Articles

99 Useful Resources for Graphic Designers

by . September 27th, 2007

krop

I have used every one of these resources as a graphic designer and website developer and have hand picked all of these resources based on their usefulness and overall quality.

I hope you find these resources as useful as I do! Enjoy!


Organizations


 

1. www.gag.org

The Graphic Artists Guild promotes and protects its members and is committed to improving conditions for all graphic designers and the whole industry. They also produce the well known Graphic Artists Guild Handbook which is an essential part of any designers library.

2. www.aiga.org

AIGA, the professional association for design is dedicated to protecting and advancing design and its importance to society. AIGA now represents more than 19,000 designers through national activities and local programs developed by more than 55 chapters and 200 student groups.


Education


 

3. www.guidetoonlineschools.com

Guide To Online Schools is an education directory that specializes in online degrees, online schools, and distance learning. They showcase a variety of accredited online schools that you can get your graphic design degree from.

4. www.getdegrees.com

Getdegrees features the nations best online degrees from over 300 colleges. As as designer, you can find accredited art degrees online from such schools as The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division & Westwood College Online.

5. www.graphic-design-schools.org

Graphic Design Schools is your unofficial guide to getting into a graphic design school.

6. www.artdesignschools.com

Art Design Schools provides an extensive list of campus based and online art schools.

7. www.computer-schools.org

Computer Schools is a great blog that focuses on helping people land careers in computers.


Generally Useful


 

8. www.lipsum.com

This is a pretty famous site within the design community; you can generate dummy text on this site to put into your designs until the real copy is available.

9. Best Web Gallery

Best Web Gallery is a great website if you are looking for the best Flash and CSS websites.

10. www.csstype.com

An incredibly useful site that shows you exactly how web fonts will look on your screen.

11. www.brandsoftheworld.com

This is the ultimate branding library with thousands of the worlds most famous and popular logos. Great for researching corporate identity.

12. www.bloglines.com

Bloglines is a great way to organize all the blogs you read into one place instead of having to visit a bunch of different websites and is a good time saver.

13. www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Arguably the best web browser out right now. I use it for most of my web browsing but don’t forget the other browsers when it comes to optimizing your website. Not everyone uses the same browser.

14. www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/

This is my favorite email client to use. It’s simple, efficient, and easy to use with solid email alert features. Very handy if you get important emails often.

15. www.adobe.com

Home to the well known design software we all know and love. Good site to check out once in a while for updates and help regarding software such as Photoshop and illustrator.


Networking & Freelance Work


 

16. www.craigslist.org

Craigslist is one of my favorite forums to use. There are tons of new design jobs and gigs added every day but the competition is stiff so bring your “A” Game.

17. www.getafreelancer.com

If you are looking for an affordable but professional coder this is the place to go. Freelancers bid on projects you post.

18. www.linkedin.com

Linkedin is a very popular site for professionals and is a valuable networking tool.

19. www.krop.com

Krop.com has a database of jobs for designers, artists, and developers with an instant and easy to use search feature.

20. www.coroflot.com

Corofloat.com is a site where you can promote and host your design portfolio, search for jobs and post to hire some one.


Stock Photography


 

21. www.istockphoto.com

This stock photography site has incredible photographers and even better prices for illustrations and photos. It will make your life way easier as a designer and has many other benefits such as making money selling your illustrations and photography, networking with other design professionals, promoting your portfolio site, access to active forums and much more!

22. www.corbis.com

Corbis is one of the leading stock photography sites with millions of images online, featuring historical, fine art, business, technology, celebrity, travel, sports and nature photography.

23. www.shutterstock.com

Shutter Shock is a subscription based stock photography site with over two million royalty-free stock photos available.

24. www.bigstockphoto.com

Big Stock Photo lets you upload and download low-cost digital stock photography. They have well over a million photos organized into categories.

25. www.gettyimages.com

Getty Images offers a large searchable collection of rights-managed or royalty-free images and films. Getty Images is a great site if you are looking for current event and public figure related photography.


Color & Charts


 

26. kuler.adobe.com

Kuler is a useful site to go to find color themes for your projects. Users can submit their own themes to be rated and you can search for many type of color themes.

27. www.colourlovers.com

Colour Lovers is a great site with user submitted color palettes and even cooler is their blog that creates color palettes based on each blog posts at the end of every post.

28. www.logoorange.com

Nice chart that converts PMS colors to CMYK and RGB color codes for you.

29. www.ideo.com

This extremely useful but simple web safe color chart lets you easily see exactly how different colors will look on your screen.

Inspirational Sites

30. www.cssbeauty.com

CSS Beauty provides its users with a database of well designed CSS designed sites, as well as news and happenings related to the CSS Community.

31. www.thecoolhunter.net

The cool hunter looks for the coolest and craziest stuff from around the world. Be sure to check out the design and art sections on the site.

