40+ Resources Every Designer Should Bookmark

Some of the biggest issues faced by designers are:

  • Tight deadlines
  • Low or no budget
  • Poor quality images
  • Lack of materials
  • Inspiration blocks

We’ve compiled a list of 46 websites featuring the best (and mostly FREE) design resources that will solve these issues, speed up the design process and help you complete each project in a professional and quality manner.

For all the designers, visual marketers and other creative professionals it’s essential to have within reach a pile of photos, graphics, and valuable tools to get their work done efficiently and successfully. From selecting the right visual assets, to choosing the perfect color combination, these design resources will most certainly help you receive the “WOW” response every designer is aiming for!

Make sure to bookmark this post for future reference and feel free to comment with your favorites or the ones that you like but don't see on the list.

 

DESIGN

1.  Sketch App Sources

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Sketch App Sources is a website where you can find 2999 FREE resources including: UI Kits, Icons, Wireframes, Web, Buttons, Brand Identity resources and more.

 

2.  COLOURlovers

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Explore over 4,541,310 user-created color palettes and get your ideal color combination!

 

3.  HTML Color Codes

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Identify what colors are used on a website for FREE with this simple to use tool.

 

4.  Textures.com

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Choose from a large array of images called “textures” for your graphic design, visual effects, or computer games projects. Among the available categories are: 3D Objects, Brick, Concrete, Wood, Metal, HDR Spheres, Rust, Nature, Roofing, etc.

You can download up to 15 images for FREE every day.

 

5.  Brusheezy

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Browse over 15.000 of FREE Photoshop brushes and other Photoshop-related resources of all kinds.

 

6.  Subtle Patterns

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Discover your favorite patterns and enhance your next project. All patterns on this site can be used FREE of charge.

 

7.  Pttrns  

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Pttrns is a large collection of mobile design patterns, resources and inspiration.

 

8.  GuideGuide

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Quickly and easily add guides to save design time on your next project. Add this Photoshop and Illustrator panel for just $10.

 

9.  Gridzzly  

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Gridzzly is a very simple tool that allows you to make your own grid paper that you can print for FREE.

 

10.  Layrs Control 2

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Layrs control 2 is a FREE Photoshop extension of a collection of 7 scripts that make work with Photoshop layers easier. The 7 scripts include: layer name editor, remove unused effects, flatten all layers effects, delete empty layer, rasterize smart objects, find similar files & folders, and convert to smart object.

 

11.  Social Kit Pro

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Social Kit Pro is a Photoshop plugin that lets you create, preview and export perfect pictures and ads for all of your social media channels.

 

12.  UI Cloud   

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UI Cloud is the largest user interface design database in the world, with over 46608 UI elements separated into the following categories: Breadcrumb, Button, Calendar, Checkbox, Drop down, Form, List, Menu, Navigation, Pagination, Password, Progress bar, Radio button, Scroll, Search box, Slider, Spinner, Switch, Tab, Table, Text input, Toolbar and Tooltip.

 

13.  Zeplin

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Zeplin is a FREE (1 active project/month) collaboration app for UI designers and frontend developers. Generate styleguides and resources, automatically.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

14.  FREE IMAGES

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Browse 390,676 FREE photos and illustrations. Available categories include: Animals & Wildlife, Architecture, Arts & Design, Automotives, Business & Finance, Food & Drink, Health & Medical, Holiday & Festivals, Signs & Symbols, Textures, Patterns etc.

 

15.  Stock Up

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Browse 20,000+ FREE stock photos indexed from over 30 free stock photo websites.

 

16.  ON1 Effects 10.5

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ON1 Effects 10.5 includes hundreds of stackable filters, presets, borders, and textures. Add an HDR look, bring out more detail, reduce noise, or enhance a portrait. This is a powerful and FREE tool that makes it easy to add effects that can be difficult or time-consuming to create in Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, or Aperture.

 

17.  Polarr

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Polarr is the most powerful photo editor designed for both novices and experts. Features include skin retouching, text editing, film simulations and more. There is both a FREE and Pro version.

 

18.  Free Nature Stock

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Search for the most beautiful high quality royalty-FREE Nature Stock photos and use them however you want.

 

19.  Pexels

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The best FREE stock photos in one place.

 

 

ICONS

20.  Fontello

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Fontello is open source and FREE icon fonts generator. The icon fonts can be controlled with CSS. You can change their size, color, shadow, etc.

 

21.  GlyphSearch

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Quickly and easily search for glyphicons from Font Awesome, Foundation, Glyphicons, Icomoon, Ionicons, Material and Octicons.

 

22.  MakeAppIcon

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MakeAppIcon saves you a significant amount of design time by allowing you to resize and optimize your icon designs into all dimensions required in an iOS and Android mobile apps!

