Web design is a broad discipline encompassing several related fields, skills, and expertise that go into creating and maintaining websites. Depending on the scope of the task assigned to a web designer or web design firm, the tasks may include few or all of the following:
- Logo Design
- Graphic Design
- Interface Design
- UX Design
- SEO, and
As per the regular practice in the industry, a single web design firm is assigned to produce all parts of the website so a cohesive whole can be created. However, in instances where companies only require creation or updating of certain aspects, for example, a logo redesign, the assigned tasks may be limited.
But whether you are creating a new website from scratch and taking care of the complete branding of the product too, or you’re in charge of a single cog of the machine, the resources we are sharing below will prove to be of great help for all your design ventures, big and small.
Designing a website requires extreme clarity about what the business is all about – its unique selling point, what it stands for, its inherent character, its specific voice, all of it. A logo design answers all these questions about a business’ core identity. This small but comprehensive piece of design contains everything you need to know about a brand’s foundations, aspirations, and future goals.
- Logo Design Net: An online logo maker tool. Add your business/brand name, select your category, and browse through thousands of premade AI-crafted editable logo designs that you can make your own.
- Dribbble: Gain access to some of the best work from designers all over. Stock up on your inspiration to create your next logo design.
- Behance: Designers share their best work here. See their work. Get in touch with them, and get your logo designed in no time.
Stock Photos & Icons
Stock photography consists of original pictures taken by professional photographers that are available for all to use. Designers can choose to use free usage options, where only giving the due to credit to the concerned agency and photographer is enough. Or you can choose to buy the photograph by paying a fee.
Similar to stock photos, stock icons also add great value to a designer’s tool-kit. These stock g icon sites give access to hundreds and thousands of new and updated graphics that web designers can use readily.
- Pexels: Free stock photos and videos, in HD quality, all at no cost. Just give the due credit to the photographer and agency.
- Shutter Stock: Sharpest quality of stock images available here. It isn’t free but considering the quality and variety of assets they have, it’s worth every penny you spend.
- Icon Finder: One of the largest icon databases you can browse through. Subscribe for a package and enjoy premium icon sets in many different styles.
- Flat Icon: Access millions of free icons available in a huge variety of formats. Categories include clothes, pets, telecommuting, latest trends, and more.
- Stockio: Use thousands of vectors, icons, fonts, and other files for all your personal and commercial design purposes. No attribution is necessary.
Fonts & Typography
Typography is one of the most integral parts of web design. You’ll rarely find a part of web design that does not use typography in its execution. It is the coming together of font styles, structure and aesthetics to make the text not only look legible but appealing, too.
- Google Fonts: From classic to modern and everything in between, this is an open-source of designer-made typography available for all.
- Urban Fonts: A huge repository of free fonts for all kinds of graphic design projects including web design.
- FontStruct: This tool allows you to create your fonts from the ground up. The tool is free and easy to use.
- Monotype: It claims to be the world’s largest font library which offers new font designs every day. It consists of classic as well as modern interactive premium font designs.
- Adobe Fonts: The app offers an unlimited number of fonts that come with your Creative Cloud subscription and you can use all these fonts at no extra charges.
Colors Tools & Palettes
Colors are probably the most important aspect of web design. When people are on a website, 75% of them form quick, snap judgments about its credibility (and hence the business’) by how attractive the website looks. And colors are the most vibrant part of any visual information. Furthermore, colors also affect feelings, emotions, and behavior.
- Adobe Color CC: Using Adobe’s color generator, you can try and save a limitless number of color themes every day. Available in monochromatic, analogous, triad, and other categories.
- Coolers: The tool allows you to generate, select, and adjust colors from any image you want. You can also use the app’s automatic color generator.
- Color Hex: To get technical information about the colors you’ve chosen, this is the app to go for. It tells you about color models, generates a CSS code, and also offers sample HTML elements.
- Design Seeds: The community shares color palettes that it loves. It can be anything from a digital image to a photograph of nature.
