Today, I want to share one of my favorite resources for “free” things for designers. Even if you’re not a designer, you might need some of these!
General (Templates, Graphics & Fonts)
These sites are my go-to! I am a fully subscribed, click-on-every-email follower.
Every week, they release 6 freebies. You can view these from their newsletter (which is how I do) or you can go to their Freebie Page, which will be updated each week with the new things. You will need an account to download, but that’s even better because you’ll be able to continue downloading them if you accidentally lose your files, and you will be updated if anything changes on the page, for example, if some fonts are updated with language support, or if some graphics are updated with new items. The selection of freebies that they offer is really vast and varied. Most weeks I’ll get two or three items, some weeks I’ll only get one, and even fewer weeks I’ll either want all six or none at all. This was honestly my only go-to website for so long, I really love a lot of the Free Items that they offer.
One con, specifically for designers, is that the Freebies are only for a Personal License, meaning you cannot use them for use in products to be sold, advertisements, or on business social media accounts. This is perfect, however, for personal projects you may have, like for your blog (see where I’m going with this?) or invites, like I’ve used them for party invitations (you know, when we could still have parties). If you like the freebie, but think you might want to use it in a more professional capacity, you can buy the “free” version, and later purchase a Commercial (for graphics) or Desktop (for fonts) license.
There are also some other very minor cons, like I think the filtering system on “Purchases” is broken, and every time I go to Shop Updates, it seems to give me the same “New Feature!” pop-up.
Pros: Rotating weekly freebies page (with newsletter alert); general collection is extremely large, with a variety of 6 different, weekly items for free; items are high quality and has a lot of different styles
Meh: Need an account to download
Cons: Only 6 freebies per week, freebies are only for personal use (with option to buy Commercial licenses after free period is over), some minor issues with website
I found Design Cuts after I bought Affinity Photo and Designer, and this website was somehow linked by Serif (development team that make the Affinity products). Since then, I found that Design Cuts offer a multitude of brushes, graphics, and fonts, as well as anything else you can think of, including flatlays (which has been a recent love of mine). They also offer free tutorials through Crowdcast, which you can view live or watch them (much, much) later, like me! I also like that they have digital scrapbooking things, and a dedicated Affinity section.
Like Creative Market, you need an account to download these items. Their Ever-Expanding Free Bundle is available once you sign up, and it is linked at both the top and bottom of the page. The thing I like about Design Cuts’ check out process is that you can add a bunch of free items to your cart and check them all out at the same time.
However, unlike Creative Market, what’s great is that all the items, including the freebies, have an extended license, which means you can use them as many times as you want, in commercial and personal projects, as well products for sale.
Design Cuts also has a newsletter that will send you emails about their Freebie Friday, which is mostly fonts, but sometimes you get brushes and graphics as well.
And I think that’s the only downside to Design Cuts. There is a large freebie bundle, but you only get one new freebie each week, and it is usually a font.
Pros: Collection has a large variety of high quality items; page with all freebies available; dedicated Affinity section; newsletter with Freebie Friday; all items, including freebies have an extended license
Meh: Need an account to download
Cons: Only one new weekly freebie, which is usually a font
I’ve only subscribed to this website recently, but they offer a bunch of great graphics for free, and they are always free! They have a great and varied collection; mockups, vectors, and stock photos, even Powerpoint presentations if you need them. Just like the other two on the General Graphics list, you will need an account to download. And, just like Design Cuts, the freebies have an extended license, which means you can use them unlimited in commercial projects. Another thing I really like about Deeezy is the Products Listing page. You have multiple ways to filter, including file type and freebies only.
The only thing that really makes me scratch my head is the business model; you can get an unlimited plan for $10 a month (or $96 a year). This is for unlimited downloads. So, if I wanted to get my money’s worth, could I potentially buy one month of unlimited downloads and download their entire collection? That is pretty cheap, if you ask me, and I can’t imagine that would be good for business or the creators. Alternatively, you can buy Premium Credits (the cheapest being $14 for 5 credits), which is one download per credit, and that would be insanely high compared to the monthly plan! Now, I haven’t bought anything from Deeezy yet, so I guess this is all speculation.
Lastly, the only downside of Deeezy is that the collection is small compared to Design Cuts and Creative Market, but it is always growing. I see some creators on two or all three websites and I think it’s great that they are posting to different websites for more exposure. I hope more good (and free) things come to Deeezy!
Pros: The freebies are always free; collection is high quality and has a lot of different styles; all items, including freebies have an extended license; collection is filterable, with options for freebies only
Meh: Need an account to download; business model is kinda weird
Cons: Collection is small compared to the other two sites, but it is still growing
I don’t have a preference between these three websites; all three are attached to Affinity products (you can search using their stock photo function, which is great), but that Pexels is also attached to WordPress (I can search and attach a featured image, which is even better). I do like the crediting process on Unsplash and Pixabay better, though. When you copy credits, it copies the link code as well. For Pexels, it only copies the text (no link).
Pros: All three are linked to Affinity products; Pexels is also linked to WordPress; no account needed to download
Meh: Pexels has a mediocre crediting process, the other two are better at crediting the creator
DaFont is literally the only website I go to for specifically for fonts. I don’t know why, but it has stuck with me for over ten years now, since I was in college. The only issue is that most of the fonts are only free for personal use, and there is no centralized method to get a commercial license. Each individual font is has different methods for tackling that issue. You should always click through to the description page; sometimes it’s as simple as donating to the author, sometimes the author will have linked to a page for commercial licensing.
Pros: No account needed to download
Meh: No centralized commercial licensing, each font is different
Google has entered the chat. I’ve been using this a bit more recently, simply because I use Google Drive a lot, and you can use the fonts from here on all Google Drive products. The website is easy to search; it has a bunch of different filters, even ones I didn’t know I needed. Some templates on WordPress even let you browse the catalog of Google Fonts to see which fonts you want displayed on your blog.
What’s also nice is that these are all Open Font License, which means you can use them in commercial and personal projects. However, once they do not have an OFL, then they disappear from the website (which might be annoying if you’re using it for your WordPress).
Pros: No account needed to download, all fonts are okay to use on commercial and personal projects
Meh: Fonts can and will disappear once they do not have an Open Font License
I actually only use Flaticon for use in my personal notebooks (I print them out and use them as stickers), so I haven’t really researched what it would take to put these in work. However, a quick glance at licensing makes me think that it is subscription based, so as long as you had a subscription, you’re okay to use these in commercial projects. (However, if you are a designer, I know you will probably have poured through the FAQs to see what the process is.)
For non-designers, you will need a free account to download icons, and you can only download 10 icons a day, and you can download any of the ones that don’t have the crown icon next to them. Like I said, I love in my planner or notebooks for simple stickers.
So, a glimpse behind the curtain: This entry is my latest entry in the Zero to Hero series. This is my post for Day 28, and today’s prompt/challenge was to build on popular content. What is most popular is the Inauguration Crossword and Journalling Cards, which is great! And ultimately, I want to build on my journaling card downloads and freebies, but those take a while to build up and I’m always trying to work on new freebies or products.
When it comes to the second most popular page or post, it was my first link compilation from the beginning of February, which is, again, hard, because I also released a link pile last week. And, I don’t want my blog to be primarily a link round-up site, because I find those hard to manage. My third most popular post is my intro page, which is nice because I spent a lot of time on that and went more personal.
So, to analyze my content just from this extremely rudimentary review, I was thinking this post was a little mix of all the three: sharing freebies, some links, and sharing some personal opinions, spending a little bit more time and love on the post.
That’s everything! Let me know what you like and I’ll definitely check them out!