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30 Useful Online Resources For Graphic Designers

30 Useful Online Resources For Graphic Designers

How would you like to be able to use the same resources that graphic designers use, so you can create amazing websites and other projects? There are plenty of well-known, and not-so-well-known tools on the Internet that the world’s top designers use for many of their projects, and you can access these same tools for all of your projects. Here are 30 of the best online resources for graphic designers of all levels.

1. UI Cloud

uicloud

    This is the world’s largest user interface design database. You can download more than 46,608 UI elements, such as progress bar, music player, and more.

    2. Free Stock Images

    freestockimages

      You will likely be needing images for websites and documents, and you don’t necessarily want to pay for them.

      3. Kaku

      kaku

        This is a great free tool to use if you deal with clients and associates from other parts of the world. This plugin will let you translate text layers into a variety of different languages, and it is easy to use.

        4. Psddd.co

        pss

          This is a great site to use for PSD files. You will also have access to UI and blurred background elements. Find all kinds of templates and more, for free.

          5. Gridzzly

          griz

            If you need grid paper, don’t bother running to the store, or trying to use a ruler and a pencil to create it. Instead, use Gridzzly to create grid paper you can print out for free and use any time.

            6. Colour Lovers

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            colour

              Sure, you have a decent color pallet on your computer, but you likely only have the basic Pantone color pallet. This website has more than three million free color pallets which you can use to inspire you to create amazing projects.

              7. Subtle Patterns

              subt

                Sometimes, you just want subtle patterns for backgrounds. Find about 400 different patterns here for free. You can even get a Photoshop plugin.

                8. Size Marks

                size

                  This Photoshop scrip will convert rectangular marquee to labeled measurement mark. This is a great free tool for web designers and front-end engineers.

                  9. Webydo

                  web

                    Design a website for free, and you don’t even need to use code, so it is also super easy. You can manage content, and even publish independently using Webydo.

                    10. guideguide

                    guide

                      It can be really hard to use guides when you are creating websites. Guideguide will show you how to easily use guides. You can download this tool for Photoshop 3.1.3. There is no cost to use this site.

                      11. No More Banding

                      nomore

                        Don’t you just hate it when you try to do gradient colors, and they end up banding? Put an end to it with this tool, which is free to use.

                        12. Make App Icon

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                        makeapp

                          Here is a fast way to turn your designs into app icons. Simply drop your files, and your icons will be created for you. It doesn’t get much easier than that, and it’s free.

                          13. Hexy

                          hexy

                            You don’t have to select layers, highlight text, or open the Color Picker to get a hex value of a certain color any longer. Just use the free Hexy eyedropper tool to click on any color on the object, and copy it right to your clipboard.

                            14. Perfect Effects 3

                            perf

                              This is a site for photographers, where you will be able to add effects. The great thing about this site is that it is faster and easier to use than other photo editing software, and it is free.

                              15. Cut & Slice

                              cut

                                Export assets to various devices quickly and easily with Cut & Slice. You can even name layers for a better workflow. This is a free Photoshop plugin.

                                16. Layrs Control 2

                                Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.59.23

                                  Download this Photoshop extension for free, and make doing this tedious job a whole lot quicker and easier. Here you will find seven scripts to make layering actually seem like fun.

                                  17. Prisma

                                  prisma

                                    If you miss those great color swatches from Illustrator in Photoshop, you can find them here for free. Connect layers and then re-color them together using multiple PSD files.

                                    18. CG Textures

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                                    gq

                                      It can be difficult to find the best backgrounds and textures for your graphics. At CG textures, you will find just about any texture you can think of, free of charge. One of the really neat features of this site is that you also can check out tutorials on how to use the textures.

                                      19. Free Behance Presentation Builder

                                      behance

                                        Build presentations for your Behance portfolio in a single click. This free PDS File and Action tool is easy to use, so you can build presentations without worrying about all of the hard stuff.

                                        20. WhattheFont!

                                        myfonts

                                          Sometimes you see a font that you really like, but you don’t know what it’s called so you can’t use it. Now, you can send a screenshot to find the closest match to the fonts you like, at no cost.

                                          21. Fribbble

                                          fribble

                                            When you need icons, you can get them at Fribble for free. Some of the neat tools you can use include a Halftone Pack, an iPhone/iPad PSD Mockup, and a Sketch Icon Set. You even get 50 free icons.

                                            22. Velositey Version 2

                                            velo

                                              Using Photoshop, you can design an awesome website in a matter of seconds, for free. Choose from loads of templates and modules, and get the design aspect out of the way so you can get down to the nitty-gritty of creating a website.

                                              23. Liveshare PS

                                              invi

                                                Use this free tool to broadcast any Photoshop document to an unlimited amount of people via a LiveShare meeting. Everything is in real time, so if you make any document changes, they will be seen by everyone instantly.

                                                24.  Instagram Filters

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                                                devian

                                                  This app has 13 filters that are just like the app Instagram for Photoshop, and it is simple to use. You do have to buy the art, and the cost will depend on the work and the artist.

                                                  25. Typewolf

                                                  type

                                                    Choosing the right fonts for your website can be difficult. Typewolf will show you the fonts used on various real websites, so you can see how they look in use. This tool will also recommend fonts for you to use. This tool is free to use.

                                                    26. Free Images

                                                    free

                                                      Any time you need free images, this app has nearly 400,000 for you to choose from. No matter what you need, you are sure to find it here. There are even tutorials on how to use the images to your best advantage.

                                                      27. Free Lorem Ipsum Generator

                                                      layerhero

                                                        This free app will let you see how your design looks with default text or Lorem Ipsum. Customize options for generating words, sentences, and paragraphs in a single click.

                                                        28. FontAwesomePS

                                                        creative

                                                          This tool lets you search for icons, and then click to make a new layer shape that you can edit. There is a huge selection of font icons, and you can download this tool for free.

                                                          29. Photoshop Share Plugin

                                                          lay

                                                            This free tool lets you share your designs instantly. The great thing is that you can do it all from one app, so you no longer have to switch back and forth between apps.

                                                            30. Social Kit

                                                            social kit

                                                              This is from Made by Source, and it covers images, ad banners, and profile photos for social media. This plugin is free to use, and you will find customizable templates for Facebook.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Trapped in Suburbia via flickr.com

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                                                              Jane Hurst

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                                                              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                                              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                                              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                                              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                                              Joe’s Goals

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                                                                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                                                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                                                Daytum

                                                                  Daytum

                                                                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                                                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                                                  Excel or Numbers

                                                                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                                                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                                                    Evernote

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                                                                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                                                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                                                      Access or Bento

                                                                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                                                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                                                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                                                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                                                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                                                        Conclusion

                                                                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                                                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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