Robs List of Free Stuff 2017 Edition

Posted on March 1st, 2017 | Tags: Technical, Tips and Tricks

As a designer working in the small business end of the marketplace, I’ve come to realise that most people don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. So over the years I’ve built up a list of useful sources for various design stuff that is creative commons, open source, public domain, or royalty free. This month I present this list to you.

Copy Express Web 2 Print

You want a simple tool to get all kinds of things made up, from business cards to posters? Then this is your one stop solution. While it’s no replacement for a professional designer, when you need to get something together quickly and know it will be printed right then you can go wrong.  Check it out here.


  • Font Squirrel
    This is my go to place for fonts. While they don’t carry the big name brands, they always have alternatives that look almost the same and are free to use.
  • DaFont
  • Abstract Fonts
  • Fontspace
  • Google Fonts 
    While these fonts are designed for online use, they do work in print just fine.
  • Identifont 
    A commercial font site but it can help you identify fonts from someone else’s design by answering a series of questions or give you alternatives to an existing fonts.
  • What the Font
    It’s a commercial font website but I use the ‘what the font’ tools for figuring out what a font could be when I’m trying to recreate a customer’s design

Clipart – Photographic and Vector

Textures for backgrounds and fills

General – for all kinds of stuff

Applications to design work with

  • Libre Office
    The open sourced alternative to MS Office that has a basic but still useful desktop publishing tool in the form of the draw module. While it does ask for donation, you don’t have to make one to download and use it.
  • Paint Dot Net
    Nowhere near the power of Photoshop and nowhere near the complexity to use. I use it all the time for quick image editing.
  • Gimp
    The open sourced alternative to Photoshop that’s free and in some ways more powerful thanks to the huge range of addons you can install. It’s interface can take a while to get use to but there are plug-ins that let you change to act like different programs
  • Inkscape
    The alternative to Adobes’ Illustrator, it’s still under active development so it has some quirks but I’ve found it can do some things a few clicks that can take minutes with Adobe.
  • Scribus
    Being the open source alternative to Adobes’ Indesign desktop publishing program, it’s a powerful design tool that can do everything from simple flyers to complex books. It does have a bit of a learning curve but when you understand it, it’s quite logical to use.

This is not the be all and end all of the resources that I call on when doing design work, but it’s a good starting point for people like yourself. I’ll update this as I discover new sources of material to use.