Fundamentals of Design: Resource Center

Grab your free download and peruse the roundup of helpful links.

Your Free Download

Your free cheat sheet summarizes everything you’ve learned in this workshop. Download it and keep it on your desktop/device for easy access to the five fundamentals of good design.

Design Programs

Below is a list of design programs and helpful apps/tools. Be sure to read the details; some are full software programs while others have a narrowed (but powerful) focus.

  • Adobe Photoshop   SUBSCRIPTION 
    • Cloud-based desktop program
    • Highest learning curve but also the most versatile.
    • Priciest, no free option.
  • Canva  FREE 
    • Browser- and mobile-based design program
    • Extremely user friendly; best option for beginners
    • Drag and drop editor with tons of free templates and assets (like stock photography, fonts, etc)
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)
  • Stencil  FREE 
    • Similar to Canva, but geared especially toward social media marketing
    • Browser based only
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)
  • Desygner  FREE 
    • Similar to Canva, but supports even more file types (like PSD, PDF, and PPT)
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)
  • Book Brush  FREE 
    • Geared specifically to authors
    • Create 3D book mockups with the click of a button
    • Canva-like tools for creating promo graphics/ads
    • Author-specific templates and stamp/sticker elements
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)
  • WordSwag  FREE 
    • Mobile app for creating striking text for social media graphics
    • Text focused (so best for quotes, blurbs, etc, not image-heavy designs)
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)

Below is a list of resources for high quality fonts for use in your designs, as well as handy web resource for identifying fonts and finding similar typefaces.

  • Google Fonts  FREE 
    • Collection of high quality fonts for free commercial use
  • Font Squirrel  FREE 
    • Collection of high quality fonts for free commercial use
    • Collection of high quality fonts for purchase
    • Many fonts are bundled for additional savings
    • Free and paid options (with extra features)
  • What The Font  FREE 
    • Extremely useful tool for identifying fonts that is also part of the MyFonts website
    • Upload an image (like your cover!), crop the font you want to identify, and get a list of possible matches
  • Identifont  FREE 
    • Another website resource for identifying fonts
    • Answer characteristic questions (based on letterform shapes) to identify a font (helpful when trying to identify font(s) used in your cover)
    • View list of similar fonts for any other font (helpful when trying to find a free font option that mimics a font your publisher/cover designer used)
Stock Images

There are countless stock imagery websites out there, but the below provide high-quality, royalty free images for personal and commercial use. (Regardless, always check licensing rules/details before using a photo.)

Free Design Software Tutorials

Below is a roundup of helpful design software tutorials—some video, some step-by-step guides. ALL free.

I’ve focused mainly on Canva, as that is hands-down my recommendation for beginner designers. Even if you’re a more advanced designers, Canva’s array of features still allow most authors to tackle all their design needs. 

Canva Tutorials

Canva’s Tutorial Database
Most of the beginner videos are in the first section, Getting Started with Canva, but more advanced designers may find other sections helpful as well.

Natalia Kalinska’s How to Use Canva For Beginners Tutorial
The entire video is a fantastic watch for newbie designers who want to understand all of Canva’s basic features. Or jump directly to a common task here:

Using the Eyedropper Tool
A step by step guide to Canva’s eyedropper tool (so you can pull colors from your cover!)

Photoshop Tutorials

Adobe’s Photoshop Tutorial Database
Adobe’s Photoshop database is filled with tons of helpful guides. Browse them all or jump directly to a specific task below:

If you have technical issues or need to reach me directly, please send an email.