Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – 100+ Links of Design Elements and Resources

Posted in Inspiration • Posted on 31 Comments

This time we will review some helpful resources for designers, how you can find them, and how can they help you.

Have you ever thought that every day, while you are busy doing your work, there are a lot of people doing almost the same thing as you? And they are releasing it. For free.

And sometimes we just forget all this stuff and lose a lot of time doing things that just didn’t need to be done. Someone else has done it for us. Why should you start from scratch if you can get some cool things and just make them better?

So, this is a post with a lot of links, and with my opinion about many of them. In short, we will be talking about:
• Creative photos collections
• Cool Icon packs, Buttons & Menus
• Professional Font faces
• Useful patterns, brushes, backgrounds, textures
• Templates and other miscellaneous elements
• Online generators and other tools

So, let’s rock!

Creative Photo Collections

Actually, most of you always use stock photos in your layouts. Yeah, they are nice, but many of them just don’t get the point across that you want. Don’t get mad, they don’t ruin your work. But they don’t make it brilliant either.

So, usually you have 2 options:

  1. Use premium stock photos
  2. Take your own photos

I think there is a third option that we almost always forget: Some really artistic and creative photos out there.

We have a lot of photo collections, with photos for specific situations. Think about it, when you are talking about victory, for example, it’s much better to use a real emotional winner photo than a commodity clip art trophy image.

Why they are good: Using in-context funny or emotional images is the easiest way to get your reader’s attention, so you get more time to explain your point.

What you should pay attention to: You must pay attention in copyright notices for images. We can’t steal someone elses image just because it is on the web.

Good Start points:

Cool Icon Packs, Buttons & Menus

Sometimes we need an idea of how could we put those 20 links that the customer wants in a really good-looking menu. Moreover, you have to worry about all the “call to actions” and semiotics stuff for icon and button design.

When you feel like this, it is time to steal someone elses design :D

Why they are good: Depending on the site you use to search, it is possible to find really complete icon packs, with “generic” icons for customization (just the background, for example). Many people may have solved the problem with 30 links in the same menu already.

What you should pay attention: It is worthless to find a really cool icon pack, button or menu that you don’t know how to customize. So, if you get a cool wooden icon pack, but don’t know how to make a “home” icon (maybe it is missing), you can’t use it.

Good Start points:

Professional Font Faces

I have to tell you a secret. I don’t know anything about typography. For real. I know just the basics, that serif and sans-serif stuff, but anything beyond this, don’t count on me.

Everytime I read something about typography I get amazed on how this is a wide field to study. And how we are getting better and better at it.

With all this @font-face stuff, it is almost a crime to not use a really professional font in your headlines (at least) without fear of the monster of cross-browser compatibility.

Why they are good: They give a really professional look to your project and they are easy to use.

What you should pay attention: You should notice copyright restrictions (yeah, not every font is free), and whether or not the font you want has some special characters (it is hard to find, for example, c with cedilla or grave accent, really used in Portuguese).

Good Start points:

Useful Patterns, Backgrounds, Textures

Yeah, I love patterns and textures. I used to download patterns because some of them I just don’t know how to create myself, and sometimes I just need a preview of how the work would look with that pattern. Actually, there are so many combinations of patterns, textures and brushes that you could spend all your life just trying combinations. So it is better just to pick some good samples, isn’t it?

Why they are good: They save you a lot of time, with complex and tiled patterns.

What you should pay attention: When you use a texture for websites you have to pay attention in their screen size, because we have a lot of different screen dimensions nowadays, thus many users can see that ugly white background when your texture ends.

Good Start points:

Templates and Other Elements

Yeah, we have a lot of other elements ready to use, that couldn’t be in above list. There are a lot of boxes, ribbons, slide shows, form elements, complete page templates and many other things that you could use in your work. There are a lot of creative design solutions for problems that we all could pass (like slide shows, or complete admin panels), and with this samples, you save a lot of precious hours.

Why they are good: They surely save you a lot of time, and brings you inspiration for common problems.

What you should pay attention: For every element we have a lot of possibilities, and many of them could be good. You don’t have to find a magical unique solution for everything, for each problem there’s more than likely a solution out there. This is why we have so many links in here :D

Good Start points:

Are You Hungry Yet?

I know that you have some useful links to share too. Why don’t you put them in comments, or write a response in your blog?

I’m sure that we will always need new sources to make our designing process more effective.

