If you’re using Photoshop daily it’s essential to have an asset library. Having a pre-made toolbox or asset library can be extremely handy. Having the right toolbox can save you a whale of a time and provide you with nifty resources. If you’re a web designer, your asset library will probably differ from a photographers library, however, there are things which should be found in every Photoshop user’s toolbox.
While you could spend countless hours making your own resources, usually there’s no need to do that. Nowadays the web is full of pre-made high-quality resources. I’ve collected various resources, sites and tools that can considerably boost your workflow, free up some time on your agenda and simply enhance your projects. If you don’t see your favorite resource/site/tool, please, feel free to mention it in comments because maybe I’ve missed something great and noteworthy.
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Fonts, Stock Photos, Themes & Design Assets
Free Photoshop Brushes
Brusheezy is the place to share your free Photoshop brushes and other Photoshop related resources. Here you can explore and discuss the creations of other artists from around the world, or just find that perfect little freebie for your next Photoshop project. Brusheezy makes it easy to explore thousands of resources created by artists from all over the globe.
2. PS Brushes
PS Brushes is another place where Photoshop brushes are gathered. With weekly brush updates this site is a place you should definitely check out if you’re looking for fresh and neat brushes.
3. Brush Lovers
BrushLovers has one of the largest collections of exclusive and high-quality Photoshop brushes on the Web. They feature hundreds of Photoshop brushes that are free for both personal and commercial use. You won’t find this collection anywhere else.
COLOURlovers is an international community of designers and artists of all kinds who visit the site to get color inspiration, ideas and feedback for both their professional and personal projects. In the ColourLovers pattern section you’ll find over 1,410,989 user-created seamless patterns to use in your creative projects.
2. Squid Fingers
At Squid Fingers you can find over 100 creative patterns to use for your projects. They come as GIFs and are free to use.
3. BG Patterns
BgPatterns is a tiny web app for making background patterns in a few clicks. It was created mostly for fun and was an experiment by Sergii Iavorskyi.
Background Labs feature a wide variety of Photoshop backgrounds, patterns, textures and graphics for use in customizing your Twitter profile, blogs and websites. Browse by color, by tags and styles. It can’t get any simpler to find graphics than on Background Labs!
1. CG Textures
CGTextures strives to be the world’s best texture site. It can be quite difficult to create textures without good photo materials. Making textures should be about creativity, not about frustrating hours looking for images on the Internet. By supplying good quality textures in an organized manner, CG Textures makes your everyday work easier and more enjoyable.
2. Texture King
Texture King is a resource for free stock textures. Currently the site has over 300 textures in 16 categories.
3. Lost & Taken
Lost and Taken was created over two and a half years ago with one intention: to helps designers by giving away the best free textures available. To this day, Lost and Taken textures have been viewed tens of millions of times and has helped thousands of designers accomplish their jobs a little easier and with more beautiful results.
4. Mayang’s Free Textures
Mayang’s texture library has over 3800 free to download, high-resolution textures. The reason I included this site is because here you can find a lot of unseen and different kinds of textures you won’t find anywhere else.
The purpose of Texture Lovers is to archive some of the best free textures from around the web, and better yet, only archive the ones that are free to use in commercial and personal work without worrying about giving credit to the source (no attribution).
Free Stock Photos
Freeimages is the world’s best free stock site. Formerly SXC was launched in February 2001 as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The idea was to create a site where creative people could exchange their photos for inspiration or work. The site has evolved into the massive community you see today — there are over 2,500,000 registered users and around 400,000 photos online.
Everystockphoto is a license-specific photo search engine. Currently they index and search millions of freely licensed photos, from many sources, and present them in an integrated search. It’s usually my second choice if I can’t find what I’m looking for in sxc.
Morguefile is the third largest free stock photo site. The Morguefile contains photographs freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.
Iconfinder provides high quality icons for web designers and developers in an easy and efficient way. The site launched in 2007 as the first search engine focused on icons.
FindIcons is an icon search engine helps you find free icons. They have the largest searchable free icons database in the world and both a sophisticated search filtering and result matching system make it possible for you to get an icon you need for every design task.
Dafont is the largest free font library on the web. Nearly all free fonts make their way onto dafont and it’s definitely the first place to check if looking for qualitative fonts for your projects.
Font Squirrel is your best resource for free, hand-picked, high-quality, commercial-use fonts. Even if that means they send you elsewhere to get them.
The Photoshop CS5 Cheat Sheet is a great tool for all Photoshop users, with keyboard shortcuts, graphs and graphics not only good for CS5, but also valid for most versions of Photoshop. The cheat sheet comes in PDF format, which you can easily print using your favorite PDF reader.
This is a comprehensive Photoshop toolbox reference. You can click on each tool to view its video-manual. It’s very handy if you’re just starting off with Photoshop though even experienced users can find something useful here.
The Photoshop Etiquette Manifesto for Web Designers is a list of helpful and subtle suggestions to organize Photoshop documents, making the transfer of them less painful.
