Everyone has their favourite websites that they go to for inspiration, but how about web resources that can help you excel as a designer? Web resource sites can help inspire, and save you a lot time.
What do I mean when I say "web resources"? I mean custom fonts, textures, brushes, vectors and other little priceless pre-made graphics that are free to use commercially. Below I have listed my favourite resource sites that I've found to be most useful in the past. These websites are updated often, so make sure to bookmark this page or the site specifically.
There are lots of font resources on the web and it can be a hard task finding suitable fonts for specific projects. I have listed my favourite three resource websites below, with my reasoning why:
Has a great range of professional free fonts. I consider this website the best font resource on the Internet for its vast number of fonts, the majority of them being excellent.
The League of Moveable Type
My favourite font website as it features a select group of excellent and original fonts. This resource is again free and the fonts are finished to an exceptional standard that you'd normally expect to be paying for.
Great for quantity and variety. This font resource's main strength is the quantity of fonts listed and the variety of those lists. It's easy to browse, however it can get tiresome clicking through hundreds of pages to find the font you want. And the quality control can be a bit hit-and-miss.
Creative Market Fonts
If you'd like to support independent creators of fonts and are looking for something a bit different, then Creative Market offers tons of fonts all at reasonable prices. In fact, quite a few are listed at less than $10, which isn't much of an investment for giving your website or design a more distinctive look.
Using textures in your work can be very rewarding, adding an organic and more natural feel that brings the whole design together and makes it pop.
Lost and Taken
An excellent resource for paper and subtle grunge textures, to add that organic feeling to your work. High quality and design standard.
Smashing Magazine - 100 Beautiful Free Textures
Listed in large thumbnails for fast browsing, with no need to download every single file as some blog-based websites will make you do. Again the quality of these textures is excellent and the variety is also a major advantage.
The clue is in the title - Texture King is the king of texture resource websites and hosts a wide variety of designs for professional use. The site is updated often and has been around for quite a few years now.
One advantage that comes with Photoshop being such a recognised industry-standard piece of software is the amount of support that exists for it, and there is no better example than the masses of Photoshop brushes available. These can help speed up the creation of a pattern or help you add texture in a different way to your work. If you haven't used brushes as a resource I would strongly recommend you have a look.
From the creators of Texture King, this website has also been around for a number of years and is a good place to start looking. It has a vast library of free, high quality brushes.
My Photoshop Brushes
Another website I use for brushes, again it is very similar to the above site and is an equally useful web brush resource. The reason I use a few different sites is for variety; some of the brush packs are not listed on some sites, due to the loyalties of the contributors.
Brushes are added weekly - a very useful resource as the website is well-categorised and neatly laid out, with useful preview images.
Vector Files & Other Resources
Vectors are an excellent resource and can be very useful in helping bridge the web/print design gap, being lossless files that can be resized without losing quality. This means you could match a design on the web with your print media to create a neat business image.
Vector Files can be quite complex shapes that would usually take hours alone to create, so these are some of the most time-saving resource websites out there.
250 free vintage vector resource files. This website usually gives away free packs, so it's worth checking the categories for more useful resources, or for tutorials on how they recommend using the vector files.
Similar to the resource link above, this website has a "freebies" section which lists useful resources that you might not have been looking for... yet could be crucial in nailing your final design.
Take a look - variety is the spice of life!