43 Written ArticlesWebsiteGoogle+

I'm a web designer and entrepreneur from Itajubá (MG), Brasil. I love writing about obscure topics and doing some cool stuff. And also I do some FREE stuff, check it out: http://www.roch.com.br/

31 Comments Best Comments First
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:54

    10

    Thank you! :D

    0
  • Liam McCabe

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 17:51

    15

    Nice list Rochester!

    Be sure to check out http://pixelsdaily.com as well :)

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 18:20

      16

      Hi Liam,

      Great site, how could I missed it?

      Thank you!

      0
  • Debbie

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 07:16

    9

    Thank you for a terrific selection of resources

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 15:00

      13

      Hey Debbie, thank you!

      0
  • Ian

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 04:14

    8

    Thank you for including Inspirationfeed on the list!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:59

      12

      Hey,

      You have such a great content, so I must to share it :D

      0
  • Taimur

    Sunday, May 15th, 2011 12:08

    4

    May be these links are useful but this is worst presentation of all time. No one will want to go through the links because of the way you put them. No offence; just a constructive critique..

    0
    • Renato Alves

      Sunday, May 15th, 2011 16:25

      2

      I have to agree with Taimur, I loved the links above but if it were exposed in another creative and interactive way it’d be better.

      Congrats!

      0
      • Rochester Oliveira

        Monday, May 16th, 2011 03:29

        6

        Oh guys, I’m really sad to hear that.. I wrote this as a “bookmarkable” article, so when you need patterns, for example, you could find a lot of them here …
        But I’ll try a better presentation next time, thank you for your sincere feedback!!

        0
  • Alexa

    Sunday, May 15th, 2011 13:05

    5

    Great Post! The Link to Cool Icon packs, Buttons & Menus will be the best! Thx. your CSS doesn`t work on your site. the buttons twitter, like, reddit and so on are listet. it shows horrible.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Sunday, May 15th, 2011 14:00

      1

      Hi, could you tell us what browser are you using? Everything seems fine on our end. Ctrl + F5?

      0
      • Fred Hicks

        Sunday, May 15th, 2011 16:28

        3

        Happens for me, too — on the latest Firefox — at least for a while. After a delay, they turn from bullets into the floater on the left as intended.

        0
        • Rochester Oliveira

          Monday, May 16th, 2011 15:00

          14

          Here (Fx 3.6 and Fx4 at home) seems ok..

          0
  • sanji

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 02:35

    7

    Agree with Taimur, please put this in a friendly interactive way so many people can enjoy this article. Thanks!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:56

      11

      Hey sanji,

      Once published, we can’t edit it.. Since many people liked it too, I think we will use it as a lesson, so in next time I’ll make a better presentation..

      Thank you!

      0
  • Rahman

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 06:59

    17

    Nice collection of resources. Very useful. Thanks for share. :)

    0
  • Mike

    Saturday, July 16th, 2011 18:32

    27

    Spent some time looking through your site today. found some really useful stuff, themes, icons and such
    Thanks!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Sunday, July 17th, 2011 06:55

      28

      Hey mike, I’m glad you liked it!

      []’s
      Rochester

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 16:38

    26

    Thank you sekar, keep coming, we have much more to go :D

    []s

    0
  • Murkabir

    Saturday, July 30th, 2011 05:10

    29

    It’s a treasure to me. I just lokking for the details like this. I’m sure you got a loyal reader of your blog. ^_^

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 18:34

      30

      Thanks Murkabir :)

      Keep coming!

      []’s

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 18:35

    31

    Just love abduzeedo, they are amazing, indeed :)

    []’s

    0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 16:37

    25

    Hey! I don’t know how to spell your name, but thank you ;)

    []’s

    0
  • Carry

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 11:09

    19

    Great list, I especially like the icons and button packs, but maybe a more graphic layout of these links would of helped. Great collection of links anyway

    0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 16:29

    18

    Thank you for the tip, Suzane!

    0
  • Adam John

    Thursday, May 19th, 2011 07:19

    20

    The Exadrop logo, in my opinion has to be a little bit adjusted logo designs, because as you can see in the upper side it’s a emphasized light effect logo designs and in the left bottom side it’s nothing. That reflects that it’s not realistic don’t give the feeling.

    0
  • Lex Koff

    Saturday, May 21st, 2011 19:16

    21

    =) took me a while to visit all the resources but it turned out be quite rewarding ! Thank You very much.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 23rd, 2011 15:20

      23

      Hi, Lex,

      Just bookmark it and come when you need! :D

      []’s

      0
  • stephy

    Monday, May 23rd, 2011 07:28

    22

    thanks for sharing :)))

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 04:42

      24

      You are welcome stephy!
      []’s

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 18:35

    31

    Just love abduzeedo, they are amazing, indeed :)

    []’s

    0
  • Murkabir

    Saturday, July 30th, 2011 05:10

    29

    It’s a treasure to me. I just lokking for the details like this. I’m sure you got a loyal reader of your blog. ^_^

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 18:34

      30

      Thanks Murkabir :)

      Keep coming!

