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This article was published on December 21, 2014

40 free resources every designer should know

40 free resources every designer should know
Jennifer Cirpici
Story by

Jennifer Cirpici

Jennifer Cirpici is a graphic designer, illustrator and founder of the blog OtherFocus. Jennifer Cirpici is a graphic designer, illustrator and founder of the blog OtherFocus.

Jennifer Cirpici is a Dutch graphic designer and blogger. This post originally appeared on OtherFocus.

Ever wondered where designers get their resources to help them succeed with a project? Here is a list of great resources including sites, PSD. files, actions, UI elements, mock ups, et cetera. Best of all, they are totally free and available for you to download.

Bookmark this post so that you can always look back at this great list that can help you succeed.

1. Fribbble

Icons for your website, an iPhone mock up or PSD’s for your landing page, Fribbble is the place to be.


2. Behance project template

Many of us struggle when posting a project at Behance. How do we get it to make it look right? First of all, read this article – then download this nifty background template.


3. psddd.co

Another great site to get free PSD files, blurred background or UI elements.


4. COLOURlovers

Struggling to get the perfect color combination? This is a site that I go to. It’s perfect for some visual inspiration!


5. CG textures

A great site where you can download free stock images. From rocks, sky to trees. Very handy when it comes down to matte painting!


6. Subtle Patterns

In need of some high quality patterns? No need to look further, Subtle Patterns have a diverse gallery from around 400 patterns for you to download.


7. Webydo

Webydo lets you design a website for free – without code. Hallelujah!

8. GuideGuide

Guides can be a pain in the ass when it comes down to Web design, so here is a simple solution.


9. No more banding

Often we experience banding when working with gradients within Photoshop. With this action, you can say farewell to them and make gradients look more smooth.


10. Gridzzly

Allows you to make your own grid paper that you can print! Handy for sketches or when you want to make some typographic images and need to be exact.


Next: Tools for icons, sizing and more

11. Makeappicon

This tool resizes and optimizes your icon designs into all formats needed for iOS and Android mobile app!


12. Perfect Effects 3 

Designed specifically for photographers. With Perfect Effects 3, you’ll find intuitive and powerful tools that make it easy to add effects that can be difficult or time-consuming to create in Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements or Aperture.

13. Cut & Slice

Use Cut & Slice to export your assets to different devices in seconds. Improve your workflow by just naming your layers.cutandslice

14. Layrs Control 2

A free Photoshop extension of a collection of seven scripts that make tedious job easier.


15. Hexy

It’s a pain to have to select layers, highlight pieces of text and open the Color Picker to simply grab the hex value of a particular color. Hexy allows you to use the Eyedropper tool to simply click on the color of the object you’re after and copies it directly to your clipboard.


16. WhatTheFont!

Seen a font in use and want to know what it is? Submit a screenshot to WhatTheFont to find the closest matches in its database.

17. Typewolf

Typewolf shows fonts in use on actual websites, as well as background info about the font and personal recommendations for similar fonts.


18. Size Marks

Size Marks is a helpful Photoshop script for Web designers and front-end engineers. This script converts rectangular marquee to labeled measurement mark.


19. Velositey Version 2

Velositey lets you design a website within seconds in Photoshop, letting you pick from several templates and modules.


20. FontAwesomePS

Search for an icon and click to create a new layer shape which you can easily edit.


Next: More Photoshop freebies

21. Liveshare PS

With LiveShare PS you can now broadcast any Photoshop document to as many people as you want through an instant LiveShare meeting. If you make a change to your Photoshop document, the tool will instantly see your changes in the LiveShare meeting—you don’t even have to hit the save button!


22. Photoshop Share plugin

Share your design instantly within Photoshop using Layer Hero’s Photoshop Share plugin.


23. Prisma

Ever missed the global color swatches from Illustrator in Photoshop? Prisma brings them consistently to all supported applications.


24. Free Lorem Ipsum Generator

The best Lorem Ipsum generator plugin for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.


25. Free Behance Presentation Builder

Helps you build your Behance portfolio presentations in a click with a free PSD File and PS Action.


26. Kaku

A simple Photoshop plugin to translate your text layers to a different language.


27. Instagram Filters

A nice 13-filter pack that replicates the app Instagram for Photoshop.

instagram filer pack

28. VSCO Cam Effect in Photoshop Tutorial

Our friends at Go Media posted this stunning tutorial by Simon Hartmann, in which you can recreate a VSCO kind of effect within Photoshop. Have fun!


29. Social Kit

Social Kit by Made by Source covers images, profile pictures and ad banners for social media in a free up-to-date Photoshop plugin.


30. Mobile UI Blueprint psd files

Free Mobile UI elements PSD files by designer Chrometaphore.


Next: The last 10 tools!

31. Free Images

Previously known as sxc.hu, Free Images provides over 395,000 stock photos to download.


32. UI Cloud

The largest user interface design database in the world, with over 46,608 UI elements to download.


33. Mock Up Zones

Mock Up Zones have great collection of free Mock Ups for you to download – from iPads, iPhones, business cards to shirts.


34. Macbook Air and Thunderbolt Display

A stunning Macbook Air and Thunderbolt Display PSD’s free for you to download by designer Jozef Mak.


35. Greyscalegorilla 3D Tutorials

Met this guy while we both were a speaker at OFFF 2010 – he’s a friendly and talented artist. His site is an inspiration for many 3D artists and full of wonderful tutorials.


36. Vray Materials

If you need free quality Vray materials for for example Cinema 4D, this is the site to go to.


37. Blendme

This extension for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator searches thousands of assets, including popular icon packs, without having you to leave Photoshop or Illustrator.


38. AdobeKnowHow

Recently launched by Adobe, this site provides you free beginner courses for several Adobe programs.


39. Tuts+

A great site offering you free tutorials for several programs for you to learn. For beginners, but also for the professionals. You can never know enough.


40. Pixeden

Pixeden is a site not to be missed in this list and provides you a great collection of ‘freebies’ from mock ups, templates to text effects.


If I missed your favorites, please share them in the comments below!

Read next: The best free stock image resources on the Web

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