This blog post accompanies the first video of a brand new series on our YouTube channel. This series is a space for James, our Creative Director, to share the tools he uses every day in his role here at Wilkes Wood, starting off with 5 Free Google Chrome extensions that every designer should know about. 

Our channel is dedicated to sharing useful tools, tips, tutorials and conversations around design, productivity and business. Whilst we may only just be getting started on YouTube, we’ve been designing logos, graphics and websites for our clients for over 4 years and can’t wait to share what we’ve picked up along the way.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in click here to be taken over to YouTube and subscribe!

Without further ado, let’s get stuck into the list.

Tool #1 – WhatFont

WhatFont does what it says on the tin, enabling us to find out exactly what fonts are being utilised on a website. After installing the extension, all you need to do is click once and it will bring up all the information about the font selected.

A screenshot showing Lorem extension in a chrome browser

This is a great tool, and as web designers we are always keeping track of great fonts we see elsewhere online to share with our clients.

Tool #2 – Lorem

Next, we have Lorem. Lorem is a placeholder text generator that has a fantastic user-friendly interface and can generate text efficiently with the click of a button. You simply select how many paragraphs and sentences you need and click once to immediately have the text on your clipboard, ready to be pasted in when needed.

A screenshot showing Lorem extension in a chrome browser

This extension is essential for us when we are building out wireframes when developing websites or quickly fleshing out text for graphic design concepts – it’s super simple but saves lots of time.

Tool #3 – Color by Fardos

Again, this is a very simple tool that comes in handy to save time, and whilst there are plenty of alternatives out there for this function, this is by far the best we’ve found.

Color by Fardos is a colour picking tool that has a couple of great features. Firstly, the eyedropper tool allows us to click on any colour on a web page and immediately get the information for that colour, as well as save the colours for later.

A poster for colors by Fardos showing different colour combinations

You can also click once and it will generate a complete list of all hex codes of any colours used on the website, which you can also save to a bank to be referenced later.

In addition to the colour picking tool, Color by Fardos also enables us to search for colours and then provides various shades and tints of that colour, as well as complementary triadic split/complementary colour pairings so it’s a fantastic tool to use for any design work, whether it be web related or graphic design.

Tool #4 – Toggl Track

Whilst Toggl Track is a full feature application, and a pretty good one at that, we’re only discussing its chrome extension in this blog post. Toggl is a really useful time tracking application that makes it incredibly easy to efficiently and accurately track your time between various tasks, jobs and clients.

A screenshot showing Toggl Track in a chrome browser

It is as easy as typing in what we’re doing, clicking the start button and then clicking once to stop the timer; we can then tag that tracked time to a project or client or whatever you want to file it as.

We’ve used this to track everything from time spent on internal development projects to tracking billable hours for our client work, and we think it’s just as good for those getting into freelance design work as it is for small agencies.

Tool #5 – Muzli 2

Muzli is an extension that we absolutely love, and also plays a big part in how we are able to come across plenty of useful tools and websites without spending so much time and energy actively seeking them out.

Muzli replaces the Google Chrome home screen with a perfectly curated feed of articles and tools related to design – it’s perfect if you’re seeking out some inspiration or want to engage in the more productive kind of procrastination.

A screenshot showing Muzli

James has found some fantastic apps here over the past couple of years, and we’ll no doubt be covering these in future blog posts and YouTube videos.

Want More?

We’ll be posting new videos on our YouTube channel every week, so keep an eye out and make sure to subscribe if you’re finding the content valuable!

We’re new to YouTube, so please let us know any comments or suggestions for videos you’d like us to make, any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated.

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