17 free design resources for 2015 and 2016

A number of website development tools on the market include selections of various design elements, one of the more common types being icons. For photos, vectors, and various other elements, it is sometimes necessary to look elsewhere. Many of these design element types can be real time savers, in addition to enhancing the appearance of a website design and often contributing to its message.

Fortunately, free design element downloads are often yours for the asking, but the quality found in these offerings can vary significantly, while the sheer number of photos, icons, and other elements that are offered can at times be overwhelming.

Below you will find a good of high quality free vectors, photos, and more, including what are among a website designer’s favorite tools – free icons.


Have Fun Choosing Icons

Icons can be regarded as being purely functional elements, but when they are thoughtfully selected they can improve the appearance of a web page, and often make navigating a site just a bit easier. A clever choice of icons can even reflect favorably on a website’s creator, by demonstrating that a little tender loving care has been put into the design.

Icons do not have to be fancy, and most of them are not. You do however have to choose the right ones for the right purposes so you don’t send the end user off to the ends of the earth because an icon that was clicked on did not take that user to where he or she expected to go. That said, have fun browsing our excellent selection.


Beautiful Flat Icons by ElegantThemes



Science and Technology Icons



Barker Icon Set



Brushes – an Alternative to One Line at a Time

Some web developers take great pleasure in incorporating the tiniest of details into their designs, but even those developers do not always have the time to do so. Brushes add flair to a web page, and they can usually be incorporated quickly, making them great time savers. The can add depth and beauty to a home page, and their use tends to make landing page headers or backgrounds more interesting and attractive.

Photoshop has a high-quality, though somewhat limited selection of brushes. There are other resources for these design elements as well, although the quality will understandably vary. If you haven’t been taking advantage of how using brushes can contribute to your design, we have an excellent selection of high quality items you should consider using.


Cherry Flower Corners



Smoke Brushes



Patterns Add Interest

Patterns, when used wisely, tend to be attention getters. Visitors to a website tend to linger a bit longer if the pages, and especially the home page, have been carefully composed, and the patterns employed add emphasis to the theme or purpose of the website. Patterns, like most other design elements, need to be chosen carefully to ensure they will add rather than detract from the message being delivered.

If you haven’t been in the habit of using patterns, it would be worth your while to give one or two a try, and see the difference they can make in your presentations.


60 Lines for Illustrator



Pixel Art Patterns 2



Add a Texture Resource to Your Toolbox

Textures can be easier to work with, and in many cases more forgiving, that patterns. Textures still have to be chosen with care, so they will add to rather than detract from your presentations. Textures can reinforce or add emphasis to a website’s purpose and message, or simply serve as means of making presentations more attractive and a home or landing page more pleasant to look at.

If you haven’t been making use of texture in your designs, see how others have used these design elements, in ways both good and not so good, and consider adding our selection of high quality texture designs to your toolbox.


Blue Stone Texture 7



Bubble Abstract Background 10



Use Vectors as an Innovative Touch

When a deadline is looming and you are having trouble finding just the right photo to add to just the right location, using a vector instead will often suffice. Vectors as design elements can be fun to work with. They can give a web page an innovative touch, they can convey a sense of humor, and they are often capable of sending the same message a photo would. A well-chosen vector can convey a bit of information, a ton of information, or simply add a bit of color where a bit of color is needed.

Having a good-sized library of vectors at your disposal is fine, but having a select few that relate to the themes of your websites will often suffice. In any event, consider using us as your resource for vectors. You will have an ample supply to work with.


Beach Cocktail Party Vector Illustration



Data Analysis 2



Modern Workspace 2



 Photos are Great Design Aids; If you can find the Right Ones

Photos can be real attention grabbers, and they are often used for that purpose alone. They can also be used to convey information, either directly, or subtly. The right choice of these design aids will often encourage a visitor to spend more time browsing through your site, whether the images needed to illustrate products, or are simply there to reinforce your site’s theme.

There is no shortage of photos in the marketplace, and there are resources that offer a very large number of free photos that are easily accessible and ready to use, although many of these freebees are not of the highest quality.

Unless you have some means of rapidly narrowing your search, finding just the right photo can be a time-consuming task. An excellent resource for high-quality and powerful design elements is here.


Wind Turbines Seen From the Road



Railroad near the Beach



Landscape with an Old Castle



Fonts – a Powerful Punch in a Small Package

Fonts you use can definitely influence the overall look of your website. Readability is of course important, but your choice should also be compatible with your website’s theme. Font types can range from ordinary, to bold, to fancy. Some are flowery, some are whimsical, and depending on your taste, some can be downright ugly. Unless a client dictates which font or fonts you should be using, it will be worth your while to take some time to experiment a bit, and see how a given font can contribute to your website’s appeal.

Fonts are not often looked upon as being design elements, but they often should be. The three examples shown here are bold, and as such they tend to make a statement.


Nova 2



Prosto Sans



Ostrich Sans Heavy



Whatever you are looking for in the way of free design elements, from icons to fonts, or anything in between, it pays to find and use the highest quality elements you can. All of the different element types discussed here have two things in common: there is an abundance of them, and finding those of the best quality can be a time-consuming task.

Free or affordable design elements that will suit your needs should not be difficult if you know where to look, and one of the best resources you will find is right here.

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