23 Exciting New Tools for Designers, February 2021
We’re going to try something a little different this month; with this roundup of tools and resources for designers, we’re going to pick a few of our favorites and group everything else in a manner that makes it even easier to find elements that will work for you, and your projects, right now. Here’s what’s new for designers this month…
February’s Top Picks
is a new Mac app that is an open-source color picker. It helps you find color swatches on-screen, saving time and design headaches. Plus, it’s packed with bonuses such as the ability to confirm accessibility compliance for colors, compact size and style, easy to access from your desktop, and format-friendly with plenty of color code options.
is a searchable database of more than 100,000 icons in one place. (No more searching various marketplaces!) The goal of the project is to make open-source icons and illustrations more accessible. So, everything you find here is free! The site does all the heavy lifting for you by collecting icon sets, tagging them, and making them searchable.
Descript is a premium tool that eliminates some of the intimidation factors with audio and video editing. With a design that functions as a word document and allows you to transcribe, record the screen, publish, and edit, all with some cool AI features.
is an all-in-one identity infrastructure that allows you to collect, verify, manage, and decide customer identities from a single dashboard. Everything is fully automated, and most users can be up and running in about 10 minutes. The premium tool does have a free version for small-scale verifications.
6 Productivity Boosters
turns standard links into rich content that users will be delighted to share and engage in. And it’s easy to use. Just send a request to the API with a link and get a response back to use, including a rich link for your project.
LinkAce is an open-source and self-hosted archive to store and organize links that you want to save. You can search thanks to tags and lists, and all of the content is available thanks to automated backups and monitoring. There’s a demo you can try before installing it yourself.
is a WordPress plugin that helps you make forms a little bit easier. It’s made to work with the Gutenberg-based form builder with a single block format to control the form. The plugin has a theme-agnostic design that works with any layout style and includes customizations to make it feel a little more personal.
is an embeddable video call system for any website or app. You can make calls and schedule them with a widget you can embed right into your design.
The Editor X website builder is out of beta and ready for mainstream use. The platform is designed for designers and agencies to create websites collaboratively and quicker. Features include live commenting, roles and permissions, and shared design libraries. Plus, the platform offers code-free interactions.
is a Mac app that makes the system share menu more powerful. You can copy, save as, and open indirectly from the system share menu.
2 Icon Sets
is a giant set of icons in React. They are all open-source, and there are plenty of choices to help you propel projects forward.
Plumpy IconsPlumpy Icons
are packed with style. The set of icons has a fun design, comes in duotone colors, and scales to any size. Plus, there are more than 4,000 icons in the collection. There are free and paid options depending on the file type and use.
3 Tutorials and Demos
Noise PlanetsNoise Planets
is a fun look at plotting random points in a circle to create amazing art pieces. You can generate fun shapes and textures and even animate your results with the tutorial and code snippets’ help.
CSS Polygon ShapesCSS
Polygon Shapes are generated using CSS-doodle and clip-path. You can go in and make adjustments to customize shapes further and use them in your website projects.
is a little app that lets you create animated and interactive drawings. There’s a lot of potential with this tool if you have some true drawing chops, but it not; it’s just fun to play with. Create a doodle or sketch and export.
5 Fresh Fonts and Text Tools
Text Warping — AnimatedText Warping – Animated
is a fun effect pen from Lokesh Dhakar. It feels funky while leaving text pretty readable. Play with it for sure.
is a fun and flexible premium font family with 14 styles from thin to heavy italic. It’s a highly readable serif with a wider stance and great curves.
Stay HomeStay Home
is a simple, line-style all caps font. It has a limited character set but could have some fun applications.
Dogmeal FigureDogmeal Figure
is an almost silly novelty typeface with dog faces and paw prints in the character set. It might make a fun option for a kids’ project.
is a futuristic-style slab with a limited character set. It does have shapes and lines with a lot of impact for display use.
Covid Pandemic LockdownCovid Pandemic Lockdown
is an interesting novelty font with thick lines and a brush-dot style. While it probably won’t read well small, it could be fun as a display option.
is a simple typeface that’s a little wide but has a nice shape and structure. It includes upper- and lowercase letters.
is a beautiful script that has amazing letter combinations for use with long swashes and tails. It can add extra elegance to almost any design project instantly.