Words by Ben HamiltonFebruary 13, 2018
As a designer working in the twenty-first century, I’m regularly thankful for the wonderful selection of design resources that make my life easier than if I’d been born a couple of decades earlier!
From typeface selection to simply getting the ol’ creative juices flowing, the web is a wonderful point of reference with a plethora of tools to aid us designers in our labours.
In this post I’ll introduce you to 5 online design resources that I’m totally in love with 🙂
Pigment, a tool from the Shape Factory suite is a wonderfully simple colour-palette creation tool. With a few clicks it lets you preview, adjust and download a huge variety of complementary palettes.
Next time you feel like you’re going colourblind staring at your Pantone swatch, I’d recommend spending a few minutes playing with Pigment.
An old favourite, The Noun Project is a gigantic collection of icons (many royalty-free) that I return to time and time again. I find it particularly useful not only for finding and downloading icons, but also as inspiration when creating illustrations: by searching for a particular term you can quickly preview a massive variety of approaches to represent your concept which you might not yet have considered.
If you use these icons in your projects, don’t forget to attribute the creators’ hard work with a credit, or purchase a licence for what is usually a very reasonable price.
Long gone are the days of using watermarked placeholder imagery in your work-in-progress designs, thanks to Unsplash. It’s a high-quality stock library of over 300,000 images which are completely free to use with or without attribution.
Vectorizer is a fun little design resource that you might not want to use every day, but which can be a great asset in creating a different look-and-feel for one of your projects through its ability to export any image as an svg file. Good stuff.
The final design resource is all about the inspiration. In the words of its developer, InVision, “Muzli is a new-tab Chrome extension that instantly delivers relevant design stories and inspiration.”
Having added it to your browser and indicated a few preferences, it serves up a daily selection of interesting articles and outstanding design projects from around the web for your viewing pleasure. I use it as my browser’s home page so that I’m regularly reminded to lift my head out of whatever design-related sandbank it’s currently buried in and see what else is going on in the wider design community!
In summary, if you’re a designer today you’re super-lucky to have an incredible bank of resources at your disposal – often free-to-use thanks to the generosity of its creators. Use it responsibly, and I’d love to know what your favourite design resources are via the comments.