General Resources, PSDs
1. Blue Vertigo
Blue Vertigo is a huge design resources site established in 2003. You can find almost anything there – starting from stock photo marketplaces and ending with color scheme sites.
1.1. Graphic Clouds
GraphicClouds.com is a graphic & web design blog providing high quality photoshop resources with original PSD files and other graphic design resources like textures, icons, patterns, brushes, gimp brushes.
Premium Pixels is a bunch of free design resources & tutorials created by Orman Clark. Oman Clark created Premium Pixels to share some of the resources and files he’s created in his quest to make the web a more attractive place.
3. Swift PSD
Swiftpsd offers stunning resources for web, iPhone and iPad. It’s created by Ed Cousins, and swiftpsd is his venture to supply high-quality resources to designers around the world. Launched only couple months ago SwiftPSD looks like a site I’m going to visit often.
4. Free PSD
Free PSD offers bunch of free high-quality PSD templates for your use. You’ll find tutorials, brushes, patterns and other Photoshop resources there as well.
5. Design Kindle
Design Kindle is an idea of Build Interactive, a small web design studio founded by Adrian Pelletier. Their goal is to provide the best free design resources on the web by keeping the file quality incredibly high. You can submit files for review too by sending us an e-mail with a preview of the download you’d like to contribute.
365psd is the world’s highest quality source of PSDs that are free for both personal and commercial use. That means any PSD you download can be reused in any project without worrying about licensing.
7. Little PSD
Little PSD is a brand new (in fact it seems it’s launched only couple days ago) site to find high-quality PSD files.
8. PSD Home
PSD Home is a web gallery for Photoshop PSD files. It collects PSD files, that’s designers give from everywhere to a single website. At PSD Home you can find PSDs pertaining to buttons, icons, text effects, themes, graphics and much more.
9. PSD Graphics
Psdgraphics is one man show, launched as a hobby site.Here you can find a lot of free stuff for webmasters and designers. Enjoy fully editable Photoshop PSD files and high resolution stuff.
Free Photoshop Plugins Plugins
1. Nik Software
2. Fluid Mask 3
Fluid Mask 3 is a very effective tool for separating complex objects from their backgrounds. Fluid Mask 3 lets you isolate difficult areas and apply alternative selections with all new edges find options – making the tough bits easier. It’s a premium plugin, though you can check out the demo version and tutorials to decide whether you want to purchase it or not.
3. Topaz Labs
Topaz Labs distills the latest in imaging technology into useful products that deliver excellent results at a reasonable price. Topaz plugins makes it quick and easy to create stunning and dynamic enhancements that will instantly make your images pop with detail, color and depth. Although they’re not free I consider these plugins the second best choice after Nik Software to enhance your photos remarkably.
Free Photoshop Tools
Divine is a plugin that helps you convert Photoshop to WordPress in a few minutes instead of long hours. The idea of making Divine came to a young but talented designer who himself was fed up with wasting time on coding. As soon as you get a tool to convert PSD to WordPress, you save your time, effort and patience. You need no special extended knowledge about HTML, no special skills in coding, basics are completely enough to convert PSD to WordPress.
Script Arsenal is a handy catalog allowing you to quickly find and apply the required script. It comes to you with 100+ ready-made scripts for creating various effects and streamlining your everyday work flow. Using most of them doesn’t require a substantial Photoshop experience.
3. Compare PSD
ComparePSD compares two Adobe Photoshop PSD files for you and highlights the differences. Layer by layer. Effect by effect. Simple. Plus it is absolutely free.
4. Mr Stacks
Mr. Stacks is a Photoshop script that rapidly generates storyboards, stacks, and PDF(s) for CD check-ins, client-ish presentations, and whatever else it is you do. Helping to nail some of the most monotonous tasks in art direction.
Modular Grid Pattern is an application for web designers, which helps you quickly and easily to create a modular grid in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Fireworks, GIMP, Microsoft Expression Design and other. To use the app directly in Photoshop you only need to download and install the convenient extension.
foxGuide is a firefox extension that displays horizontal and vertical guides. Guides will appear as thin lines that float over the webpage. You can move or remove them just the way you do it photoshop. Guides are useful for laying out elements symmetrically, structure a design and improving the overall layout.
7. Photoshop Touch Apps
Touch, mobility, and Adobe Photoshop® CS5 software—how’ that for a creative combination? Adobe and the developer community can now create apps that communicate with Photoshop CS5 via a range of devices and platforms. Explore new Adobe Photoshop Touch apps for iPad, the first to tap into this new connectivity.
8. Pixel Proliferation
Change is a constant. The device landscape is always changing and the device types are proliferating. With the increasing demand for unique mid-screen devices, it is becoming an even more arduous task to keep all of the device resolutions and screen sizes straight. This toolset includes Photoshop CS5 marquee tool presets for common screen resolutions, a collection of layered Photoshop CS5 PSDs each providing common devices for comping and design presentations and a reference chart for resolutions and device landscape.
The 960 Grid System is an effort to streamline web development workflow by providing commonly used dimensions, based on a width of 960 pixels. There are two variants: 12 and 16 columns, which can be used separately or in tandem.