Graphic design has an amazing community. Comprised of both the Masters from the pre-computer Era to the Newbies who were raised on the internet and computer-editing applications, there is a huge amount of people sharing their work and expertise online. I know when I was starting out in design, I found tons of inspiration and information from sites like youtube and more. If there’s one issue, however, it’s that there’s almost too much great information out there. I know – good problem to have, right?
But for those designers just starting out, or for those designers who are considering getting into design, the amount of information can be a little overwhelming. Couple this with Paper Leaf’s desire to give back to the design community, and this is what you get: the All-in-One Graphic Design Starter’s Kit. The idea behind this kit is for it to be a one-stop shop for those getting into design – and for it to be completely free. It includes free software (for both Mac & Windows – photo/raster editing, vector editing, and HTML/CSS WYSIWYG editing), eBooks, textures, vectors, brushes, and awesome fonts. If you were to have no idea where to start, you could come here, download everything, read the eBooks and corresponding software guides, and have a great starting point.
All of these items are free, open-source and legal for both me to share & you to download – however, please don’t claim any of them as your own.
Not everyone can afford the industry-standard design software – that being Adobe’s Creative Suite – so here are three open-source alternatives that will allows you to do virtually the same kind of work.
GIMP is a free, open-source raster-editing program – like Photoshop.
Inkscape is a free, open-source vector-editing program – like Illustrator.
Kompozer is a free, open-source HTML/CSS WYSIWYG editor – like Dreamweaver.
You can’t learn everything about design from a few eBooks, but they can sure give you a good launching point! Below is a zipped file with 3 awesome, free design eBooks from Scribd.
Much love to Bittbox, a site that has been around a while and consistently shares great design elements – like these textures, below.
There are a ton of free fonts and free font sites out there, but most are garbage. FontSquirrel and dafont.com is the best, in my opinion, and here are some of their top free fonts.
No sense reinventing the wheel if you just need some design elements to complement your design. Below is a zip file containing a bunch of free vectors. Most of these come from Vecteezy and all free download.
Same as above – a zip file containing a bunch of free raster brushes. Some from Bittbox, some from Brusheezy.
Keep in mind that no single sorce or post will ever make you a complete and well-rounded designer. Use this blog as a starting point, but keep learning! Become involved in the design community – both your local one and the web’s – and you’ll grow faster than you ever imagined.