We all love freebies and there are some great websites out there that offer free stuff to help graphic designers with projects and ideas. Below are my favourite places on the web for free resources along with a few notes on using them in your work.
My fave free font site is Dafont: www.dafont.com. It has an incredible number of free fonts. The site also has paid, donationware and demo fonts. If you wish to find a font that you are allowed to use for free on paid client projects ensure you tick the “Public Domain” and “100% Free” boxes when searching. That way you will only be shown totally free fonts with no restrictions (though I always suggest you check the license text file that comes with the font just to be sure). Also note some free fonts will have limited character sets. They may only have one font weight, only have upper case or may have limited characters.
FREE PHOTOSHOP FILES AND ACTIONS
A really good site for your Photoshop freebie needs is www.bestpsdfreebies.com. You will find all sorts of layered PSD files on here for mock ups, actions and effects. As with many freebie sites, there is also paid premium content on there should you want it.
Any graphic designer knows one of the hardest parts of any brief is getting decent images if they’re not being provided by the client. I've found www.pexels.com that's a great with tons of totally free images licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose both personal and commercial.
A surprising resource I was recommended to check out was Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). Just search for “Mockups” and you will find a plethora of really well designed PSD mock up files to overlay your logos, business cards, brochures etc onto.
THINGS TO NOTE WHEN USING FREEBIES
There’s some great free stuff on the web uploaded by some very talented and generous designers. Please support them by liking, sharing and linking to their work and never use any restricted license or free for personal use items in commercial projects unless you’ve paid for them.
We need to support those in our industry who are willing to put their work out there for others to use and why not offer something for free that you’ve created? It’s a great way to raise your profile and get recognition of your work.
Finally, a word of caution. Alway have your antivirus up to date when downloading freebies or any files for that matter. Download links can often have annoying popups and while most files are totally safe, there is always a risk some unscrupulous person has hidden spyware or a virus in the file. Always scan any files you download before you open them to ensure they’re safe.
Malcolm Roberts is a Worcestershire based graphic designer, blogger and lover of all things creative.
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