Top 5 tools from Adobe’s BIG 3

Here are my top 5 tools that I use when working in the big 3 Adobe programmes. There are many, many more tools you can use, but for now, I’ll just touch base with these. Name, short description and a bit of fluffery.

Shapes – do not draw any other way. These babies are scalable.

Pen tool – draw custom shapes. Great for illustrations.

 • Masks – do not delete, use a mask instead. Just like putting on make-up.

Smart filters – filters that can be edited at anytime. Work smart, work with smart filters.

Folders – layered files have never been so easy to navigate and use. Shame those who do not name!

• Toggle spreads – allow document pages to shuffle. Great for pagination.

• Layers – the same as in Photoshop. Like looking into a mirror.

• Object arrange – for those of you who are too lazy to use layers; bring to front/foward, send to back/backward.

Scripts – you can add crop marks, curved edges, anything. Great for artworking obscure shapes and sizes.

• Separations preview – see separations and ink limits, a must have. Artworker’s best friend.

Blend tool – complicated shape? Need a gradient? Use the blend tool. 

• Create outlines – make text into shapes. But please, do remember to put the font in the job bag.

• Pathfinder – subtract, addtract, retract, wowtract shapes with other shapes. Awesome.

• Mask tool – all your lovely patterns, any shape you desire. CMD 7.

• Select all unused swatches & delete – smaller file size, no complications when artworking, happier designers and printers.

To any designer (old boy or greenhorn), student, creative ***insert job title here***, please learn how to use these tools. You’ll save yourself time and effort. Work smart, just like the lovely people here at Engine Creative.

Feel free to comment with which tools you use daily to work harder and smarter. 

Over and out, 

Billy Clarke.

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