Designer or developer, we are always on the look out to find high quality resources to get our creative juices flowing and to sometimes make our work easier. A lot of inspiration can be gained from resource sites and they’re even better when they’re free! I feel resource sites can also bring a lot of excitement to a design if you’re stuck for ideas, as a lot of websites that I have found in the past give you endless editing abilities to what they offer so you can really make something your own. Hopefully you will enjoy my top 5 resource sites below as much as i do and best of all, they are all free!
Icons are highly used these days for apps on your mobile phone, buttons on websites and even within logos. They can be really useful for communicating messages and being the face of a brand such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that almost everyone uses on a daily basis and would instantly recognise without any text needed. Flaticon is the largest search engine in the world that provides FREE icons with 4 million visits each month from people across 230 different countries! With more than 100 people involved, Flaticon carefully select high quality and editable vectors for their users to use in both personal and commercial work. They offer both multicoloured and monocoloured vector icons which can be downloaded as a PNG, SVG, EPS, or PSD, to edit them however you like.[button open_new_tab=”true” color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”small” url=”http://www.flaticon.com/” text=”View Flaticon” color_override=””]
Graphics are eminently used across everything and anything from the packaging on your drinks bottle, to the adverts for your favourite brand and even the maps and signs you read around the world. We see them on a daily basis no matter how hard we try not to and you don’t even realise the impact they achieve. Freepik is the leading search engine of free vector designs in the world and was set up in 2010 by brothers Alejandro and Pablo Blanes, the same people who set up Flaticon. Freepik actually came before Flaticon and it is because of Freepik’s huge success that Flaticon was then made. The company is made up of the same 100+ designers and talented young people as Flaticon who work together to run both platforms in their southern Spain, Malaga offices. They work hard to offer their users the most exclusive graphic resources for personal and professional use and you can also filter your searches to find vectors, stock images, PSD files and Icons too.[button open_new_tab=”true” color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”small” url=”http://www.freepik.com/” text=”View Freepik” color_override=””]
When producing design work, type plays an important role into how your final piece will look. A font can make or break a design and there is nothing worse than a bad font ruining your whole piece. There are a lot of websites that offer free fonts such as Dafont, Fontsquirrel and 1001freefonts; also for paid Adobe users there is Typekit. There are a lot to chose from but once you have all these fonts you’ll be left with endless scrolling to find your favourite from your collection. A resource website that I have recently found is Wordmark, which was created by Fahri Özkaramanlı, a freelance visual communication designer living in İstanbul. Wordmark takes all the fonts you have installed on your computer using a straightforward Adobe Flash script and presents them all on the screen. You simply type the chosen text you would like at the top of the page including font size, positive or negative colour and capitals or lowercase and you get to see the text styled in every single font you have.[button open_new_tab=”true” color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”small” url=”https://wordmark.it/” text=”View Wordmark” color_override=””]
Canva is an online design tool that allows you to design presentations, social media graphics, profile and header images, cards, menus and more. They use their guided layouts and inspiring templates so you have accurate sizes instantly for things such as Facebook headers and Instagram posts. They allow you to chose from millions of images that they offer, photo filters, icons and shapes and hundreds of fonts! Canva is perfect for beginners who are not too familiar with complicated software or professional designers that just want a bit of fun creating a laid back, quick and easy design. Canva is also available in the app store for iOS devices too! With 10.7 million users, Canva is helping people to create work every single second and you can actually see this with their online tracker. Simply design and download to your computer as a JPG, PNG, or PDF in both standard or print quality and you will have a high quality piece of work to share with the world. You can even upload your own images if you want a more personal touch and also download designs with crop marks and bleeds if you are designing anything that you need to print.[button open_new_tab=”true” color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”small” url=”https://www.canva.com/” text=”View Canva” color_override=””]
Finally, a resource for everything, Pixeden is a project set up by a group of passionate designers and programmers – a collection of free web and graphic design templates, along with a wide range of premium files available for $6 a month. They have packed their website full of the tools that a modern designer may need for both personal or professional use. They thrive to bring the best free graphics, web and design resources that are completely editable in formats such as Adobe Illustrator AI, Vector EPS, and depending on the file type, Adobe Photoshop PSD. If you are stuck for design inspiration Pixeden is a really good resource with 30,296,801 downloads to say so.[button open_new_tab=”true” color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”small” url=”http://pixeden.com/” text=”View Pixeden” color_override=””]
If you’re wondering how all of these resources are possibly free, it is because they use a ‘freemium’ business model which means that the majority of the resources offered can be used for free and you only have to credit the author to the website. Users can subscribe to Premium plans that they offer, paying a monthly cost to the website and this way you can use all of what they offer without any accreditation at all.