Using the right design resources can make or break a project while it’s in its infancy. use this epic list of 40 of the best design resources to make your project come to life.
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Subtle Patterns is an awesome resource for designers trying to find just the right background for their latest web project. I use it all the time for individual pages on this site. Completely free to use
Blokk Font is just another font that’s free to download and is billed as something to use in a design project for clients that don’t understand Latin.
Renderforest is a cloud based video creation platform that features intro, animation, music visualization, explainer videos, slideshows and much more.
They also create videos on a by order basis. They’ve worked with all types and sizes of companies ranging from government institutions to mom and pop shops.
The platform is free to register and use, if you want the end product with no watermark then you’ll have to pay.
Google Fonts has one of the largest collections of fonts ever assembled on the internet. You can choose from the thousands available to give your website a unique feel and your words a unique character. Typography is still very much alive.
Patternizer is for you if you prefer to take things a step further and want a completely unique pattern that you can create from scratch.Easy to use and effective, just the way I like my tools.
Fontello is an amazing library of resources that’ll provide you with any font icon imaginable. Everything from Font Awesome to random web symbols. Plus it’s open source.
Adobe Color CC is a simple app that lets you create color schemes based on the color wheel that are easy on the eyes while being highly memorable. After creating your color schemes, you can save them to edit later or use as you see fit.
Design Seeds is an interesting website that takes the colors found in everyday life and turns them into color schemes that you can use. Since they’re taken from real life, they have a tendency to rely heavily on neutral colors. This is perfect if you’re designing a website that needs a certain “feel.”
Image color picker is a cool app that lets you upload photos and find out the exact color used to create them. Perfect if you’re trying to figure out a color used on a website you like.
Paletton is similar to Adobe Collor CC, but the interface is not as intuitive. A feature I like is the ability to create a color scheme then automatically see contrasting and complimentary colors to use for it. It’s actually the color scheme generator we used when designing the template for The Experiment.
Colour Lovers is a paradise for design inspiration. If you’ve been banging your head against the wall because you honestly don’t know a good palette to use then this website will get you inspired. People from all over the world contribute awesome color palettes every day.
0 to 255 can be a strain on the eyes before you get used to it. The tool allows you to plug in a color and find an infinite number of variations on it. Well, probably not infinite, but an insane amount of variations (255).
What The Font is a simple tool by My Fonts that allows you to upload a picture of a font you like and it goes to work to decipher it for you. It’ll bring back a few variations for you to choose from and it’s pretty accurate most of the time.
Thankfully, 1001 Fonts has more than 1001 fonts in their database. The name is pretty much self-explanatory. They have a huge collection of fonts that you can use for different projects. Check the licensing because many of the fonts are only free for personal use and will require payment or permission for commercial use.
IcoMoon has thousands of free vector icons that you can use in a variety of ways. They also have a free app that makes locating the right icon easy. Unfortunately, the main website doesn’t seem to have a search function so you have to download complete Icon packs and sift through them.
Iconfinder does have a searchable database which makes everything so much easier. They have a combination of free and paid Icon sets. Between the two, you should be able to find whatever you’re looking for.
Vecteezy has almost a million graphics to choose from and the entire database is powered by a really awesome search feature. Many of the graphics and vectors are premium, but the vast majority are completely free to use.
What can I say, Canva is a Godsend. I use this baby almost everyday from preparing images for my Instagram Accounts. The interface is really intuitive and after a few minutes, you’ll be able to use it like an old pro. The best part is that it’s completely free unless you use some of their premium elements which don’t cost more than a dollar a pop.
Type Genius is a very simple yet very useful tool. It helps you match the fonts that would best complement each other. For example, if you chose Bebas Neue as your Title font, it’ll give you a few options for the font which would be the best fit for the body of your text. The only issue you may face is the limited choices of fonts available.
ColorZilla is a powerful tool that serves two functions. The first one does a whole lot of things as a browser add-on. Some of which are analyzing colors and picking the best combinations for you to use. The second function is converting images to CSS and editing CSS gradients. A powerful free tool to have in your arsenal.
