Leveraging resources like pre-existing fonts, imagery and icons can speed up the creative process and free up your time to focus on the more challenging parts of your design project. They can also serve to spark an idea when your creative flow gets jammed.
We’ve compiled a list of free or cost-effective graphic design resources that you can tap into when time is tight, your creativity is staling, or your client’s budget won’t stretch to cover something bespoke.
1. Color Lisa
Colours, especially cohesive colours, are essential in design. Yet landing on the right colour palette for a particular design can take time. Color Lisa is a curated collection of colour palettes inspired by some of the world’s most iconic artists and their masterpieces. For example, if you like ‘Marilyn Monroe, 1967’ by Andy Warhol, you can discover the palette used in that work.
There are plenty of stock photography sites around these days, but one that caught our eye most recently is Pexels. It’s where creators share royalty-free stock photos and videos for others to access and use in their own products, designs, websites, apps and art. There’s a real community feel to the site, and it’s also a great way for photographers to get exposure for their work.
3. The Noun Project
Icons have the power to cross language and cultural boundaries, making them one of the most universal communication tools. The Noun Project offers more than five million curated icons for graphic designers to use for free (although you’ll need to pay a small monthly fee to use them without attribution). The site is supported by a large community of designers who are building the most extensive, diverse collection of iconography in the world.
4. Open Peeps
Open Peeps is a hand-drawn illustration library where you can mix and match different elements (e.g. clothing, facial expressions and clothing) to create your own illustrative characters. Your creations can be used for product illustrations, marketing materials, comics, storyboarding and more. There are more than 584K combinations you can try to ‘mix a peep’!
5. Font Squirrel
Font Squirrel gives you access to hundreds of free fonts that can be used on commercial projects. Some handy tools on the Font Squirrel site include a font identifier where you can upload an image with type and search for fonts that match.
6. House of Mockups
Mockups are great for bringing your designs to life and transforming them into concepts to dazzle clients. House of Mockups is a brilliant resource where you can get a range of free and premium mockups to download and customise in PhotoShop. The site also provides plenty of inspiration if you want to create your own mockups from scratch.
Say goodbye to static brand guidelines. Brandpad lets you design and deliver brand identities as digital, interactive experiences and gives you a dedicated place to store assets and guides for several brands. If anything needs updating, you can change it in the platform and have it synced automatically. End clients simply click a link to view their brand identity and will always see the most up-to-date version.
8. Life of Vids
Life of Vids is a handy resource for free video clips and loops. There are no copyright restrictions, even for commercial use. The collections cover categories such as City, Offices, People, and Nature.
We hope you enjoy using these graphic design resources in your future projects! Why not check out our Knowledge bank for educational resources relating to design?
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