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Lets be honest, the global economy is pretty slow right now. Money is a limited resource, and saving it for a rainy day is more than ideal. As web-designers, we spend a great amount time in from or our computer screens. Our work day consists of getting tasks done, while maintaining speed. What better way to take control of your workflow, than using great free apps.

Here is a collection of tools, which from my point of view, are the must have for designers and web-developers. Hope that you may add some of them to your ¨check list¨. These tools may help you to validate the site code, develop websites, optimize the images, work with the text and fonts, track your time, and last but not least manage your projects.  Here you may find the tools to download, to use online or to work directly from your iPhone, depending the way you like to work.

-Image staff-

Optimizing images may convert in a tiresome task if you don’t have an appropriate image optimization tool, which may help you to complete the task in several clicks.

1. Radical Image Optimization Tool (Download)

(RIOT for short)  is a free image optimizer. The tool gives you a possibility to work in dual  (original – optimized image) or single view (optimized image), to use common editing tools, to choose the resulting file format and to process batch editing..

2. Puny PNG (Online)

Puny PNG is a free cloud-based image optimization tool for working with the images. You only need to upload the image for the program to determine the format and specs of the file and choose the optimization techniques you need to use. In addition, Puny PNG may tell the best format to save the result in, if you need it.

3. Photoshop Mobile (iPhone)

Work with the images directly from your iPhone, perform the basic editing, preview and save the files.

-Colored mood-

It is important to choose the color right upfront, as it is going to play the major role in how the design is accepted by the audience. It is´n the secret that the color determine the mood of your creation.

1. Color Burn (Download)

Color Burn widget allows you to work with the schemes history and use the huge collection of available color schemes.

2. Pictaculos (Online)

This free service allows you to download the needed color for the application automatically determine the color palette to go with it.

3. Think Inc: Color Unleashed (iPhone)

Think Inc is a free iPhone application, which allows you to explore the tons of the color schemes and create custom color palettes

-Right words always matter-

The correct font choice is also an essential element, which differ the amateur work from the professional one.

1. FonfForge (Download)

FontForg is an open-source application for font design. It allows you to create your own postscript, truetype, opentype, cid-keyed, multi-master or edit the existing ones.

2. Typetester (Online)

Typetester allows you to check and manage the fonts in a real time, so you may quickly decide what looks appropriately and what need to be recycled.

3. What the font (iPhone)

Imaging the situation in which your a reading a newspaper and apparently see the amazing font which would perfectly suit your latest project.  With What a font you may clip the font to application to do the rest of the work – recognize the fond type, name and save the font.

Posted by Maria

Maria Kireeva, started as support manager and became a technical writer and copywriter collaborating to TeamLab.

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