32. www.logopond.com

The Logo Pond is a great site to go to if you are looking for inspiration while designing a logo. You can even submit your own logo designs to be voted on and reviewed. Good way to get exposure for your studio or freelancing portfolio.

33. www.go2web20.net

The Web 2.0 Design style is the big thing right now and many websites are redesigning their look to get with the times. This awesome site has a massive collection of all the new web 2.0 logos and links the websites.

34. www.cssvault.com

CSS Vault has a collection of spectacular CSS websites and resources including: Articles, Demos, Layouts, Tutorials, and more.

35. www.stumbleupon.com

After selecting topics of interest you can stumble upon quality sites related to those topics. I have found countless amazing sites doing this and not only is it great for finding new sites but it can be a killer way to promote and drive traffic to your own portfolio site or blog.


Portfolio Sites


 

36. www.altpick.com

Altpic.com is a great portfolio website for artists and designers where many people come searching for the best oif the best. It is a great place to showcase your designs and talent.

37. www.portfolios.com

Portfolios.com is a portfolio search site where viewers can easily browse through thousands of free artist and designer portfolios.

38. www.deviantart.com

DeviantART is a large community of artists and designers who share their work with each other via an online portfolio. Many digital artists and illustrator flock to this site and you can even buy prints of your favorite artwork.


Design Magazines


 

39. www.printmag.com

PRINT magazine is a very famous bimonthly magazine about visual culture and design.

40. www.howdesign.com

HOW Magazine covers many areas of design such as the business aspect, new technologies, up and coming designers and is a place for creative inspiration.

41. www.idonline.com

I.D. magazine is an International design magazine that covers products, graphics, environments, interactive media and other design related areas.

42. www.computerarts.co.uk

Computer Arts is an informative site with free downloads, tutorials, galleries, competitions, a published magazine and much more.

43. www.maclife.com

MacLife.com provides news and analysis of the popular Apple products and also has daily blogs from Mac Life magazine editors and a nice selection of articles to read.

44. www.pcmag.com

This magazine is definitely handy for any designer. The hardware we use is the back bone of most of our work and PC Magazine has solid reviews of the leading equipment. I always look up products on their website before I buy anything.

45. www.pcworld.com

PC World is a great place for Computer and Internet news and information, Resources, how-tos, downloads, products and more.


Fonts


 

46. www.dafont.com

Dafont is an easy to use free font site with a large collection of fonts to download it. It has been around a while and is updated often with new fonts.

47. www.urbanfonts.com

Urban Fonts is new to the font world but has quickly established itself as a leader in the free font community. It has an excellent design and is right up there with dafont.com in my book.

48. www.fontshop.com

Font Shop offers great font collections on CD, free fonts, downloadable fonts, typography tips and more.

49. www.linotype.com

Linotype has a massive collection of the most popular and well known fonts available for download. They also have a font lounge with many interesting font related resources.


Tutorials


 

50. www.pixel2life.com

Pixel2life is one of the largest tutorial search engines on the internet providing great tutorials to graphic designers and programmers.

51. www.good-tutorials.com

Good Tutorials is a massive tutorial website with tens of thousands of tutorials for Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, and more.

52. www.w3schools.com

If you need to brush up on your coding skills then this is the place to go. The information is accurate and up to date and its def worth taking all the tutorials.

53. www.tutorialoutpost.com

Tutorial Outpost has a vast collection of thousands of tutorials for Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, 3D Studio Max, and more!


Photoshop Brushes


 

54. www.brusheezy.com

Brusheezy is a very useful site with lots of great sets of free brushes varying in style.

55. www.psbrushes.net

PS Brushes is home to over 500 Photoshop brushes that are all free to download and categorized for easy searching.

56. www.getbrushes.com

Get Brushes has sets of Photoshop brushes made up of various swirls, ornamental designs, and flourishes. flowers, dots, circles, and various other ornamentations.

Printers

57. www.4over4.com

4over4 is a good balance between quality and affordability and can handle most of the print jobs you would require.

58. www.modernpostcard.com

Modern postcard is known for its quality printing but can be a bit pricey compared to other sites. If you are looking for top notch printing though look no further.

59. www.vistaprint.com

Vista Print provides custom full color printing services. You can print business cards, Christmas cards, stationery, postcards, magnets, brochures, address labels, and even more.

60. www.clubflyers.com

Club Flyers is an easy to use online printing service with many options available and fast shipping times.

61. www.alocalprinter.com

If you are looking for a way to help the environment as a graphic designer then check out the new age of eco friendly printing.

Blog Hosts

62. www.wordpress.com

WordPress is my blog host of choice. It’s free and easy to set up on a server and there are tons of great themes and widgets available to use. I use WordPress for all my blogs.

63. www.blogger.com

Blogger is another very popular blog host. It has many of the same features WordPress offers.

64. www.twitter.com

Twitter is a surprisingly fun, easy to use and useful site when it comes to letting people know what you are up too.

