What design tools should I learn first?

Honestly, your design tools don’t matter.
The apps  or specific programmes you use don’t matter either.
All the tools you learn now will have changed in 5 years anyway.

There are a huge no. of tools available,
and the ease of these tools and templates available makes it too easy to run before you learn to walk.

Instead spend time on tools,
start learning the foundations.
I see a huge number of freelancers never learning the fundamentals.

If you’re a designer, focus your time learning about heirarchy, composition, balance, contrast etc.
I’d spend 80% focus on Typography, this is the quickest way to elevate your designs to the next level.

secret cheat:
copy others.
Take the time to actually recreate what they’ve done, and depick it:
why have they used that letter spacing?
why those colour shades?
why that padding?

You’ll learn by muscle memory the correct spacing, structure and layouts to use.
And of course, lastly time.
It just takes a lot of time to learn what will eventually become second nature.

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Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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