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7 Questions, 7 Designers – Day 4

posted by Matt Ward on Dec 21, 2009.

This is the fourth in a seven part interview series in which I put a number of design related questions to seven awesome designers including: Chris Spooner, Sneh Roy, Mike Smith, Jeff Finley, Brad Colbow, Grace Smith and Nick La. Come join the discussion!

This is now the fourth day “7 Questions, 7 Designers” series, in which I throw out a different question each day and compile the answers from seven different designers. There are participants from all over the world, each offering a different and unique perspective on the realm of design. We’re over halfway through now.

In yesterday’s session, we talked about how our designers typically spend their days and what their workflows actually look like. Today, we’re actually going to take a look at some of the tools that they use on a daily basis!

Let’s talk about the tools of the trade. We all do our thing a little differently. Can you just let us what tools you use in each of the following areas?

  1. Okay the big one – Mac or PC?
  2. Browser of choice?
  3. Email client?
  4. RSS Reader?
  5. Imaging software?
  6. Code editor?
  7. Twitter client?
  8. Blogging engine?
  9. Task management?
  10. Extra hardware – what other kinds of hardware do you guys use on a daily basis?

Jeff Finley
Jeff Finley
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  1. Computer: PC
  2. Browser: Firefox
  3. Email: Outlook (Exchange rocks)
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Notepad2, Dreamweaver
  7. Twitter: Destroy Twitter
  8. Blogging: WordPress
  9. Task Management: Pen and paper + Action Method by Behance, Prooflab (Go Media’s private (soon to be public) project management app)
  10. Extras: FolderMenu, YouSendit, Dropbox, Wacom Intuos 3, Moleskine, Col Erase pencils, iPod, and Coffee.

Brad Colbow
Brad Colbow
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  1. Computer: Mac
  2. Browser: Firefox, but I’m trying out Chrome right now.
  3. Email: I use Yahoo’s web client
  4. RSS Reader: Google reader
  5. Imaging Software: Photoshop and Illustrator
  6. Code Editor: Dreamweaver and TextEdit
  7. Twitter: Twitterific
  8. Blogging: WordPress, but exploring other options at the moment like Expression Engine.
  9. Task Management: Basecamp
  10. Extras: I have a Wacom Cintiq tablet. I don’t use it everyday but it’s been indispensable for illustration.

Grace Smith
Grace Smith
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  1. Computer: Mac
  2. Browser: Safari
  3. Email: Google Apps
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Adobe Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Coda
  7. Twitter: Tweetie
  8. Blogging: WordPress
  9. Task Management: TaskPaper
  10. Extras: I use my Macbook (13″) as a second screen just for emails as i’ve found it helps me to be more productive. I also have two external hard drives, the first is a 500GB MiniMax which stores my iTunes library and photos (as I am a keen amateur photographer). The other is a 1TB MiniMax which acts as backup for my iMac using TimeMachine, this works in combo with Mozy as my online backup.

    I have to mention my mouse, the LogiTech MX Revolution. I used the Apple Mighty Mouse for about 2 years until the RSI got so bad I had to make the switch to something much more ergonomic. The MX is simply amazing to use and I wouldn’t be without it now!

Nick La
Nick La
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  1. Computer: Mac
  2. Browser: Recently switched to Google Chrome (Mac) because Firefox is running too slow on Mac.
  3. Email: Mac Mail and Thunderbird
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Dreamweaver
  7. Twitter: TweetDeck and Tweetie
  8. Blogging: WordPress
  9. Task Management: iCal, papers and notes
  10. Extras: Mouse and Tablet

Chris Spooner
Chris Spooner
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  1. Computer: Mac!
  2. Browser: Firefox
  3. Email: Google Mail (via Google Apps)
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Adobe Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Coda
  7. Twitter: TweetDeck
  8. Blogging: WordPress
  9. Task Management: Things for Mac, and a good old fashioned notepad
  10. Extras: My iPhone tends to come in handy when capturing inspiration while out and about, either by taking photos or jotting down notes. Otherwise, items that also populate my desk are calculator and external HD.

