Why stop at Photoshop : Discover design resources you haven’t used

Efficient and effective work is all about finding the right tools for the right job. Adobe Photoshop is a go-to resource for many graphic designers, but with Creative Cloud, you can do so much more! And no one knows that more than Erica Blum.

The program coordinator and an associate professor for the art and design degree at Lindenwood University, Erica is an Adobe Education Leader and an Adobe Creative Educator Level 1. At the 2023 CERTIFIED Educator Conference, she led a special breakout session on new design resources she wants all educators to know about and use in their classrooms. Discover some of her favorites below.

Adobe Character Animator

This is for all our educators who create content and lessons for their students to view online. With Character Animator, you can use your expressions and movements to bring characters to life.

“Everybody loves having an avatar. The great thing about Character Animator is that you can have a bunch of different characters that you can use in place of you,” said Erica. “Your characters will say what you’re saying, move how you move. It’s so simple. And if you’re like me and want to make it more complicated, you can draw yourself. Overall, it’s a great tool to add interest to your lectures.”

Adobe Character Animator is available through your Creative Cloud subscription. You can learn more here.

Adobe Capture

You can find design inspiration wherever you go. With Adobe Capture, you can bring the real world into your final pieces.

“You can take a picture of something and pull it into Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, you name it. I don't know about you, but I've seen the most gorgeous sunsets and I've taken a picture and thought, ‘I wish I could use those colors.’ With Adobe Capture, you can. You can take those colors and make them swatches in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dimension, all of it,” said Erica.

Adobe Capture doesn’t just allow you to pull in colors. Textures and fonts are fair game as well. “You can take a picture of something and make it a brush in Photoshop. You can vectorize it so you can bring it into Illustrator. If you find a font somewhere, take a picture of it, and Adobe Capture will find the Adobe equivalent.”

There’s only one downside to this tool, Erica says. “I literally tell my students when we talk about Adobe Capture, ‘Don't kill me when you lose days.’ It's so much fun that you may lose tons of time playing around.”

Adobe Capture is available in your app store. You can learn more about it here.

Adobe Color

If you’re looking for even more inspiration, then look no further than Adobe Color. Adobe Color makes it easy to create and discover unique, accessible color themes to use in any design. You can create color themes, explore what other designers have created, look at what’s trendy, convert your themes without losing color accuracy, find the perfect color combos with Adobe Sensei AI technology.

“What I love about Adobe Color is that you can pick whatever colors you want, [and] it will show you the complementary color, or monochromatic colors. For all the designers, you can find the RGB or hex code for the exact shade you want. No more mixing required. It also considers the accessibility, showing you whether your combos are accessible or not. Really, it has everything a designer would need with regard to color,” commented Erica.

You can learn more about Adobe Color (and download the web app) here.

Adobe Fonts

Any master graphic designer knows that it’s not just about imagery. Typography is crucial to a beautiful final product. Luckily, with Adobe Fonts, you can find the perfect font for any project. When you subscribe to Creative Cloud, you get unlimited access to more than 20,000 fonts, which can be used for personal and commercial projects.

“What I love about this is that with your Creative Cloud subscription, at any given time, I can have 1,000 fonts downloaded and accessible. And I can switch out any of those for the other thousands that are available. Buying and downloading fonts individually can add up quickly, so this app alone pays for itself,” says Erica.

Learn more about Adobe’s font library here.

Love the sound of these tools? Erica dives deep into her favorite design resources on the CERTIFIED podcast. Listen here.