Design Resources

Stock Photography

Stock photography sites are often a great way to acquire photos for design projects that would normally be difficult to obtain. Some stock photos are free, while others require payment. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various restrictions that apply to any given image.

Important to note, in a student portfolio one should strive to use original imagery and avoid stock photography. Each designer has their own unique style; so when stock photos are used, the originality of the work diminishes.


Not all mockups are created equal and a good mockup can take your project to the next level. Presenting and talking about your work is extremely important. When choosing a mockup, consider the quality and whether or not the mockup is appropriate for your project.

Always be sure to check licensing and attribution policies whenever you are using any type of digital asset.

Mockup Sites:
Adobe Stock – Subscription based or credit pack-based system
Free Design Resources – Free mockups, be sure to check licensing and attribution policies.
– Free and premium/paid mockups.
Graphic Burger – Free mockups, be sure to check licensing and attribution policies.
Mockups-Design – Free mockups, be sure to check licensing and attribution policies.
– Free mockups, be sure to check licensing and attribution policies.
Mr. Mockup
– Free and paid mockups. This website also sends occasional free mockup offers via e-mail.
Unblast – Free mockups, be sure to check licensing and attribution policies.


Typography is an important element of graphic design. Whether it’s a brochure or a billboard, the implementation of typography will often make or break a design. As designers, we are obligated to familiarize ourselves with professional typefaces that are available to us.


Exploring designs created by other artists is a great way to get inspiration and generate ideas for projects. There are many online resources that contain libraries of designs. Be aware that being inspired and copying other people’s work are two different things; use inspiration sources wisely and avoid plagiarizing in your work.

Web Design

When designing for web, it’s always helpful to utilize online resources that allow you to build websites more efficiently. Below are various resources created to help you with programming websites.

Web Design Resource Sites:
Alphredo – Generate translucent colors that look the same as their opaque counterparts
Checklist Design – Checklists for good web design practices – Design UI and get CSS code
ShaderGradient – Create gradients for web

Color Palettes

Utilizing online color palettes is a great way to gain inspiration for projects and provide a solid foundation for your project’s color scheme. The websites below range from community created palettes to AI generators.

Color Palette Sites:
Adobe Color – Color palette maker, color trends, palette libraries
Colorhunt – Categorized color palettes
Coolors – Color palette generator
Huemint – Color palette generator
Pigment – Colors with adjustable hue, pigment, and lighting

Miscellaneous Online Resources

These resources range from design news and podcasts to AI sites that will help improve your workflow.

Misc. Online Resources:
Access Guide – Digital accessibility guide
Design Better Podcast – Design podcast
Eye on Design (AIGA) – Graphic design trends and news
Fontjoy – Font pairing AI

GoodBrief – Design brief generator
It’s Nice That – Design Inspiration and News
Namelix – Business name generator AI
Off Grid – Graphic design news


When dealing with design in printed applications, it is important to consider the substrate that it is being printed on. Whether you’re printing a portfolio or proofing out a project, the thickness, texture, and brightness of the paper will have a direct effect on how your design transfers from digital to print.

Design Games

Ever wanted a fun way to practice your skills? The games below were created to help designers master tools they regularly encounter in the design world.

Online Design Games:
Shape Type – Practice perfecting letterforms with the pen tool
Color Game – Practice color wheel skills
The Bezier Game – Pen tool practice
Can’t Unsee – Practice attention to detail
Flexbox Froggy – CSS flexbox practice


Poster design is one of the oldest and riches forms of graphic design. Today, posters vary from promoting a film or event, to listing invaluable information for public viewing. As designers, we need to master the art of communicating an idea in poster form.