The ultimate list of design resources for every designer in 2021

If you are a designer, then you know that there is no shortage of tools and resources out there to help you design. Sometimes it can be hard to find the best ones, so I have collected some of my favorites in this article for your convenience. Designers are faced with a huge number of choices when it comes to designing something new or refreshing an old project. Whether they need inspiration or want more information on design trends, these resources should prove helpful as well as inspirational.

Dec 15, 2023
April 14, 2021
6 min read

1. Colors

We always need inspiration for the next branding project, and here are a few of our favorite color resources to help save time on research.

  • - Generate or browse beautiful color combinations for your designs.
  • Color Hunt - Color Hunt is a free and open platform for color inspiration with thousands of trendy hand-picked color palettes.
  • Picular - Picular is a rocket fast primary color generator using Google’s image search.
  • CopyPalette - Create consistent monochromatic color palettes and export them in a blink.
  • Muzli Colors - Never waste Hours on finding the perfect Color Palette again!
  • Colorinspo - Thousands of beautiful color palettes you can use it directly by one click.
  • Colortopia - Find and generate color schemes, for free. Click to copy.
  • Gradienta - Pure CSS Code, JPG Download, Open Source.

2. Accessibility

It’s 2021; let’s make sure our website meets all the current accessibility standards. Here are great tools for every designer and developer out there.

  • Contrast - macOS app for quick access to WCAG color contrast ratios.
  • Stark - Make the world’s software more accessible.
  • accessiBe - Automated Web Accessibility Solution for ADA & WCAG Compliance

3. Analytics

Here are some of our favorite privacy-focused analytics tools that we have tried and tested out.

  • Splitbee - Your friendly all-in-one analytics & conversion tool.
  • Plausible - Simple and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics.
  • Fathom - Fathom is a simple, light-weight, privacy-first alternative to Google Analytics.

4. Automation

It’s time to automate some of your work processes, so here are a few great ways you can get started.

  • Zapier - Easy automation for busy people. Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.
  • IFTTT- Connect your apps and devices in new and remarkable ways. Make the things you love more powerful.
  • Integromat - Integromat lets you connect apps and automate workflows in a few clicks.

5. Copy

Fantastic time to be alive for the bad writers like myself. We have such an amazing collection of tools to help us out. If I could write this article so can anybody!

  • Grammarly - Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant.
  • Copy AI - Introducing the end of writer’s block. With CopyAI’s automated creativity tools, you can generate marketing copy in seconds.
  • Headlime - Writing copy is time-consuming and difficult. Headlime’s artificial intelligence can take your thoughts and turn them into words, saving you tons of time.
  • VeryGoodCopy - Micro-Content about copywriting, marketing & creativity.
  • Snazzy - Get started with AI copywriting and supercharge your content workflow with Snazzy AI.

6. Design Tools

Here are some of our favorite design tools from the past few months. From beautiful UI experiences to 3D illustration and feedback tools.

  • Figma - Figma helps teams create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish.
  • Spline - Easily create and publish 3D web experiences. Build and iterate fast with production-ready results.
  • Vectary - The most accessible 3D and Augmented Reality design platform. No downloads, all in the browser.
  • MarkUp - MarkUp lets you collect feedback directly on your live website or any image.
  • Pastel - Review and comment on websites live. One click to share with clients and teammates.

7. Email Marketing

There’s no need to explain email marketing in 2021, but here are a few great tools you can use.

  • Mailchimp - Mailchimp helps small businesses do big things, with the right tools and guidance every step of the way.
  • ConvertKit - ConvertKit helps you find your audience, turn them into true fans, and earn a living as a creator with our audience building and email marketing software.
  • Mailer Lite - Become an email marketing expert with advanced tools made easy for you. Includes live 24/7 support and the latest features like landing pages and automation.
  • Sendlane - Turn online shoppers into loyal, lifetime customers with email & SMS marketing

8. Fonts

It can be hard to find great fonts. There are so many to choose from. So we need to have our top 5 saved and stored. We don’t need to find new fonts for every single project we do. But if you’re looking for inspiration, here are some sites that might help out.

  • Google Fonts - Making the web more beautiful, fast, and open through great typography.
  • Adobe Fonts - Quality fonts at your fingertips
  • MyFonts - Large selection of professional fonts for any project.
  • Fontjoy - Fontjoy helps designers choose the best font combinations. Mix and match different fonts for the perfect pairing.
  • Type Scale - A visual type scale
  • FontFace Ninja - A browser extension to identify and try fonts on any website.
  • Fonts in the Wild - Find the perfect free or paid font for your next project.

9. Icons

There are many great resources out there for icons, and you don’t need to make them from scratch unless you really want to.

  • Icons8 - Download design elements for free: icons, photos, vector illustrations, and music for your videos.
  • The NounProject - Noun Project features the most diverse collection of icons and stock photos.
  • Google Material Icons - Material icons are delightful, beautifully crafted symbols for common actions and items.
  • Anicons - A pack of stylish and playful 3D icons to use in your projects.
  • Iconfinder - Iconfinder is the world’s largest marketplace for vector and raster icons in SVG and PNG formats.

10. Illustrations, Shapes & Patterns

I can’t create stunning illustrations, and I can’t paint, either. I feel so inadequate in that department. However, it is crucial to have good resources available that will help you prototype your next project.

  • unDraw - unDraw provides open-source illustrations for any project you can imagine and create.
  • Blush - Blush makes it easy to add free illustrations to your designs. Play with fully customizable graphics made by artists across the globe.
  • OpenPeeps - A hand-drawn illustration library.
  • 3D Humans - 3d Illustrations and freebies. We make products that help designers work faster and be more efficient.
  • DrawKit - Beautiful, free illustrations. Updated weekly.
  • ManyPixels - Discover new illustrations every week. Use them on landing pages, blog posts, newsletters, social media graphics and more!
  • Blob mixer - A toy for creating and sharing 3D blobs.
  • Shape Divider App - Create fully responsive shape dividers for your next web project.
  • Tabbied - Doodle with generated patterns.
  • MagicPattern - MagicPattern offers a generator for unique geometric SVG background patterns.
  • Squircley - Create and export beautiful SVG squircles to use in your designs.
  • Get Waves - A free SVG wave generator to make unique SVG waves for your next web design. Choose a curve, adjust complexity, randomize!
  • Scribbbles - 100+ vectorized scribbbles to spice up your design projects.

11. Inspiration

It is always good to have few great sources to go to when we need that little extra boost of motivation to start on that blank canvas.

  • One Page Love - One Page websites, templates and resources.
  • Land Book - Design gallery with carefully collected websites.
  • Site Inspire - A CSS gallery and showcase of the best web design inspiration, featuring over 2500 websites searchable by type, subject, and style.
  • Bookmarks.Design - All in One Bookmark Links for Designer.
  • Madflow - Madflow showcases only the best Webflow ecommerce and website design examples in the world.
  • Lapa Ninja - Landing page design inspiration.
  • Showcased - Find cloneable projects or explore daily inspiration curated from the Webflow Showcase.
  • Rora - Rora brings in the top and trendiest things from all the top resources so that you don’t have to. The community then decides what’s hot and what’s not.
  • Awwwards - Awwwards are the Website Awards that recognize and promote the talent and effort of the best developers, designers and web agencies in the world.
  • CSSDesignAwards - Be inspired, Be inspiring. Submit your website to the world’s best CSS awards for a chance to win Site of the Day
  • Dribbble - Dribbble is the leading destination to find & showcase creative work and home to the world’s best design professionals.
  • Best Website Gallery - Beautiful websites handpicked for you — since 2008!
  • SiteSee - SiteSee is a curated gallery of beautiful, modern websites.

12. Photography

We always recommend professional photography for client projects. But sometimes stock photos can be just as good. Especially when creating a high-fidelity prototype.

  • Unsplash - Beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. Better than any royalty free or stock photos.
  • Pixabay - Find your perfect free image or video to download and use for anything.
  • Pexels - Download and use the best free stock photos and videos.

Bonus: Photography Tools

  • - Remove Image Background: 100% automatically
  • TinyPNG - Make your website faster and save bandwidth. TinyPNG optimizes your PNG images by 50-80%.
  • AI Image Enlarger - AI Image Enlarger is a FREE online image enlarger that could upscale and enhance small images automatically. Make jpg/png pictures big without losing quality.

13. Productivity

Have a good process in place to manage your time efficiently? That’s great. If so, you probably won’t be interested in this category, but if you are looking for ways to improve your workflow, here are some apps that may interest you!

  • ClickUp - Tasks, docs, chat, goals & more.
  • Notion - All-in-one workspace. One tool for your whole team. Write, plan and get organised.
  • Milanote - Milanote is an easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards.
  • Raindrop - All-in-one bookmark manager.
  • Calendly - Helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.
  • Asana - Keep remote and distributed teams, and your entire organization, focused on their goals, projects, and tasks
  • Miro - An online visual collaboration platform for teamwork.
  • Twist - A distraction-free space where teams can balance focused work with collaborative conversations.

Thank you for checking out our resources list. We have also created a collected list that will be updated regularly, and feel free to check it out here.