1. Design & Illustration
  2. Add-Ons

Recommended Resources: Design

Scroll to top
Read Time: 6 min

As we work daily to publish instructional material for Tuts+, we come across high quality tools and services. Here are the top resources we recommend for you -- the designer -- all assembled with care by our editorial staff.

Note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which simply means we'll earn a small commission if you purchase that particular tool or service. If you do, we thank you for supporting Tuts+.

Core Applications

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud has all your favorite Adobe design software packaged together into one membership. With it, you can download and install any of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. You also get online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing. With this service you'll always have the most recent release of Adobe's top design software. Learn more over at Adobe.

Adobe Photoshop CC

Yah, Photoshop flows through our blood here on Tuts+. Get started with our Adobe Photoshop Beginner Tutorials. Adobe Photoshop CC is the leading graphic design software for creatives working with images. The new version of Photoshop has been given performance enhancements, so it's faster, loaded with enhancements, and yes it's filled with imaging magic. Learn more over at Adobe.

Adobe Lightroom 5

The new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 makes everything about digital more amazing. Perfect your shots with powerful new adjustment tools like the Advanced Healing Brush. Efficiently organize all your photos and share them almost anywhere. And now that Lightroom is also available in Adobe Creative Cloud. Learn more over at Adobe.


GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. We recommend this photo imaging software to get started with if you're on a budget. It's free software with an awesome toolset. Learn more over at GIMP's website.

Photoshop Plugins

Filter Forge

This is a powerful set of tools to add to Adobe Photoshop. It comes with a pack of filters that generate textures, create visual effects, enhance photos, as well as process images. And with Filter Forge, best of all, you can build your own filters. Learn more over at Filter Forge.


CSS Hat will accelerate your web design workflow. With this highly useful Photoshop plugin you can generate CSS3 based on your Photoshop layer styles. It generates valid, nicely coded CSS directly from your PSD layers in Photoshop. This plugin makes it super simple to translate your design from Photoshop to your browser quickly. Learn more over at CSS Hat.


With this Photoshop plugin you can create accurate columns, rows, midpoints, and baselines. Grids can use multiple types of measurements. Best of all it's free. Learn more over at GuideGuide.

Stock and Fonts


At GraphicRiver you can buy and sell royalty-free, layered Photoshop files, vectors, icon packs, Adobe add-ons and design templates for just a few dollars. GraphicRiver is an Envato Marketplace and sister site to Tuts+. The site is home to a passionate community of graphic designers and illustrators. It's a great community to get involved with. Learn more about GraphicRiver.


At PhotoDune you can buy and sell royalty-free photographs and images starting at just $1. PhotoDune is an Envato Marketplace and sister site to Tuts+. Items are priced on the size/megapixels of each file. If you need quality, affordable stock photos for your next imaging project, then this is a great resource to tap into. Learn more about PhotoDune.


MyFonts is the world's largest font collection available on one easy-to-use website. They pull together fonts from both large font companies and boutique outfits. Quality fonts are added daily. If you're looking for a new font for your next client project, this is the site to find it on. Learn more over at MyFonts.

Tools & Gear

B&H Photo

B&H is world renown as the place to go for all your photo, video, pro audio and digital imaging needs. Their downtown Manhattan, New York store is massive and impressive to walk into, but you can tap into their vast collection of creative tools via their site. Learn more over at B&H Photo.


If you purchase a pen tablet, then you'll need to learn how to use it. Get started with learning the Photoshop CS6 brush features here on Tuts+. Wacom produces cutting edge, industry leading pen tablets. They have choices that fit any budget, from Photoshop hobbyist to professional illustrator. Using a digital pen can transform the style of your artwork. Learn more about Wacom's tools over at Amazon.

Mobile Apps

Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas is your mobile digital sketchbook, letting you capture and explore ideas anywhere you go. This mobile app lets you create freeform vector illustrations wherever you are with your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. With a Creative Cloud membership, easily sync Adobe Ideas projects online. Learn more about this mobile app at iTunes.

Procreate App

Procreate is a great sketchbook and drawing app for your iPad. It's fast to work with so you can get your ideas down quickly. It has a wide array of brushes to choose from, studio grade tools, and feels intuitive to draw with. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

SketchBook Pro for iPad

Autodesk SketchBook Pro for iPad is a professional-grade paint and drawing application. Using the same paint engine as its desktop counterpart, SketchBook Pro delivers a complete set of sketching and painting tools. This popular sketching app has lots of fans. It's a great choice for drawing on your iPad. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

Photoshop Touch

Transform your images with core Adobe Photoshop features in this app designed for tablets. You can combine images, apply professional effects, and share results from the convenience of your iPad. Use popular Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create professional images. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express software lets you use simple gestures to quickly edit and share photos from your mobile device. This basic photo editing app is free to download, though not feature rich. You can apply one-touch effects quickly, as well as simple effects. If you have basic photo editing needs, and want to do them on your iPad, then download this app. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

iPhoto App

iPhoto mobile app is built for browsing, editing, and sharing your photos from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. It has all the tools you'd expect at your fingertips including cloud sharing of photos. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

FontBook App

If you own an iPad and are a graphic designer, then you'll love this beautiful reference app. FontBook is the world's most comprehensive reference on digital typography. It documents the work of 118 renowned international type foundries, representing close to 1650 type designers, constituting 35,000 fonts from 8050 font families. The FontBook app presents this selection through 700,000 typeface samples which can be intuitively spread out, searched, layered, moved, scrolled and combined like a collection of maps - truly awesome. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Design & Illustration tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
One subscription. Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads