roadmap for revisions.

Looking Ahead: Trends Shaping Design in 2023

As we reflect on the tools that have defined the design landscape in 2023, it’s crucial to consider the trends that are shaping the industry’s trajectory.

  • Immersive Technologies: The integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into design tools is on the rise. Designers are exploring new dimensions, creating immersive experiences and pushing the boundaries of traditional design.
  • Sustainability in Design: With environmental consciousness on the rise, designers are increasingly incorporating sustainable practices into their workflows. From eco-friendly design tools to a focus on recyclable materials in visual elements, sustainability is a driving force in modern design.
  • Diversity and Inclusivity: Designers are championing diversity and inclusivity, not just in the final products but also in the design process. Tools that facilitate collaboration among diverse teams and emphasize accessibility are gaining prominence worldwide.
  • Artificial Intelligence as a Design Assistant: AI is evolving from a supplementary tool to a design assistant. Design software now anticipates user needs, automates repetitive tasks, and even generates design suggestions based on user preferences and trends.

Navigating the Creative Horizon

The year 2023 has witnessed a dynamic interplay of creativity and technology in the world of design. From the familiar Adobe Creative Cloud to the collaborative ecosystems of Figma and the innovative realms of QuickReviewer, designers are equipped with an arsenal of tools that transcend traditional boundaries.

As we look to the future, the symbiotic relationship between designers and their tools will continue to redefine creative possibilities. The trends of immersive technologies, sustainability, diversity, and the integration of artificial intelligence are not just shaping design tools—they are shaping the very nature of creative expression.

In this ever-evolving landscape, designers must remain agile, embracing both the timeless principles of design and the transformative power of cutting-edge tools. The journey into the creative horizon of 2023 is an exhilarating one, guided by tools such as QuickReviewer that have become trusted companions in the pursuit of design excellence.

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