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Resources for Web Designers to Focus Your Workflow and Bump Your Efficiency
Finding resources for web designers is no longer a matter of combing the internet for something you can use: that’s like looking for a needle in a thousand needle-stacks. These days, the trick is to find those resources that pull everything together for you. Resources that are searchable, content rich and fully licensed.
Every morning after a trip to the coffee shop and entirely too much caffeine, I sit at my desk and consider my options. My job is one of the best in the world…though I may be a bit biased. In a single morning I might dip my feet into designing and building websites, playing with photography, creating graphics or diving into social media. That means wearing a lot of hats every day.
However, you may have heard that there are only 24 hours in a day to do…everything. I’ve learned the hard way that time management is often more important than any technical skill.
Thus I heartily recommend these creative commons resources for website designers, professional and enthusiast alike (translation: free for personal and commercial use).
1.) Icons, Icons, Icons: https://pixabay.com/
Crafting custom icons is time consuming. Not to mention it isn’t always necessary and must always be approved by your client. Luckily pixabay is here to save the day! Their galleries are filtered by photograph, vector images, illustrations and even videos.
To top it all off, all of their images are free to use and modify as you like.
2.) Stunning Photography: https://unsplash.com/
This photography stock site has been around the block and gathered hundreds of talented photographers along the way. Need a dramatic landscape? Brilliant sunset? Adorable small animal (which, let’s be honest, everyone needs once in a while)?
Unsplash has you covered.
I highly recommend checking out their “collections” to get inspiration for multiple motifs.
3.) Them Snazzy Fonts: http://www.losttype.com/
If there are two things that drive me crazy, it’s comic sans and papyrus fonts. Both of them have been much abused over the years and now cause me to turn visibly red. However, annoying as they may be, I know many web designers or hobbyists that simply don’t have the time to pen an entire font themselves (including myself).
That’s where Lost Type comes in. They have literally thousands of fonts to choose and download, filtered by type and often including a few variations in the same font. However keep in mind that all fonts are not necessarily free for commercial use.
Check licensing carefully to protect yourself and the creator!
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4.) Build Your Own Color Palette: http://www.colorfavs.com/
Okay, so putting together a color scheme isn’t really that time consuming. But putting together a lot of variations uniformly and making them easy to compare is… less easy. Colorfavs is a neat trick to build large, delightfully unique color schemes in minutes. Push your creativity past your color comfort zone and discover something truly original.
Colorfavs lets you pick from recently made palettes, palettes from photographs, or to create your own customized combinations.
Maybe I’m stretching the word “resource” a little bit with this one, but sometimes inspiration can become a scarce commodity. The Best Designs is a show case of what is trending in the web design world, curating top designs from people and agencies around the world. If you’re stuck in the trenches and don’t know where to turn, check them out!
You can search by designer but we really recommend using the design type filter options to view styles that appeal to you the most. Keep in mind you should not blindly copy a single design (it’s both lazy and illegal). Instead, try to critically analyze a few different styles and ask yourself why one design element works better than another. This will help your own ideas flow naturally!