VectorFinder is a search engine that pulls relevant results from stock sites all over the internet and presents them to you to browse at your leisure. As with all sites like this, make sure you pay attention to the license to avoid legal hassles down the road.
MediaLoot has a decent collection of different graphics, interfaces, vectors etc that you can get unlimited access to for just a few dollars. They also have a section where they give out a lot of free resources.
Design TNT is a premium website that sells graphics, mockups, and vector packs for difference design needs. The occasionally bundle their products into a single low price you’d have a hard time saying no to.
Designious is another premium website that offers vector packs, illustrations, t-shirt designs, photoshop brushes and more. They also have a section of curated freebies that you can download to test out the service.
Fluid UI is an app that you can use to test your designs as a prototype on mobile phones. They have an interface that takes a little getting used to, but once you do the workflow is second to none. You can choose between the lite version at $120/yr to the team version at $490/yr.
If you use your tablet to paint then MyPaint will be a great tool for you to use. It allows you to make amazing works of art using a distraction free interface. They have a nice collection of brushes from the standard pencil and charcoal to some more custom ones.
Krita is a photo editor and design tool that is just as or even more robust than Photoshop. When I was using it, I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to learning the ins and outs, but some of the things the community has made are simply breathtaking. Oh, it’s also open source.
Design Bump isn’t actually a tool, but I thought it would be important to stay abreast of all the design trends going on in the world. You never know where your next piece of inspiration will come from.
Inkscape is an opensource drawing tool that lets you create beautiful works of art right from your computer. They have extensive documentation to get you up to speed when you first download it and the community is creating enough content to inspire you for the rest of your life.
PictBear is an opensource alternative to the ever popular Photoshop. It’s not as robust, but it can take care of most of your photo design needs and is easy to get a hang of. If you want to quickly create images with a little more advanced features then this is for you.
Visualize.me was actually developed in order to help you make beautiful resume infographics, but with their numerous design templates, you can do so much more. Choose from maps, timelines, and bubble charts to make a work of art in just a few minutes.
Easelly is an infographic creation tool that has a large community of active users. They have a huge database of templates to choose from and most of them are free. If you need more variety, then you can always upgrade to the pro account.
I’ve used Piktochart in the past to make custom infographics and they also operate on a freemium model. They have a limited number of infographics available for free that you can start with to get a hang of the tool. With their free version, you can only download your finished creation in certain formats and sizes and the download comes with the Picktochart watermark. That aside, they have a large library of icons that you can use to completely customize your infographic to your needs.
Infogr.am, as the name implies is all about infographics. They specialize in helping you visualize statistical data in charts and graphs for easy consumption. A plus for infogr.am is that many of their templates are interactive to a degree.
Visually is a design resource that inspires you to do great things. If you’re designing your next infographic or creating a video project, this is where you’ll come to get rid of the cobwebs in your head. I use it often when I’m trying to get inspired for my next project.
Venngage is a pretty robust tool that uses the freemium model. A simple drag and drop editor with a massive library of templates can quickly make this your go to infographic design tool. It just works.
Dipity is a timeline creator that can literally suck you in for hours. It works by leveraging their community to catalog the information of the internet while presenting it beautifully. You can work with team members or completely alone. The choice is yours.
Real World Paint is another open source image editor that isn’t shy about asking for the donation. It has an easy to use interface that allows you to design, draw, and layer images to your hearts content. Personally, I don’t like the way it looks.
Psykopaint does one thing, allows you to paint online. You can use their tool to create paintings with a variety of textures and depth. If you know how to paint in real life (I took a class when I was a kid once) you’ll appreciate the attention to detail they put into this tool.
Sketch N Paint is one of the many tools that One Motion offers to its visitors. It’s a very simple painting tool that you can use in your free time to get ideas on paper or on the screen rather.
When I stumbled on Queeky, I was actually stunned by what people were creating with the online drawing tool. You can have the Queeky tool draw for you or you can take the time to learn how to use the tool and make beautiful works of art yourself.