FREE STUFF (for teacher designers!)

There ARE such things as free resources and they can come in handy when you begin your journey in to graphic design. If you’re feeling the itch (hooray!) to start sketching ideas the analog way or even putting the mouse to the art board to draw on your computer, these resources will be your new best friends.

There ARE such things as free resources and they can come in handy when you begin your journey in to graphic design. Be inspired because teaching truly is designing and you can amplify your expertise in and beyond the classroom by using the basic design elements (contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity) to create unique and powerful graphics.

If you’re feeling the itch (hooray!) to start sketching ideas the analog way or even putting the mouse to the art board to draw on your computer, these resources will be your new best friends.

Even if you’re still in the brainstorming phase, you might be searching for inspirational imagery, color palettes to play with, and unique fonts to get your message noticed.

And, if you’re like me, at some point you will encounter the dreaded designer’s block.  Have no fear, these free resources will help you get the creative juices flowing again and will introduce you to new techniques and design concepts to incorporate with your evolving work.

Gimme the free stuff!

Visual inspiration:

  • Designer Daily (http://www.designer-daily.com/) is a collection of graphic design items that range from avant garde to daily fare. Scroll through the “Get Inspired” section and don’t miss the featured designers, too.
  • Daily Infographic (http://dailyinfographic.com/) reminds me that an infographic a day will keep the clichés away. Feeling boxed in by numbers or words in your message? Go here to discover brilliant ways to translate complex content into images.
  • Dribbble (http://dribbble.com/) is show and tell for designers. Start with the “Explore” section and get ready for some mind-blowing designs and art.

Color resources:

Typeface resources:

  • Typography Daily (http://typography-daily.com/) will get your mind thinking about fonts and how to use them to highlight your words or downplay them to let the design do the talking. This is a font-lovers playground.
  • Dafont (http://www.dafont.com/) features actually (for real!) free fonts. Scroll through a veritable jungle of lettering ideas for some wild creations and tame classics.
  • Fonts in Use (http://fontsinuse.com/)features real world examples of how to use fonts with designs. Sort by format to see where the font and imagery was featured.

Copy-right free/Creative Commons Resources:

  • Morgue file (http://www.morguefile.com/) has an astounding array of free stock imagery to peruse and use.
  • Flickr Commons (http://www.flickr.com/commons/) brings together many institutions that want to share public record photography. There are no copyright restrictions on any of the images and many have a historical context.
  • MediaLoot (http://medialoot.com/) is a collection of low-cost items and with some searching you can even find free ones. This site is also a great place to explore visual inspiration.