200+ Free Design Resources That Can Save You Time & Money
“Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; doing well wisest and best of all.” — Persian Proverb
If you have ever worked for a startup, then you know that using money & time efficiently and effectively is a crucial part of the product design process. When I started Connectedreams, I committed to leveraging my design background to do as much of the UX/UI work as possible by myself and hopefully save some money.
From the start, I was very particular about best user interaction, the finest fonts, the coolest color combinations, “that” perfect company identity … everything in my control had to be perfect. If you’re a designer, you will surely understand.
However, this approach caused many missed deadlines and wasted dollars. Despite my efforts to be organized, I was stretching myself too thin and was not using my time and resources as effectively as I needed to.
It has been a long process of trial’n error and over time, I stumbled upon many resources that are available free of charge and can facilitate the design process. As I found these, I added them one by one to a “reference book”, eventually compiling a huge list of free resources. I use these tools to create a skeleton and then add my own style to it.
So that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, here is my list of useful design resources.
*Make sure to double check the license before using for commercial projects.
Bookmark It — If the type of content you want to save is mostly reading material, then your best bet is Readability or Pocket that support tagging. Other services I really like are Evernote, Springpad, Trello, Raindrop, Niice, Pinterest, Curator, Moodboard, Real Time Board. Here are few Chrome extensions that I have used in the past to bookmark: Bookmarks Tagger, Super Sorter, or Stashmarks.
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A List Of Crowd Sourced Learning Resources — Here is a list of websites that you can use today to pick up a new skill, grow your knowledge and learn through networking
Free Stock Photographs — If you’re looking for photos to use for a design and want to keep yourself out of copyright trouble, you need to locate websites that explicitly define the copyright license of each image. For all the sites listed below, the license is generally pretty easy to find. Here are two license types you’re likely to find on these sites: Creative Commons zero & Creative Commons with attribution.
British Library, StockSnap, Free Nature Stock, Stock Up, Pexels, All The Free Stock, Unsplash, Travel Coffee Book , Splashbase, Startup Stock Photos, Designers Pics, Foodie’s Feed, Jéshoots, Death to the Stock Photo, Pixabay, Picography, Magdeleine, Snapographic, Splitshire, New Old Stock, Picjumbo, Life of Pix, Gratisography, Getrefe, IM Free, ISO Republic, Kaboompics, Function, MMT, Paul Jarvis, Lock & Stock Photos, Raumrot, Free Nature Stock, Mazwai, Gratisography, Split Shire, Little Visuals, Images.superfamous, Imcreator, Getrefe.tumblr, SnapWireSnaps.tumblr, nypl.org, Free Images, Death to the Stock Photo, Creativecommons.org
Wireframes + Mockups + Personas
Mockplus, Balsamiq, Sketchboard, iplotz, Persona Templates, InVision App, Dunnnk, InstaMockup, Pixeden, Graphic Burger, Media Loot, Pixel Buddha, Perfect Pixels, Sketch App Sources ( Sketch ), Do, Tethr, UI Space, Teehan Lax Tools, Real Thread Clothing Templates, PSD Covers
Icons — Check individual icons & icon sets for the license.
App Icon Template, SmartIcons, Ego Icons, FlatIcons, To(icon), Flat Icon, Material Design Icons, Font Awesome, Glyphsearch, Endless Icons, Ico Moon, The Noun Project, Icon Finder, Doodle Set , Flat Set, Vector Line Set, Icon Sweets, Make Appicon, App Icon Template, SmartIcons, To(icon), Make Appicon, Perfect Icons, Fontello
Fonts — Inspiration, Recommendations, and Resources — You’ll find elements of typographical inspiration from the below mentioned websites and you can download free fonts such as Metropolis into the bargain.
Resources &Inspiration — awwwards.com, Font Squirrel, DaFont, 1001 Free Fonts, FontPark, Free Section of Creative Market, MediaLoot, Ten by Twenty, FreebiesBug, Type To Design, Josip Kelava, Adobe Edge Fonts, Typekit, The Northern Block, Free Font Manifesto, 1001 Free Fonts, FontFaceNinja, Google Fonts, Beautiful Web Type, I Love Typography, James Edmondson
Free Graphic Resources — Over 1,000+ free Sketch resources submitted by designers around the world.
Sketch App Sources, Free Section of Creative Market, UI Space, Free Section of Pixeden, Graphic Burger, Tech&All, Freepik, Premium Pixels, Freebiesbug, 365 Psd, Marvel, Web3Canvas, Placeit Freebies, Freebbble, Dribbble, Dbf, SketchAppResources, Teehan+Lax, Tethr
Backgrounds, Textures & Patterns — From grunge to watercolor, abstract vectors to blurry photographic free backgrounds, textures & patterns to choose from.
Videos/ Audio — Free quality audio and video footage.
Pexels, Mazwai, Vimeo Free HD Stock, Coverr, Cute Stock Video, Videezy, Videvo, Fancy Footage Club, Pond 5 ( Free Collection ), Vidsplay, Beachfront B-Roll, YouTube Audio Library, The Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library, Free Music Archive, Vimeo Music Store, Pond 5, Bensound, Looper Man, Flashkit, Pond 5, YouTubeAudioLibrary, Flashkit, Sounds Crate, Free Sound Effects, Sound Gator, Open Culture
Brand Guidelines — Because versioning for different devices can turn patient product designers into raving madmen.
Social Media Image Sizes — Cheat sheet — an infographic that tells you the best image sizes for each social network and image types
Screen Siz.es simplifies things by presenting all the required product design specs in an easy-to-grok table.
Find Guidelin.es — links to many major brands’ assets and standards all in one place.
Brand Colors: Colors used by famous brands.
Design Communities, Websites & Blogs to Follow — Whether you’re looking for critique, collaboration or simply searching for your design muse to get inspired, here are few great places to do that.
Dsource, Awwwards, Favourite Website Awards (FWA), Dribbble, Behance, Niice.co, DesignTAXI, Twibfy, Logopond, Designspiration, Pttrns, MaterialUp, FLTDSGN, Site Inspire, UI Cloud, Dribbble, Behance, Flat UI Design, The Starter Kit, One Page Love, The Best Designs, UI Parade, Agile Designers, I Love Typography, Typespiration, AnthroDesign Discussion List, HCIIDC, Graphic Design Forum, Behance, DeviantArt, Flickr, Designer News, 99u, Open Culture, Smashing Magazine, Behance, Dribble, Information is Beautiful, UX Magazine, Little Big Details, NN Group, Zurb Blog, Userspots Blog, Product Hunt, Userspots’ Slideshare Account, UXPA, Mobile App Reviews, Dark Patterns Blog, Internet of Things, Interaction IXDA, Difference Between Responsive and Adaptive Design, Gesture Library, Mobile app’s HCI Guides
*If you have used any free tools/resources that deserve to be on this list and are not already, please let us know and we will include them.
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