Smart graphic designers are always on the lookout for new graphic design resources that will help them become better and more efficient designers. Everything from color scheme pickers to customer relations management software to invoicing applications to design tutorials fits the bill as graphic design resources. Some are extremely popular and well-known, yet others are more obscure. And given any population as large as that of graphic designers, many popular graphic design resources are known to some but not all. The following are six graphic design resources you’ve (probably, perhaps) never heard of.
1. Blue Vertigo
Stock images are incredibly valuable weapons in any graphic designer’s resource kit, and Blue Vertigo makes it easy to find the stock images you’re seeking by listing more than 100 stock image websites. The site doesn’t stop there, either; It also features listings for textures, videos, vector clip art, fonts, logotypes, Photoshop brushes, icons, sounds, mixing tools and more. It’s a one-stop portal for all your stock material needs.
2. View Like Us
View Like Us is a handy tool for web designers because it displays a given website in several different resolutions ranging from wide screen monitors to Wii browsers to the iPhone. The graphic design resources are perfect for optimizing your layouts so they can be usable in many of today’s popular browser applications.
3. Type Tester
Searching for the perfect font? Start with Type Tester, a cool tool that allows you to set fonts and font attributes and then compare them in real-time across three columns to find the font that fits your project best. Perfect for both print design and web design, since the settings are transferable to popular design programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and you can even click a button to automatically generate CSS code for your chosen font.
4. Open With
Ever have a client send you a file type you can’t open? Even worse, research reveals you need a thousand-dollar program to open it? Have no fear, Open With is here! Open With is a free graphic design resource that allows you to view just about any type of file extension out there without having to purchase expensive software.
More than 7,000 free Photoshop brushes arranged in more than 400 packs you can use for your artwork. A seriously invaluable graphic design resource!
6. Morgue File
A killer stock image site created for creatives by creatives that allows you to use its images for commercial work. Not a cross-platform search tool like Creative Commons, Morgue File’s images are self-hosted.
BONUS: One more awesome graphic design resource for you is Jacob Gube’s blog post on Six Revisions titled “40+ Useful Cheat Sheets for Designers.” Make good use of Photoshop cheat sheets, Illustrator cheat sheets and more.