Sneh Roy
Sneh Roy
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  1. Computer: Both. I use Mac for all my designing, browsing and photography. I use PC to code and maintain my sanity on social networks.
  2. Browser: Firefox
  3. Email: Erm .. Microsoft Outlook. It works and till I get on Mozilla’s Thunderbird, that will have to do.
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Coldfusion Studio 5
  7. Twitter: Tweetdeck on PC, Tweetic on Mac
  8. Blogging: I used MT for a few years before happily moving onto WordPress.
  9. Task Management: A plethora of paper-lists written the old-fashioned way. I am using Things for Mac and quite loving it, but I keep coming back to my trusty note paper and pen. Somehow writing down my chores makes them more approachable for me.
  10. Extras: A Canon Printer, A Wacom Tablet, A 4GB USB stick to shuffle stuff between the PC and Mac [because sometimes my Mac acts up and won't connect to the network and it is so annoying!], a 1TB external hard drive for backups.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
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  1. Computer: PC (for the time being). I want a Mac in a bad, bad way lol
  2. Browser: Usually is Chrome but I’ve been having virus issues so I’m back on Firefox for now (Chrome isn’t working).
  3. Email: Gmail – I also use it for my business emails.
  4. RSS Reader: Google Reader
  5. Imaging Software: Photoshop
  6. Code Editor: Notepad++
  7. Twitter: Usually tweetdeck, but I’ve been leaving twitter alone lately. Need to jump back in head first.
  8. Blogging: WORDPRESS!
  9. Task Management: A moleskine notebook. Yes, I keep it old school
  10. Extras: I use the bare essentials right now. After the first of the year, I’ll be bulking up with backup harddrives, ect.

There are some interesting trends here. There are quite a range of tools, but it seems like all of our designers choose Photoshop for their imaging and WordPress for their blogging. What about you? Are there any other tools that you use? Be sure to check back over the next three days for more awesome insights from these seven great minds!

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Also from Echo Enduring Media:

An Unfolding Tale

About the Author

Matt Ward is a digital artist who lances freely under the moniker of Echo Enduring Media, and specializes in graphics design, illustration and writing. He is also the Creative Director for Highland Marketing, a creative direct marketing company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. You can follow Matt on Twitter

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Comments

Dec 21, 2009

Dani says:

Thanks for the post. Nice to see a few girls on the list. Haha. Love the site design too.

Dec 21, 2009

Azterik Media says:

This is a great series. It’s nice to get a behind the curtain look at a nice cross section of web designers. I was wondering if you could put a question to Sneh Roy for me. How is she liking the Wacom Tablet, been looking at getting one myself but would like some feedback from a designer that has actually used one.

Dec 21, 2009

Sneh Roy says:

My Wacom Tablet is the Graphire 2 [bought in 2003]

http://www.amazon.com/Wacom-Graphire2-Mouse-Tablet-Steel-Blue/dp/B00005U240

I actually love it a lot. It is great for those complex pressure [varied stroke weights]. There is not much I can do with it now, that I can’t already do with my mouse, but it has its ups. It is EXCELLENT for freehand style designs, swirls, t-shirt art and such.

The only thing I wish was different was a bigger drawing area to work on, so if you are getting one, think ahead and get a slightly bigger one. You will love it!

Dec 21, 2009

ChiliPepr says:

MozyHome works pretty well for me – on both Mac and PC. Their 2nd level support is good.

https://mozy.com

Dec 22, 2009

Nicholas Francis says:

I always wanted to know what tools designers used, and my favorite designer is Chris Spooner.. I love his designs and his designs have always been inspirational.. I am currently using PC(windows) is there any difference using mac and PC?

Dec 22, 2009

Matt Ward says:

I currently use a Mac for pretty much all of my design work. I used to use my Toshiba Satellite laptop, though, and every once in a blue moon I will have to go back to it.

I think that there is a significant difference between Windows and Mac, but it’s pretty much all operating system based. I think that OSX is just nicer and easier to use (though, admittedly I have not used Windows 7 at all).

That being said though, when it comes to actual design, everything I do on my Mac could also be done on a PC, with the equivalent software. I did perfectly well using to Windows machines for years until I finally got the Mac.

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