Any designer who has worked in the industry for any period of time knows that graphic design relies heavily on software, images, colours and fonts to achieve its end goal. These resources can be pretty costly to the small startup freelancer looking to build a business in design. With that said, here are some great free resources (available to every young budding graphic designer) that would certainly help kick-start a business in design.

Software is the the heart of all design. Here are some great open source options to help you get started.

“Vector design is often the preferred method of image creation for logos, illustrations and art which require high scalability. The Inkscape application is used across a wide variety of industries (marketing/branding, engineering/CAD, web graphics, cartooning) and individual uses.”

“GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.”

“From 2004 to 2009, Krita was strongly focusing on being a generic image manipulation/painting application in the style of Photoshop or GIMP. Since 2009, the focus is squarely on painting: the Krita community aims to make Krita the best painting application for cartoonists, illustrators, and concept artists.”

Scribus has evolved into one of the premier Open Source desktop applications. Encouraged by professionals and beginners alike, the Scribus Team, with support from a large and growing number of enthusiastic contributors from all over the world, is dedicated to develop and improve “one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there” (TechRepublic).

Images are a standard part of many designs, but finding images that are free for common use can be a daunting task. Here are some cool sites that host a plethora of free-to-use images.

“Over 1 030 000 free stock images, vectors, and art illustrations”

Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

“Over 200,000 free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.”

Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures added weekly!”

When it comes to scalable graphics, vectors are an imperative for all designers looking to create scalable works. Here are some awesome sites to help you find the exact vector art you need.

“Freepik helps you to find free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos for using in websites, banners, presentations, magazines. They currently create hundreds of free vectors daily. Discover exclusive content! Find dozens of free vector graphics every day, all designed by Freepik.”

“VEXELS is the Design Stock & Online Editor, where everyone can customize trendy designs by editing text, swapping and adding elements, or just finding tons of ready-made graphic resources.”

“Brands of the World is the largest free library of downloadable vector logos, and a logo critique community.”

A designer can never have too many fonts, even when they have too many fonts. Here is my go-to repository for free to use fonts where every font offered is absolutely free of attribution of license.

“All the fonts in our catalog are free and open source, making beautiful type accessible to anyone for any project. This means you can share favorites and collaborate easily with friends and colleagues. Google Fonts takes care of all the licensing and hosting, ensuring that the latest and greatest version of any font is available to everyone.”

Sometimes coming up with a great colour palette can be pretty daunting. Here are awesome sites dedicated helping you find just the right colour set for your needs.

“Paletton is an online application that provides a powerful tool to create color combinations and palettes. The major advantage of Paletton is that it does not use the modern RGB color space, but is built on a classical artistic color wheel, applying an RYB color space.”

“A world of colors where you’re sure to find the perfect color combination for your project. This site was built to help web developers quickly select and test web design colour combinations.”

“The super fast color schemes generator! Create, save and share perfect palettes in seconds!”

Have we missed out any of your favorites?
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