Amazingly Useful Design Resources You May Have Overlooked

There are plenty of design resources a designer may need and not know they need until they  have them. These resources are easy to overlook. They don’t directly connect to graphic design so it isn’t obvious but they are quite helpful for creating design. For example, if you need to send a mock-up (of anything) to a client and there’s a possibility you may not have all the content. Though they wouldn’t be used in the final design, filler text and stock photos are great placeholders for missing content. These design resources are beneficial to the design process and can be useful to a range of graphic design fields.

A list of helpful design resources you may have never (but should) consider using! Click To Tweet


Lorem Ipsum – Sometimes designers need to show their client an example of what the final design will look like before starting the design process. This can be difficult if you have something like a web design or magazine project, because it’s hard to fully see the design with the content. This design resource can generate endless amounts of latin text to use as placeholders for future copy. You can create words, lists, and even paragraphs of text to use for all sorts of design, mockups and projects. This also helps ensure the client is paying attention to the design and not getting distracted by what the text reads.


What The Font! – Have you ever come across a font and wondered, “What is the name of that font?” If you’re often trying to find and match fonts for your projects, this is one you’ll want to add to your list of design resources. This generator is created to help designers identify typefaces by using an image-based search engine. Simply take a screenshot of your mystery font and upload it to search the database. The site provides the names for fonts that match the closest to the letters identified in the image. It also links to the font family so you can download the collection. When a client want to match a specific font but doesn’t have the native files, this design resource can help save loads of time and guesswork.


PageSpeed Insights – Web and mobile app designers know how important it is to have a fast and responsive website. Pages that take forever to load are frustrating and bad for user experience. So how can you make sure your website is running at top notch speed? Add this site to your collection of design resources and use it to improve the speed of your website on all devices. PageSpeed Insights analyzes each page of your website and gives you a score out of 100; all you have to do is type in your web address. Not only do you get a complete analysis of your site in minutes, it also provides suggestions to improve your speed.


TinyPNG – One way to speed up a website’s loading time is by optimizing the images. This design resource reduces the size of your PNG files by decreasing the number of colors in the image. This is done through a process called “quantization” and results in the same quality image, but at a much smaller size. Simply drag and drop your PNG file onto the site and see how much the Panda can save you!


TinyJPEG – The panda has so many good design resources to offer! Similar to TingPNG, this site has a compressor tool specifically for JPEG images. Each image is analyzed to find the perfect balance between quality and file size. The encoder creates a compressed version, using the textures, colors and patterns in the image. This results in a picture perfect replica at a much smaller file size.


MOO – All designers need to print something every now and again, including web designers. Whether it be custom business cards or flyer designs, you’re guaranteed to get quality prints from Moo.  They offer creative products like square business cards, round logo stickers and technology that can print up to 50 different designs on a set of business cards! Can you imagine the creative possibilities? Personally, I love MOO and I use it for my own projects. My prints are always delivered on time and meet my expectations. Their website is super user friendly and they occasionally offer great savings discounts like Get 10% off your first order. This is a definitely a quality printer you’ll want to add to your list of design resources!


16 Facebook Groups for Creative Freelancers, Bloggers & Entrepreneurs – Social media can be on of the main design resources freelancers and designers over look. Facebook can be a helpful for finding clients that need creative work connecting with other designers in your field. This blog post is full of active and engaging Facebook groups I’ve found useful for connecting with creative entrepreneurs and other freelancers. Depending on your field in design, this list may or may not have the type of groups you’re looking for, but you can always search Facebook for other groups that fit your industry.


Invision – It can be fun collaborating with other creative designers but this can be difficult to organize when everyone is not in the same physical space. Invision brings together prototyping, collaboration and workflow – essential design resources to assist designers creating for mobile and web. Even if you don’t have a group of designers to collaborate and just want to create a prototype to show a client or showcase in your portfolio, this is a great resource to have. Check out the Exchange App, a mobile app prototype I created using Invision.


Coschedule Headline Analyzer – This resource is easily overlooked by designers because it doesn’t directly relate to design. Having a design blog can be really helpful for attracting visitors to your website and reaching potential clients. It’s important to write posts that are SEO friendly, so search engines can find your blog and direct the right people to it. The Coschedule Headline Analyzer gives an in-depth analysis of your blog post headlines for overall quality and its ability to increase shares, traffic and SEO value.


17 Amazing Sites With Breathtaking Free Stock Photos – This site has a list of stock photo sites that have high quality stock photos you can use for anything. Do you know how many photos that gives designers free access to? Even if you don’t use stock photography in your work, you can just download beautiful photos to admire. Two of my personal favorites are Death to Stock and Life of Pix. Be sure to add them to your list of design resources.


Brief – Of all the other design resources, I personally think this one is the most creative and useful resources for any designer. It is a random generator for design briefs. You select the project type and industry and the generator gives you a description of the client’s business, the project details and a deadline. So if you’re just getting started and need design projects to put in your portfolio, this is a great resource to utilize.


What design resources do you use that you think designers overlook? How have they helped you become a better graphic designer or freelancer?

Ariana Nicole
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