My Go-To List for Free Online Design Resources

 

Sometimes it’s really hard to sort through all the free things on the internet. This is my go-to list of websites that provide free high-quality resources that helped me become a better designer over the last 5 years. 

 

Stock Photos

Photo of black camera on white background

Photo by Math on Unsplash

We’re living in a world that has a high emphasis on visuals. Simply put, you need photos in order to catch people’s eyes.

 

Unsplash.com

  • lots of high-quality photos
  • really helpful search, items are well tagged 
  • great for searching for something very specific 

Pexels.com

  • also very high-quality stock photos 
  • can explore by collections (great for finding thematically similar photos)  

Stockvault.net

  • if you can't find what you need on the sites above, try stockvault
  • be carefully you're only looking at the free stuff, and not the advertised paid stock

 

Mockups

These photo-realistic mockups are a great way of boosting sales of custom goods and even mocking up packaging. Especially with retail goods, it's always a good idea to include photos of the packaged product to boost recognition with your customers.  

MockUp World

  • has everything from mockups for tablets/phones, to packaging to print 
  • well curated, very high-quality mockups 

Fonts

A custom font makes you look more legitimate and makes just about any template much more unique.  

Fontsquirrel.com

  • free fonts available for commercial use 
  • lots of filtering options that allow you to find the perfect font 
  • even has a handy font identifier tool  

Google Fonts

  •  also for commercial use 
  • very easy to use as web fonts (many CMS like Wordpress will have addons that let you enable Google Fonts easily) 
  • filters let you find fonts with desired weights, widths, etc. 

DaFont

  • lots of free fonts 
  • not all for commercial use, make sure to read carefully about the licensing 
  • great collection of decorative fonts  

 

Icons

Noun Project

  • the noun project has a lot of icons
  • well established search function 
  • collections help you keep your icons in the same style 
  • has plugins for Adobe and Microsoft Office 

Flaticon

  • a truly giant collection of icons 
  • available in a variety of file formats 
  • pattern making function lets you make cute backgrounds quickly 

Other

Behance 

  • great for sparking creative inspiration 
  • also free resources (people give away free stuff all the time)  

Best Tips

  • Don’t use your primary email. Make a separate email just for signing up for free resources or better yet, use a disposable email. Your inbox will thank you. 
  • Always credit! Become familiar with copyrighting and attributions. 
  • Free stock is great, but once you start getting established, it's a good idea to start paying for stock. It's easier to deal with attributions and oftentimes, many clients are willing to pay for it. 

 

Featured Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash