A resource saved is a resource earned. Saving internal resources by using free online help, downloadable files, and quick linkscan really work wonders. If you know how to apply smart techniques and do a little R&D to get them,it can save you time and a goodamount of money.
The approach may not sound ethical to some who want to build everything from scratch, but that is how many internet marketers and small business owners have been able to run their shows successfully so far. There is no harm in consulting and reusing free resources, I believe.
Just consider a few examples. Prestashop – a leading online store builder offers a gamut of free partner modules so that you get more out of your ecommerce store.Wix.com allows you to create stunning websites with customizable templates at no cost. Among blogs, you may follow Design Crazed, Hongkiat, Web Design Moo for free PSD website templates, HTML5 CSS3 website templates, WordPress themes and many more. The list of such blogs is endless.
Optimizing the use of available free resources online is an art in business. Doing so in graphic and web design fields are of no exception.In fact, designs and creative are the mostly shared stuff online.
If you are an ecommerce website owner, a digital marketer, or a freelance web designer, you can reuse free PSDs for logos, website templates, flyers, icons, banners, email templates, prints as well as various web elements for different purpose.There are a good number of vendors online who offer freebies along with premiumproducts and services. You need to hunt for those who give you the best at no cost. There are providers who keep on updating you about their latest free collections and thus ensure a quality visit from you at least once a week. Isn’t it a good deal?
Essential Steps to Follow
The process of collecting and using free PSDsis simple. Here is how you go about it.
- Take help of Google searches to find popular sites offering free Photoshop files, and 3rd party blogs offering reference linksfor the same. Use keywords like free psds, free psds for download, best free psd files, free Photoshop files for web designers, best PSD themes for 2014, download free PSD resources and similar. You will get a handful list of sites at your service.
- Send a “Thank You” email to the providers for their offerings. Appreciate their help and collections before you start using them.
- Create a comprehensive list of those resourceful sitesand blog links in a spreadsheet.
- Prepare a checklist, narrow down your selection criteria, and filter all your available resources. There should be separate lists for Website templates, Buttons, Icons, UI, App design, Mockups, Email and Newsletter templates,logos, background images, Landing page templates, Illustrations and more. Segregate those based on your use.
- Do a proper research on what specific designs you want and how they meet your clients’ requirements.
- Analyze how flexible and easy the source files are for your use considering time is precious.
- Categorize PSD files based on your choice and area of implementation. This is a time-consuming stepas you need to analyze the design files carefully and then come to a conclusion.
- Try modifying the source files a bit until you get the final piece of work for your client.
- Avoid changing too much in a design file. Else, the effort would be similar to building it from scratch.Try to minimize your effort while editing the raw files and adding new components to them. You are using almost ready-to-use materials, so should do a justice to it.
- Think how you can reuse one file for multiple purposes and save a few more hours.
- Learn what makes a design special and compelling. Take ideas from design components of the PSD source files and apply them to your next artwork when you start doing it on your own.
Yes, it does not cost you a penny but serious effort and time, of course. If you considercollecting free design files as an expedition you sure will enjoy it, else not.Once you take a ridethrough a series of work bygreat designers and artists and learn how they do it, it is an ever-growing experience for you as well.Going by these ready-to-use materials and adding your thoughts and variations to them will nurture your design skills and help you become a Pro.
Some Quick Resources
Now it is time to share a few popular resources that I suggest you to browse for hands-on experience. Go through the sites and blogs and understand how they can meet your expectations. Pay at least an hour everyday on initial research work for next one week and you will be in a better position to judge what works and what does not for you.
To begin with,following are a few hand-picked sites you may consider browsing.
There are many more to share.Just use the keywords for Google search that I mentioned earlier in the post and you will get plenty of such examples. However, you can start with the given ones and then explore on your own.
It’s Time to Acknowledge and Pay Back
If you maintain a blog, say the world how you have been able to optimize your design effort by following some smart ways and create stunning designs for your clients. Also, remember paying a tribute to thosedesigners or bloggersby giving them link back to their sites or blogs. You may even contribute to those free PSD hosting sites by submitting your own designs and helping others like you.
Remember, there are many things online that always come to you for free. Someone has created them for your use and now it is your turn to pay them back. Create something new that others can use and thank you. Sharing is good and it saves combined effort of designers.
If you are consulting free design sources and have also prepared a consolidated list of it, I would request you to share them here in the comments section below. You may find others doing the same.