While every startup founder understands the importance of design in showcasing their product and forming the company’s identity, it’s often the case that hiring a full-time designer is just not feasible when you’re first trying to get your company off the ground.
This time of art limbo for your company may be frustrating, but there are countless - often free - resources at your disposal to get you through. We’ve listed some of our favourite go-to websites based on the design issue they address to help you get on your way!
We know you're not one to just take and take, but sometimes it’s what you have to do to get your startup going. These websites have free design resources are filled with great design resources for you to use until you have the financial means to hire a designer.
Freebbble: From free icons to mockups to UI kits, this website has it all when it comes to the design tools you need to get started.
Freepik: If it’s vector art or illustrations you’re looking for to up your content game, then Freepik is the way to go. Even if you already have a design team, these graphic resources can still come in handy when you're short on time.
It doesn’t matter what your startup does, you’ll have to deal with photography at one point or another. Nowadays, it doesn’t take a whole team to shoot and edit photos good enough to use for a business, as you’ll see below.
Unsplash: Arguably one of the best non-tacky, stock photo aggregators out there. Goodbye to ugly stock photos forever!
Polarr: A powerful and easy-to-use photo editor that will turn you into a pro. There are also font editing and text blending tools at your disposal if you’re not quite ready to take on Photoshop.
Branding can be a daunting task, and one challenging element is exacting a colour palette for your brand. Colour theory is a discipline in itself, but you can skip that class for now, and generate colour schemes with the click of a button.
Coolors: One of the best colour scheme generators out there, and it definitely gets bonus points from us for having Adobe and Chrome plugins.
Design Seeds: Driven by a regard for the human touch, the founder of Design Seed wanted to built a digital colour almanac curated and made by designers.
Typography is often the most important element of your design, especially in the context of Branding. Type sets the tone for your message and draws in the viewer, as it encapsulates the visual component of the written word.
Typography Handbook: An essential introduction about the world of typography if you’re brave enough to venture into it yourself.
WhatTheFont: Saw a font somewhere on the web and want to know what it is? Simply upload an image of it, and WhatTheFont will find the closest match.
User experience is a science in itself that takes years to master on the part of the designer. But if you want to get started on an interface for your startup to test the waters, there are resources out there that do the trick.
UI Cloud: A great place to start to get inspiration and pinpoint what design you’re looking for. Want to build a download button? Well, you have a couple of hundred at your disposal. Not bad.
Little Big Details: As the name suggests, the website organises tiny design details in UX by category so you can get inspired by the likes of Youtube, Amazon, Google, etc. They may be completely taken for granted by us laymen, but these minute details make all the difference when it comes to the use of our everyday websites and apps.
Pttrns: Another great platform for all your UI inspiration needs, Pttrns is the more curated cousin of more traditional platforms like UI Cloud.
Don’t have a single creative bone in your body? Don't worry about it. We'll admit, sometimes it's just easier to pay someone. These websites connect you with the right freelancers for small projects, so you can save some cash before committing to a full-time designer.
Freelancer: A straightforward platform connecting businesses with freelancers. You can list your project and expect competitive bids, or post a content and pay for the entry you like best.
WithOomph: If it’s just a logo you’re looking for, then WithOomph is the way to go, and prices start at just USD 20.
99designs: Aside from the fact it’s design-focused, this website is great because it also allows you to list a project you need done, and have designers compete by submitting their designs, so you can ultimately choose your favourite.
As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how work has evolved, with change-makers in our Garage Community.
This week we chat with Zev, an artist and lighting consultant. She uses The 33PRESS moniker for her artistic endeavors, and prefers to remain anonymous!
We chat about finding fulfillment, creating balance, and embracing discomfort in a cut-throat city like Hong Kong.
Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
This week, we're talking about the power of using the right data to inform your design process.
Author: Mandy Pao, Founder and Creative Director, Eloquence International
Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
True career fulfillment can be puzzling—yet not impossible to find. What many people don’t realize is that it’s a process that takes work and patience.
Most importantly, we need to search for it. If you’re lucky, you’ll find not just a job or career but a mission.
Cover image source: Liz and Mollie
Author: Pin Cher, Career & Clarity Coach