      []’s

      0
  • Mike

    Saturday, July 16th, 2011 18:32

    27

    Spent some time looking through your site today. found some really useful stuff, themes, icons and such
    Thanks!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Sunday, July 17th, 2011 06:55

      28

      Hey mike, I’m glad you liked it!

      []’s
      Rochester

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 16:38

    26

    Thank you sekar, keep coming, we have much more to go :D

    []s

    0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 16:37

    25

    Hey! I don’t know how to spell your name, but thank you ;)

    []’s

    0
  • stephy

    Monday, May 23rd, 2011 07:28

    22

    thanks for sharing :)))

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 04:42

      24

      You are welcome stephy!
      []’s

      0
  • Lex Koff

    Saturday, May 21st, 2011 19:16

    21

    =) took me a while to visit all the resources but it turned out be quite rewarding ! Thank You very much.

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 23rd, 2011 15:20

      23

      Hi, Lex,

      Just bookmark it and come when you need! :D

      []’s

      0
  • Adam John

    Thursday, May 19th, 2011 07:19

    20

    The Exadrop logo, in my opinion has to be a little bit adjusted logo designs, because as you can see in the upper side it’s a emphasized light effect logo designs and in the left bottom side it’s nothing. That reflects that it’s not realistic don’t give the feeling.

    0
  • Carry

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 11:09

    19

    Great list, I especially like the icons and button packs, but maybe a more graphic layout of these links would of helped. Great collection of links anyway

    0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 16:29

    18

    Thank you for the tip, Suzane!

    0
  • Rahman

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 06:59

    17

    Nice collection of resources. Very useful. Thanks for share. :)

    0
  • Liam McCabe

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 17:51

    15

    Nice list Rochester!

    Be sure to check out http://pixelsdaily.com as well :)

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 18:20

      16

      Hi Liam,

      Great site, how could I missed it?

      Thank you!

      0
  • Rochester Oliveira

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:54

    10

    Thank you! :D

    0
  • Debbie

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 07:16

    9

    Thank you for a terrific selection of resources

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 15:00

      13

      Hey Debbie, thank you!

      0
  • Ian

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 04:14

    8

    Thank you for including Inspirationfeed on the list!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:59

      12

      Hey,

      You have such a great content, so I must to share it :D

      0
  • sanji

    Monday, May 16th, 2011 02:35

    7

    Agree with Taimur, please put this in a friendly interactive way so many people can enjoy this article. Thanks!

    0
    • Rochester Oliveira

      Monday, May 16th, 2011 14:56

      11

      Hey sanji,

      Once published, we can’t edit it.. Since many people liked it too, I think we will use it as a lesson, so in next time I’ll make a better presentation..

      Thank you!

      0
  • Alexa

    Sunday, May 15th, 2011 13:05

    5

    Great Post! The Link to Cool Icon packs, Buttons & Menus will be the best! Thx. your CSS doesn`t work on your site. the buttons twitter, like, reddit and so on are listet. it shows horrible.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Sunday, May 15th, 2011 14:00

      1

      Hi, could you tell us what browser are you using? Everything seems fine on our end. Ctrl + F5?

      0
      • Fred Hicks

        Sunday, May 15th, 2011 16:28

        3

        Happens for me, too — on the latest Firefox — at least for a while. After a delay, they turn from bullets into the floater on the left as intended.

        0
        • Rochester Oliveira

          Monday, May 16th, 2011 15:00

          14

          Here (Fx 3.6 and Fx4 at home) seems ok..

          0
  • Taimur

    Sunday, May 15th, 2011 12:08

    4

    May be these links are useful but this is worst presentation of all time. No one will want to go through the links because of the way you put them. No offence; just a constructive critique..

    0
    • Renato Alves

      Sunday, May 15th, 2011 16:25

      2

      I have to agree with Taimur, I loved the links above but if it were exposed in another creative and interactive way it’d be better.

      Congrats!

      0
      • Rochester Oliveira

        Monday, May 16th, 2011 03:29

        6

        Oh guys, I’m really sad to hear that.. I wrote this as a “bookmarkable” article, so when you need patterns, for example, you could find a lot of them here …
        But I’ll try a better presentation next time, thank you for your sincere feedback!!

        0

Comments are closed.

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