Design resources for the non-designer

Sep 13, 2013

Even if you don't have the chops to be a professional designer, don't dismiss the possibility of creating a beautiful site. There are many resources on the internet to help you with your design. If you have a good eye and you know where to look you might be pleasantly surprised at the end product. From icons, graphics, colour palettes, and full-fledged themes there's something for every aspect of web design. I've compiled below a list of what I think are the best design resources to help even the non-designer.


Iconfinder & Findicons - A ton of icons for your site and easily searchable.

Font Awesome & Font Awesome More - A great icon font set that will cover pretty much all your needs. Icon fonts are great because you can easily change the size and color, and add css effects.

Fontello - This site allows you to cherry pick icons from different icon font sets to build your own icon font set.

The Noun Project - Large set of free "highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language"

Icon Sweets 2 - One of the best collections of icons I've come across that includes the photoshop source.


365psd - A free photoshop file every day. … I find that these are very helpful to get started. And to look at these files to see how things are done. "good artists borrow, great artists steal"

freethroww - Photoshop files that Dribbble users have made freely available.

PremiumPixels - A frequently updated archive of well designed PSDs all created by one prolific designer.

Stock Photos and Illustrations

iStock Photo - Huge collection of stock photos and vector illustration for sale. A lot of these look dated, but there is a lot of good stuff too.

Shutterstock - An istockphoto alternative.

GraphicRiver - Newer (and smaller) site, but better prices.


WrapBootstrap - Themes for sale. All of them are built with Bootstrap, giving you a great foundation.

ThemeForest - Huge collection of themes for sale including Wordpress themes and HTML themes. Lots of different types like landing pages, admin, blogs etc...

CSS Libraries

Bootstrap - Hugely popular with a large and active community (see font awesome, wrapbootstrap, and bootstrap snippets).

Foundation - Great looking alternative to Bootstrap

HTML KickStart - Another great alternative

Skeleton - Barebones library with just the essentials.


CSS3 buttons - Nice set of buttons created with css3.

CSSDeck - Really great examples of what you can achieve with css3.

Bootsnipp - Free html snippets of common user interface components for Bootstrap.


Dribbble - A very popular site where designers submit images of what they're working on. Lots of great talent here.

Meerli - Like dribbble but focused on mobile.

365 awesome designers - Showcases the work of a new designer every day.

Mobile Patterns - Screenshots of popular mobile apps organized according to the function of the screen (eg. "login", "news feed", ...).

iOS Mobile Patterns Library - Like


Little Big Details - Showcases an example of a small detail on an actual site that makes for a nice user experience. Updated daily. It's fun spotting the detail before reading the description.

Beautiful Pixels - Daily handpicked examples of great user interfaces with a small writeup for each.


Font Squirrel - A nice collection of free fonts.

Typekit by Adobe - Large collection of fonts, with a great interface for browsing and searching.

WhatTheFont! - Does a pretty good job of identifying a font in an image file.

Patterns & colours

Subtle Patterns - Great set of background patterns that can be used on your site. Can download all the patterns as a photoshop pattern file. Updated frequently.

COLOURlovers - An amazing community where users can submit color palettes, and patterns.

Flat UI Colors - A nice set of colors for those going for the "flat" design look.


Sidebar - 5 well chosen design links everyday

Designer News - User submitted articles with reddit style voting.