Best Free Resources For Designers - Colors and Images

30 in 30 Dec 17, 2020

All the resources that I am going to share in this post I have personally used and loved them. So I am not just going to list anything that I think you might like. All of these are free resources and some of them might offer more pro features if you pay for them but mostly they are free. You might want to read all the resources since some of them can be used by both designers and developers.

FOR DESIGNING

Canva

I use Canva almost every day, especially when I am blogging. All the images, icons, and logos you see on this site, I got from Canva. Canva is a great drag and drop tool for any designer or even a developer who would like to design something quick. It's a very simple platform but it's pretty powerful too. It's like an all in one shop. You can get free assets such as images, templates, icons, etc. If you use social media, Canva can be a great tool to design your Facebook or Instagram images or even YouTube thumbnails. For all other design uses like invitation cards, birthday cards, posters, ads, etc. Canva is such an awesome tool for that and other professional layouts.

One of my favorite features of Canva is background removal. Canva works so well if you want to remove the background from any image. Give it a try! Background removal might not be on the free plan

FOR PICKING COLORS

Getting colors right when designing can be so hard. Whether you want to get inspiration or you just pick colors …here is a short list for you:

Flat UI Colors

For a quick selection of colors to use on your website or any design, Flat UI Colors is one of the best color resources. It's so simple to use and it does not bombard you with a selection of a million colors. They just have a great selection of only 20 colors. The link I gave is from their original Flat UI Palette (Version 1), but you can browse around and see they have also got palettes tailored for specific countries. They have got an American palette, Chinese palette, Swedish, Germany, etc.

97 Palettes

This is also one of my favorite color palettes. Don't let the name deceive you, there aren't 97 palettes, it's just a selection of a few colors. This color palette was highly influenced by Flat UI Colors and Microsoft's Fluent UI. As you will see all the colors used in the palette are from different Microsoft applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. All you have to do is copy the HEX code and paste it where you wanna use it.

0 to 255

This is another resource I use for colors. This is a great tool if you wanna find darker or lighter tones of a specific color. So whichever color you pick...you can enter the HEX code on their text box and then the tool will list your color together with all the lighter and darker shades. A great resource to use if you're coming up with a palette for your project, also when designing hover buttons.

UI Gradients

Sometimes it can be really hard to come up with just the right gradient. This website is so simple, and you can easily pick one among many of their handpicked gradients. They also give you an option to rotate the colors of the gradient. After that, if you want to use the gradient you can either get a CSS code snippet or you can download the gradient as a jpg image.

Brand Colors

The final one on the colors list, but also one of my favorite is Brand Colors. This is a website that curates official colors used by different brands of the world. From Apple to McDonald's to Nike, Brand Colors has got it. If you're just lazy to come up with colors for your project, you can go here to get inspired...and at least you will be certain that you can't go wrong. Pick a brand, and you can use this website to search for your the company name and get their color codes. Definitely worth a try!

FOR PICKING AND WORKING WITH IMAGES

As a designer you will always be working with images, here is a curated list of areas where you can get best free and high resolution photos, patterns and illustrations.

Pexels

This is my number one go-to resource when it comes to picking high-resolution photos. Pexels has a very nice and intuitive user interface for selecting free high-quality images. What I like more about Pexels is the fact that you can customize your selection by color e.g. you want red or green or brown etc. and Pexels will automatically filter to get you pictures that have those colors. You can also use size and orientation to pick different sizes (small, medium, large) and orientation (landscape, portrait) of pictures. The download process is super fast, and just before downloading you can put a custom size for your image. Isn't that nice? And it's all free.

Unsplash

Now almost everyone knows this website. Unsplash is one of the most popular free images destinations. It works just like Pexels but Unsplash will have more selection of images. To get a wider selection of images, Unsplash is an awesome resource. As of right now, Unsplash has a library of over 2 million photos.

Pattern Library

This is a huge library of patterns. Patterns can be such a nice addition to your design. They come in form of repeatable tiles. So you can easily download and put them together to simulate the repetition of patterns. Or you can just use them as they are. Give a try to this amazing collection of patterns. Patterns make great backrounds for header images.

Image Compressor (Optimizilla)

This is a great tool when you want to reduce the size of your images. If you're working with images on the web sometimes you want to reduce them in a file that can easily be downloaded or that can load fast. Optimizilla allows you to reduce the size of your images while maintaining the quality. You can optimize up to 20 images at once and also you can easily customize how low or high you want the compression to be. It also allows you to see exactly how your image will look like before and after comprehension in their very nice UI.

Undraw (Illustrations)

As far as illustrations are concerned, you can't beat Undraw. They have a great selection of illustrations in form of SVG and PNG and you can easily customize them in any color you like. As opposed to using normal images, try Undraw illustrations for your next design work. They cover illustrations from a lot of topics, what you have to do is just type in the search box which type of illustration you want.

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Obviously, there are a lot of other resources I use, but those are definitely my favorites. I will keep expanding this list as time goes. Be free to recommend your favorite design resources.

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There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for

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