My list of Top Ten Websites for Graphic Designers derives from the sites I frequent on a weekly basis.
Some are for the news. Some are utilitarian in nature. Some are for the community and the great ideas. All of these websites should prove useful in some way to the graphic designer.
The makers of the primary set of applications used by all graphic designers. Adobe products include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere and Adobe Acrobat. This site provides app users with news, updates, resources and tutorials. The forums for each application offer the much-needed opportunity to speak with other designers and developers.
Need color ideas. Go to Kuler.adobe.com, developed by Adobe and find that color combination for which you’ve been searching. The color themes are supplied by users- other designers who want to share their ideas. Sign up, then browse through different color palettes, and you can download the swatch set to your Photoshop profiles and import them for instant use.
Good stock photos for a low price. Open an account with a certain dollar amount and establish “credits.” You can download photos and videos of various resolutions and use them in your designs or campaigns. The natural use of the site and the price point of the stock imagery make iStockphoto.com a great image solution.
Lynda.com develops tutorial videos for graphic designers. There are hundreds of step-by-step productions walking the viewer through many aspects of a given application such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Final Cut Pro and many others. Lynda.com works on a subscription basis, but also offers free video podcasts to give you a taste of what the site has to offer.
Ready to freelance online? Elance is the widest used service. Here you can bid on jobs that come available every day depending on your subscription plan. There is lots of competition here, but it is a good way to build your portfolio while honing your proposal skills visibly. You might also make some real money if you work at it daily.
A great resource for designers of all disciplines. Smashing Magazine offers articles and resources graphic design, web design and web development on a daily basis. Developers can find the latest news on releases along with helpful tutorials, job listings and a flourishing community in the forums.
Fonts. Lots of fonts. And they’re mostly free- or you can donate to the author. Check out dafont.com for all kinds of inspiring fonts that can add to or even help create your design. There are many to choose from, and they are all downloadable for instant use on PC or Mac.
This site is a great resource for web designers. The Boagworld blog, authored by Paul Boag, web guru and one of the founders of Headscape web design. This blog gives the latest news in the website design and web development community while offering timely commentary. It is a complimentary resource to the Boagworld podcast which can be found on iTunes.
It’s all about the Freebies. Bittbox.com is a blog resource of great textures and other odds and ends that can help you pull that project together. It’s a great community where you can bounce ideas back and forth with fellow designers or collectively come up with some truly inspirational task solutions.
More Freebies. This time, they’re for web design. The many assets of this site include giveaways and contests, icons for your widgets, short and handy tutorials, updates on workshops as well as job listings. Web Designer Wall also keeps you up on the latest trends in web design, so it’s worth the weekly visit to see what these industry professionals are excited about.
So concludes my list of the Top Ten Websites for Graphic Designers. I hope these sites will be useful for those who make their living or are just having fun in the world of graphic design.