- Color Hunt: Find your color inspiration here through an open-source color palette platform. The app is free to use.
Graphic Editing Software
As a web designer, graphic editing software can be your bread and butter. These software not only help designers manipulate images to produce shapes that they want, but are also used to create original imagery for web design and related projects. Logos, banners, vectors, all are crafted using a graphics editing software.
While Adobe Illustrator is the most popular and most-utilized graphic editing program, we are sharing some other powerful resources that will help with your graphics work.
- Adobe Photoshop: Create awe-inspiring photographs, manipulate images to your heart’s content, and produce powerful design through Adobe’s Photoshop.
- Inkscape: It is an open-source vector graphics editing software. Many consider it an equal of Illustrator. If you can’t afford Illustrator, start with Inkscape.
- Pixlr: It is a browser-based photo editing software. Powered with AI, it works on all formats and comes in a free as well as a paid version with advanced features.
- Gimp: Another free source image editor, it allows you to manipulate your images while also giving you the ability to alter its source code and improve its performance.
- Daz Studio: Modern web design work is incomplete without 3D. With this powerful 3D studio, you can create incredible 3D graphics for your web design projects.
Web Design Prototyping
In the later stages of web design, prototyping helps everyone in the team view how the final product will look like. Prototyping helps designers gain necessary insight from everyone on the table and make necessary changes sooner rather than later.
- Balsamiq: A wireframing software designed for web designers, web developers, analysts, UX professionals, and others.
- Adobe XD: It’s a collaboration and prototyping tool suitable for websites, mobile apps, games, interfaces, and many other platforms.
- InVision: It lets you collaborate with the whole team as your design goes through its various stages. Interactive prototypes help with quick and insightful feedback.
- Atomic: A prototyping tool that takes its work seriously. It’s one of the best tools in the market. Worth checking out.
- Sketch: Sketch works perfectly for both freelance designers and those working with huge teams. Prototyping with Sketch is a job that you can consider already done!
It may difficult to imagine but a lot of design work is less about actual designing and more about collaborating with different teams. Marketing, advertising, content, and other teams routinely give direct input to designers in various stages of production. The smoother and timely this collaboration is, the more productive the whole process will be, ending up in cohesive, solid, and immaculate products.
- Red Pen: Intuitive, resourceful, and a tool that stays out of your way as you collaborate with your team. Just point on the section of the design you want to give feedback on, and simply comment.
- Proofhub: Allows you to create customizable workflows so you can work with an environment that makes sense to you and your design.
- Wake: The tool comes loaded with keyboard shortcuts that allow you to share work with your team without interrupting anything of worth that you’re doing.
- Zeplin: It’s a collaboration tool that designers swear by. It’s been made and maintained with designers in mind.
- GoVisually: Share your design work with everyone on your team for quick feedback, all in real-time, and on a smooth interface.
It may be last in this list, but the truth is, all design work – nay, all creative work – starts from here. You cannot hope to accomplish anything or display any creativity if you aren’t feeling inspired. In the design world, especially, when most of what you do is for commercial purposes, inspiration is what helps you when you build a bridge when you don’t feel a connection.
Below, find some of the most fertile design inspiration sources, all ready for you.
- Awwwards: You need this in your life. The best web designs from around the world, rated by other web designers.
- Template Monster: When you feel low on inspiration, come here and look at these fine templates to get your creative juices going again.
- Designspiration: Look for concepts, colors, images, and templates and feel inspired again.
- Really Good Emails: If you don’t know how to curate and craft promotional emails that people actually open and act upon, here’s how you find out.
- Site See: A forever growing collection of hand-picked websites to inspire your next web design project.
It’s your turn now. Tell us if we managed to include your go-to resource here. If not, tell us what it is and we’d love to feature it in an updated list. Till then, try the resources we’ve shared here and have fun designing.
When not working on website projects, Cynthia Adam loves to write about web design, web development and how to market them. Her writing aims to ease the process of web design and web development for other website owners.