Regardless of how far deep I am into the black hole that is pretty digital creations, I love finding new resources to bring my design game up a notch or two. It’s especially important when you’re creating content for blogs, since using other people’s images without consent is a massive no-no. If you wanna know why, then countless people have written up on that subject – but the crux of the matter is, it’s content stealing. Although there are some places that allow you to use images free of charge or with accreditation, and I’ve shared some of these down below!
It is always important to check the license or ‘read me’ part of these resources – most of anything that is free is usually ‘free for personal use‘, This means you can use it in your projects without having to pay the creator for a license, as long as you are not selling them. Usually a quick email to the creator if you’re confused about anything will easily clear things up.
the behemoth that is daFontis my first stop always for snazzy new types. It has pretty much everything you could dream of, and a couple of ‘dupes’ of famous fonts that are kinda really expensive. The dupes aren’t direct copies of those fonts, just the artist’s interpretation. It’s a brilliant place if you’re wanting something past the standard for your you design project.
for almost all of my graphics, I use photoshop. It isn’t a free program, unfortunately, but they do have a free trial period if you want to test it out before you buy. One of the reasons I love using photoshop – or adobe suite, actually – over other programs is the sheer amount of user-created content to play with. It’s like all the custom content in sims games. (yes, I loved ‘collecting’ cc too). You’ve got PSDs, brushes, patterns, presets, actions, shapes, textures… the list isn’t necessarily endless but that’s just for photoshop.
deviantArt isn’t just a place for finding and faving absolutely stunning artwork, they have a very active resource creating community. This community makes some fab brushes, custom shapes, gradients & patterns, and swatches, as well as some pretty snazzy add-ons for other programs. I get a lot of my seasonal designing resources from here, a lot of holiday themed brushes and some more obscure things that I wouldn’t’ve thought I needed, but have actually become frequently used.
pinterest is fab for directing me to creative blogs that have downloadable content. I pin almost anything I’d class as a resource to my own resource board so that it’s all in one place and I can see things at a glance. It’s introduced me to some wonderful content creators, and I’ve found that it’s the best place to find more ‘hand drawn’ or ‘vintage’ vibey stuff.
tumblr isn’t the first place you’d think of for ‘resources’, right? It’s another platform with a ridiculously varied user-base, but there are a solid group of creatives churning out the PSDs like no tomorrow, as well as some really nice textures and graphical overlays.
I get most of my PSDs from here. A PSD is photoshop document, the default save for photoshop files, in this sense, the PSD will usually contain a folder of adjustments and a base image so you can see how the adjustment folder affects the colours of the image. I love them because 1) they’re super easy to use, 2) you can get brilliant effects with them 3) they add consistency to images if you’re theming things a certain way 4) lazy girls way to edit. oops.
this is a resource centre I’ve only recently found – and it’s fab. A lot of the content is paid for, but they release 6 free items every monday, ranging from website themes to custom fonts. It’s where I’ve picked up a lot of the prettier handwritten or brush script fonts that are so in vogue right now. The free content changes weekly, so you only have a week to download, but I love the variation and it makes Monday’s a little bit better.
a little bit like creative market, the hungry jpeg is a fab website filled with resources and downloadable content that is usually paid for. They specialise in content deals, and have something new each month that is regularly over 90% off, as well as a section for $1 deals. Not bad, ey? They also have a frequently updated freebies section, which is, uh, where I live, mostly.
royalty free photos
remember me, and countless other people, saying that googling an image and nabbing the first one from results isn’t a good idea? There are websites that specialise in beautiful ‘stock’ image photography that is completely free of charge. Gratisography is one of my favourites, death to the stock photo is another popular choice, as well as stocksnapand unsplash. Remember to check out the requirements though – most of the images free from copyright restrictions, but some are under creative commons. Know what you’re working with!
video editing is hard, man. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to learning new tricks all on your lonesome. There are some fab people around that put up brilliant, easy to follow tutorials though, and youtube is an ace place to find them. As not all editing software matches up, it’s best for you guys to just type what you want to do in the search bar, but if you’re using adobe suite then ECAbrams is a really comprehensive channel.
royalty free music
probably the hardest thing to find and the bane of everyone’s life. There are places that do non-crappy completely free royalty free, and there is always the youtube creator studio music, but it’s always best to pop an email along to the composers if you’re unsure or want to use something. Bensound does a royalty free section.
Then there are the places that offer licenses depending on what you want the music for – and some are really quite affordable – jamendo is one that I’ve been exploring more recently.
It’s always way easier just to create your own, but when you’re pressed for time or software sometimes it isn’t an option, but your best bet is to research research research, and communicate!
I think that’s everything I wanted to include? I hope this post is helpful – it’s nice to think my slightly hoardy tendencies might have an actual practical use. Also, if you have any other places you like for resources, let me know!
P.S: Remember that accreditation to the creator of the resource isn’t always necessary, depending on the licence, but it is nice 😉