 

23.  IcoMoon

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IcoMoon is an icon management tool that provides you with 5500+ FREE vector icons. It also features icon font generator, glyph editing, and other options to make your design project a real success.

 

24.  Smarticons

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Search the library of over 800 FREE scalable and Hi-DPI ready icons! Customize individual icons or style the whole set with CSS.

 

25.    FlatIcons

Choose your favorite out of 2,500 FREE icons and customize it according to the needs of your project. You can create your own royalty free flat icons within seconds!

 

26.  iconSweets

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Enhance your design project with the use of these 60 FREE vector Photoshop icons designed with care.

 

27.  Icon Deposit

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Icon Deposit offers a huge collection of FREE Icons, Icons Sets, Flat Color Icons, Ios 8 Tab Bar & Toolbar Icons, Icon Design Tutorials and other resources.

 

 

FREE MOCKUP TEMPLATES

28.  Pixeden

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A large selection of Premium & FREE Psd Mock-Up Templates fully layered with smart objects. Some of the available mockups include brochure, app icons, beer bottle, sweatshirt, wine cardboard bag, wood frame, container, calendar, business card, label cards, envelope, etc.

 

29.  Graphic Burger

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Premium & FREE mockups in various categories such as T-shirt, van, leggings, moving box, hardcover book, plate, identity set, mug mockups and much more.

 

30.  Mockup World

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Access tons of FREE easily customizable photo realistic iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, AppleWatch, Food & Beverages, Magazines & Books, Packaging, T-shirts, Street Signs or Billboard mockups.

 

31.  ShowItBetter

Showcase your designs in professional manner using these hi-res PSD mockups.

 

32.  Original Mockups  

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Make your next project presentation stand out with these FREE and paid mockups in various categories including: Magazine, Stationery, Apparel, Mobile, Packaging, Business Cards, iPad, MacBook, Glassware, Beer, Bottle, Wine, Billboards & Signs and more.

 

33.  Pixel Buddha

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A large selection of FREE PSD Mockup Templates to use for your design projects of all kinds.

 

 

LEARNING RESOURCES

34.  Lynda

Lynda is one of the most comprehensive learning websites with 6.243 Software Development, Design, Web Development, Business, Photography and Business courses. Start a free one month trial or select from the two available plans Basic for $19.99/month and Premium for $29.99/month.

 

35.  Envato Tuts+

Deliver quality projects faster with Envato’s large collection of 1,080+ video courses, 240+ eBooks, 25,060+ tutorials, 370,000+ photos, 30,000+ design ready assets, templates etc. Prices start at $29/month.

 

36.  Treehouse

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Learn from expert teachers the latest trends and best practices in web design, coding, business, and much more. Choose from a library of over 1000 videos for $25/month.

 

37.  Codeacademy

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While this website is mostly focused on coding, there is a section for design that will allow you to learn how to make thoughtful design decisions, learn the first principles in responsive design, and how to create a compelling user experience for FREE.

 

38.  Udemy

At Udemy you will definitely find the course you need! Search from a large base of 55.000 online courses in various categories ranging from: Graphic Design, Web Design, Game Design, 3D & Animation, Photography, Marketing and much more. Currently prices start at $12 per course.

 

39.  Skillshare

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Get unlimited access to over 18,000 classes in various categories such as: Design, Photography, Business, Writing, Crafts etc. for $12/month. You can enjoy the classes offline and watch with no ads interruptions.

 

40.  Coursera

Coursera provides access to over 2.000 courses taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. You may find courses priced at about $29-$99 in Graphic Design, Web Design, Game Design, Photography, Marketing and much more.

 

 

INSPIRATIONAL SITES

41.  Inspiration Grid

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Inspiration grid presents the work of the most talented designers, illustrators, and photographers. Search for inspiration in every creative field including: Advertising, Architecture, Art Branding, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Logo Design, Packaging Design, Photography, Print Design, Product Design, Typography, UI Design Vehicle Design, and more.

 

42.  Webdesign inspiration

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Get inspired by the best hand-picked web designs from all over the world. Filter web designs by website type, industry, color or style.

 

43.  Design inspiration

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The place to discover great art, design, architecture, photography and web inspiration.

 

44.  It’s Nice That

Get informed about the trends in the creative industry and find inspiration in numerous categories such as: Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Product Design, Set Design and more.

 

45.  Smashing magazine

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Browse through the wide array of articles, digital books, and events, to boost your productivity, and improve your design and development skills.

 

46.  Awwwards

Take a look at the best websites around the world. Find web design inspiration, share knowledge and constructive critiques.

 

 

Colin Whitlock