Adobe recently announced their newest easy-to-use, make a website in minutes tool: Adobe Portfolio. Make a website in minutes, they say. It'll be so easy, they say. Well.. it looks like all of that might actually be true.



Adobe is still trying to maintain an active customer base for it's subscriber-based Creative Cloud, and adding a tool for publishing completed work is the perfect way to round out their offerings.

We'll keep it simple and just touch on the important things.

The pros:

1) If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, it won't cost you a dime.

2) If you don't yet have a CC subscription, the cheapest option is $9.99/month for access to Photoshop, Lightroom, and thousands of Typekit fonts.

3) It automatically syncs with (Adobe-owned) Behance portfolios.

4) Live editing makes changes happen right away.

5) Clean layout options with responsive designs.

6) You can use your own domain name.

7) You can track your site's status.

8) They provide an option to disable right-clicking, making it harder for people to snag your work.

The cons:

1) If you have no need for a CC plan that includes Photoshop and Lightroom, $9.99/month is more expensive that Squarespace ($8/month).

Seems pretty straightforward - Portfolio is worth your time if you have a Creative Cloud subscription or are considering one. See examples of Portfolio templates in use: MatthiasLinaSawdustThomas, and Mercedes.

Posted: 2/9/2016 4:14:42 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

In the design and marketing world, there's so much to keep up with. New fonts, new programs, updated SEO rules and ways of tracking customers. Along with the everyday stuff, there's now a challenge to stay on top of the ball as far as programs to use. Too much! We've pulled together some of the best design and marketing tools for you to use, whether we personally use them or have heard rave reviews. Hopefully this guide helps simplify your options a bit:



For all of your color needs, Paletton has you covered. With an easy interface and simple options, it's the easiest way for you to get a great visual of the possibilities, or tweak an existing color scheme with slight alterations to hue contrast, saturation, or brightness. Feeling uninspired with your own ideas? Try the "randomize" button and see what it comes up with.

Adobe Programs

Adobe_CS5.5_Product_Logos(image source: Wikipedia)

Sure, we're (most likely) preaching to the choir on this one. But Adobe has been around for a while and is strongly holding it's place as the top design software used today. The only potential blip in their rise to the top was their recent announcement that all future versions of CS programs would be structured within a subscription-based cloud system, called Creative Cloud. Goodbye CS, hello CC! The benefits of this change are the options to subscribe to programs a la carte, or to subscribe to the entire package for a bit of a discount.

Support for the new structure varies, and a lot of users fear new charges will come once Adobe has everyone in the pal of their hand, but we'll see. With a goal of 3 million subscribers by this November, they're thinking large-scale.

The Adobe programs themselves are so engrained in many younger designers' educations that they offer the most intuitive interfaces and most relevant tools. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver are the most common.



Another Adobe product, but there's a reason they have such a loyal following! Typekit is a subscription-based library of fonts for web or print use. Bringing together the work of many different foundries, Typekit offers a streamlined collection  of sophisticated type (and is also included in Adobe Creative Cloud).



Buffer is an app to organize and schedule your social media marketing. We use it here at CM Access, so we might be a bit biased, but... Buffer is awesome. Just fill it up with posts for the day, the week, whatever, and Buffer schedules them out at ideal times. It analyzes Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as a whole so it knows the best time for your posts to go up, and can prove it with analytics.

Wacom Bamboo

Wacom_Tablet(image source: Amazon)

A pressure-sensitive pen and tablet may not seem like a key part of your daily design routine, but boy oh boy, does it make things easier. Takes a bit of adjustment, but once you've reprogrammed your brain to use a once-familiar pen, the result is work that is more precise and effortless. You can switch between the stylus and your fingers, so it will feel like a laptop touchpad if that's what you're looking for.



Simple, simple, simple. Just a quick (and we mean quick) search in Moat, and you're looking at all the online ads of your competitors. A great way to get an overview of another company's (or your own!) marketing in one click.

Have any other items you think are crucial to designers and marketers? Tell us!

Posted: 8/18/2014 3:53:40 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments