in Design

Cool Free Tools for Designers (and not only for them!)

There are too many free tools for designers – said no one, ever. No such thing as too many tools. Today we want to share a bunch of cool resources that make life easier for not only designers, but also all creators who strive for original and catchy visuals for their projects. What makes this list special – all the tools are launched and supported by Icons8, that has grown from solo designer to a big team providing free design resources and software. So, let’s get started.

Icons8 Web App

Icons8 is a big and constantly growing library of over 90 000 icons in different styles, formats and covering the big diversity of themes.

Explainer video https://youtu.be/C4TcBmdaa-Q

 

You can not only download icons. The app also allows:

• Recoloring

• Applying boxes and circles

• Adding padding

• Adding text and overlays (like a small plus)

• Downloading in multiple formats (some behind the paywall)

• Resizing

• Similar icons (for example, variations of the home icon)

• The same icon in other styles (for example, a home icon in iOS style, Material style, etc.)

• Generating HTML

• Working with the collections

• Generating fonts.

Moose Photos

Basically, Moose is a constantly growing collection of stock photos made under professional production.

• All the images are free for a link.

• Photos are made by a movie-scale team: directors, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, prop designers, an architect, a 3D modeler, a post-production team, and two collage artists.

• Photos present the variety of themes in clean stylish performance.

• AI and web-developers combine the images with various backgrounds and 3D-rendered scenes. It makes the collection more flexible for users’ needs and goals.

• All the pictures match each other and can effectively work together.

• You can also order a photo you need.

• You can mix your own photo collage in Photo Creator (read below)

Photo Creator

Photo Creator allows you to create realistic photos in short minutes using a huge Moose photo gallery.

 

Explainer Video https://youtu.be/WC71Rdg_Hng

 

What’s the typical problem of stock photos? They usually look too generic, and a photo shoot is an even bigger issue with all the stuff like casting, location scouting, retouching, etc. and repeating all that every time you want to change something. The idea has come to the team: what about mixing the models, objects, and backgrounds into a single picture? Capturing 1K models, 1K objects, and 1K backgrounds will give 1B combinations (instead of 4M for Shutterstock, for example).

So, the creative experiments started – the results can be seen in collage category on Moose: the collage photos combine models, objects and environments shot at a different time, places or even continents.

These are different photos of people and objects taken in different places and combined together

But how could creators do it without wasting hours on Photoshop editing? How could people who have zero experience in graphic editors use the power of photo collages for their particular projects and stories?

The team’s goal was to make it fast and easy for everyone.

So, they masked the images and built a web tool to make composing quick. Now users themselves make photos work together the following way:

• Choose the photos from the big Moose photo gallery: it features a big variety of shots with people of different races, ages, and looks. As well as objects, animals, environments, etc.

• Mix them as you want for your specific goal and story. Play with sizes and funny combinations.

• Get a PSD file and edit it further as you want.

All the images may be exported in JPEG and PSD. JPEGs are free for a link. PSDs are $20/month, this way you get all models and objects masked and layered.

Ouch! Vector Illustrations

Ouch is  the collection of free vector illustrations for creators who don’t draw. These graphics never leave any content boring. The resource helps UX designers, content and marketing specialists to make their products look professional and eye-pleasing.

The example of onboarding screens using Ouch illustrations

To support creative people, the Icons8 team have paid the top Dribbble artists (so you don’t have to). The result, for now, is the set of free vector illustrations in 14 styles for all typical UX screens and states, and the collection is growing.

You can download all the vector illustrations free for a link. Or you can pay for even more. With the license, you will be able:

• not to use credits

• get vector source files and edit them as you like

• also get full access to icons, photos, and music.

Fugue Music

Fugue presents a big (and constantly growing) collection of unique music tracks created by professional composers and classified for fast and easy search. The track you need can be chosen from the sets organized along three global parameters: themes, genres, and moods.

Among the most popular request, music tracks may be applied to:

• promo and explainer videos

• educational videos and cartoons

• commercials

• podcast backgrounds

• UI interactions

• game intros and backgrounds

Based on usability testing, Fugue 2.0 has new improved UI.

• The player controls and waveform were improved

• Users can listen to any part of a track at once

• All waveforms are on the screen

• The collection has grown: it’s now about 2000 audio tracks, high-quality and carefully picked.

There are no dark or hidden schemes. You may download the track you like in high-quality whenever you need it for free – all we ask for is a link to the service.

In case you don’t want to put credits, there’s a premium mode that costs 19.90$ per month and again it allows you to use all the content we produce

Here are some videos that featured tracks from Fugue.

Video https://youtu.be/_oBxxnmM5Jg

Lunacy Editor

Lunacy is a native Windows app that opens, edits, and stores .sketch files. And it’s completely free.

Lunacy can:Read any .sketch files of all versions

• Automatically download missing Google Fonts

• Publish assets directly to a CDN

• Save .sketch files

The cool feature is the automatic downloading of Google Fonts. If you open a file with missing fonts, Lunacy will check Google Fonts and download those that are missing. The process is so smooth you will never even notice it. Designers use Google Fonts 90% of time, so say goodbye to font hell.

In addition, Lunacy integrates with Sketch the Ripper—a fast and rustic alternative to the specialized tools like Zeplin. Imagine you are a designer who finished working on a piece. You share your designs with a single click and get a link to all the assets ripped off (here’s an example).

So, don’t wait long, try all the tools mentioned above to make your projects bright, elegant and catchy at no cost.

Alexandru

Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”