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Design Resources: Finding What You Need

Design Resources: Finding What You Need

Grant Friedman / ArtBistro

Build Your Design Arsenal, Blow Away the Competition

I think it’s safe to say that most designers cringe at the idea of using clip art in their work. When I think of clip art, I think back to the Intro to Computers class that I took in college where I was frequently forced to use clip art in my assignments. You may remember similar projects from your classes; Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents cluttered with poorly drawn illustrations and hideous charts and graphs. My early experience with clip art soured me on the idea of using it in my design work. At the time, I believed that it was a crutch that somehow cheapened my work; and for years, I refused to it.

I would say that most designers probably share many of the same experiences when it comes to clip art. We don’t use it because we think it cheapens our work, because we want to be original, or because we want to show off; and who could blame us? Nobody wants their work to look cheap or unoriginal, and nobody wants to be criticized for being too dependent on clip art or stock photography.

As I’ve grown as a designer however, two things have happened. My time has become increasingly limited and the stock art and photography community has become increasingly diverse and professional. With limited time, and a much better selection of design resources to choose from, I have found myself much more open to the prospect of using stock design elements in my work. In fact, these days I would have a hard time doing my job without them.

What Are Design Resources?

When I first started designing, clip art was pretty much the only design resource available to me. Now, there are practically an unlimited number of resources out there to choose from. When I typically refer to design resources, I’m typically referring to any design element that can be used in your work. These resources include: photography, vector graphics, Photoshop brushes, Illustrator brushes, textures, fonts, video, illustrations, patterns, color swatches, and just about anything else you can think of.

Building Your Arsenal

Once I discovered the type of quality resources available to me on the web, I became a collector of design resources. I started downloading just about anything I could get my hands on. I created a folder on my computer that includes just about everything that I have ever downloaded; organized by category that I can refer to any time I need something specific. Over time, my design arsenal has become an invaluable tool to help create high quality designs in a limited amount of time.

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