Greetings, fellow creatives! Here are some of my favorite design-related links to help you out. Bonus tip: most of the resource sites listed below have weekly “freebies” available, and many have special offers if you sign up for their emails. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

photo of a sketchbook with a purple swirl doodle with a purple crayon at the end of the swirl

Hey there! Just FYI, this page may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Associate links. That means if you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep this blog going. You can read more here. Thanks for your support!

Design Resources

Royalty-Free Stock Photos, Illustrations, & Videos

Bonus tip: Take a moment to check retailmenot.com for current coupon codes for any of the sites listed above before buying photos or credit packs.

Free & Public Domain images

  • Icons8 — my go-to for little icons for app mockups, calendar events, etc.
  • Librestock — aggregates many other free photo sites’ catalogs in one place; a nice wide net to cast but sometimes gives incomplete results
  • Pixabay — outstanding free images I often use in my blogs
  • Unsplash — another community of excellent free photos

Bundles & Resource Packs

  • Design Cuts — my favorite source for a wide variety of fonts, brushes, textures, templates, Procreate sets, illustrations, and more, sold individually or in limited-time bundles for a steep discount
  • The Hungry JPEG — a marketplace with similar resources, including a “dollar bin”

Fonts

The web is full of free fonts, but most are only licensed for personal use. Some can even contain broken or malicious code that will give your computer fits. Protect yourself legally and respect your fellow creators by only working with fonts properly licensed for commercial use. You can find those in the Bundle & Resource Pack sites above, as well as here:

  • FontSpring — an easy way to buy commercial fonts (some are pricier but some are as little as $5)
  • Font Squirrel — all free for commercial use
  • Google Fonts are all free and compatible with most websites when you’re doing online work

Other Freebies

  • A curated list by DesignMill
  • A list of free design tutorials
  • This video from Satori Graphics lists 6 freebies for your workflow. They’re an excellent YouTube channel to follow in general.

Creative Business Apps & Tools

  • InMotion Hosting — a reliable hosting company with truly outstanding customer service
  • NameCheap — an affordable domain registrar with excellent customer service
  • Procreate — if you have an iPad and Apple Pencil, this app is an absolute joy to use for all kinds of digital painting and illustration
  • Trello — hands-down the best project planning/management tool I’ve used, and trust me, I’ve tried them all. When it comes to being organized, I’m as picky as they come, and Trello gets my vote every time.

Books

  • The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki, ©2015 — a delightful writing style and very wise perspective, mostly geared at starting a multi-person organization but still relevant for freelancers and entrepreneurs
  • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo, ©2019 — I also love her MarieTV online show and podcast
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy Carter, ©2016 — obviously not directly design-related, but still one of the most creatively inspiring books I’ve read in a very long time, definitely worth a read whether you’re Hamilton-obsessed (yet) or not
  • Starting Your Career as a Graphic Designer by Michael Fleishman, ©2014 — what belongs in your portfolio, how to meet clients, pricing and invoicing, plus specific information for various industries (web, magazines, books, greeting cards, etc.)
  • Working in the Gig Economy by Thomas Oppong, ©2019 — useful for all types of creatives and entrepreneurs; provides tips, tricks, job search sites, budgeting information, social media advice, interviews with successful freelancers, and more