65. www.squidoo.com

Squidoo is an easy way to put up a quick and free website page about any topic you want. It is very popular in the affiliate marketing industry.

66. www.tumblr.com

Tumblr is another super easy blogging tool that is very similar to Squidoo and twitter and just as good as both of them.


Blogs


 

67. www.designobserver.com

Design Observer is a well respected site in the design community that features writings related to all aspects of design and culture.

68. www.lifehack.org

This great site is dedicated to hacking your life by providing you with tips and tricks to get things done quickly by automating, organizing and increasing your productivity.

69. www.ilovetypography.com

I Love Typography is a great web site devoted to typography, type, fonts and typefaces of all kinds. If you love typography you will enjoy this site.

Web Hosting

70. www.hostgator.com

Host Gator is a well known, reliable and affordable web hosting company. They have a wide range of hosting services to take care of all your websites bandwidth needs.

71. www.godaddy.com

Go Daddy is one of the biggest and most affordable web hosting and domain registration services. They have excellent customer service and quality servers. It is also very easy to mange you domain names and this is important if you have a lot of them.


Web Design Forums


 

72. forums.digitalpoint.com

This is one of the biggest and most popular programming forums around; there are many thread topics raging from coding and servers to search engine optimization and graphic design. It’s a great place to ask questions, find help or promote your services.

73. www.webmasterworld.com

This is a very active and informative forum on the world of web design. It is a great place to learn and have questions answered.


Graphic Design Forums


 

74. www.graphicdesignforum.com

This is a discussion forum dedicated to all topics related to graphic design.

75. www.graphic-design-forum.com

This is another active design forum that allows you to chat about graphic design and post designs for a review.

76. www.steeldolphin-forums.com

This is a fine art and graphic design forum where many users showcase their work and discuss fine art and graphic design with fellow community members.


Keyword Research


 

77. www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com

This is an extremely important free tool for keyword research. If you don’t use this tool before you launch a site or blog then your missing out. They also have a more extensive paid version.

78. www.wordze.com

This is another powerful keyword research tool.

79. www.google.com/trends

Google Trends is another good way to research keywords. Some keywords tend to be seasonal so you can check to see if certain keywords tend to fluctuate traffic wise at certain times of the year.


Search Engine Optimization


 

80. www.seomoz.org

SEOmoz serves as a central hub for search engine marketers worldwide, providing education, tools, resources and paid services related to search engine optimization and marketing.

81. www.thirtydaychallenge.com

This is probably one of the most informative sites I have ever come across in terms of search engine optimization. It literally changed my life.

82. www.seoroundtable.com

SEO Roundtable reports on interesting threads taking place at the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) forums. They also write many articles on the topic of search engine optimization and marketing.


Advertising


 

83. www.google.com/adsense

Google Adsense is a powerhouse in the advertising industry. If you are looking for an easy way to monetize our website or blog then you will definitely want to check this site out.

84. www.adbrite.com

Adbrite is a popular and easy to use text link advertising website where you can buy text link spots or make money by selling advertisement space on your site.

85. www.adengage.com

A place to buy and sell text link ads on popular websites related to your website or blog.

86. www.text-link-ads.com

This is another very popular and easy to use text link advertising site where people can easily purchase advertising space on your blog or website.


Computers & Electronics


 

87. www.apple.com

Apple computers are a standard in the design industry and they are a great choice if you are looking for an alternative to personal computers.

88. www.newegg.com

I love checking new egg for products because of their fair prices and customer reviews.

89. www.tigerdirect.com

Another great site if you are shopping for anything electronic. They have affordable prices and a wide selection of products to choose from.

90. www.amazon.com

Amazon is fast and reliable and is my favorite online store to buy books from. Delivery is always top notch.


Art Supplies


 

91. www.dickblick.com

Dick Blick Art Materials has been providing artists with the best supplies since 1911. They have a huge selection of merchandise and good prices.

92. www.pearlpaint.com

Pearl Paint is one of the world’s largest discount art suppliers and has a vast selection of art supplies at very affordable prices.

93. www.aifriedman.com

A.I. Friedman is another great business that has been serving the artist community for over 70 years. Their products range from basic art supplies to studio equipment and furniture.

Graphic and Web Design Books

94. How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
By Adrian Shaughnessy

95. Thinking with Type
By Ellen Lupton

96. About Face: Reviving The Rules Of Typography
By David Jury

97. Graphic Artists Guild Handbook
By Graphic Artists Guild

98. HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition
By Elizabeth Castro

99. Bulletproof Web Design
By Dan Cederholm


Conclusion


 

I hope you have found all these resources helpful and inspiring and we look forward to bringing you more resources in the future.

Please be sure to check back with us often!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

YouTheDesigner is a graphic design blog under the UCreative Network. We do features; give away brushes, icons, wallpapers, and other freebies; and bring you the latest news in the world of graphic design.