Have you ever done a 1,000 or more piece jigsaw puzzle? How do you start? Have you ever wondered if you were missing pieces? I have always looked at projects in the form of puzzles. It’s because you are tasked with gathering what the client wants, compiling and integrating that information into a 1920 pixel width resolution and then make sure elements (puzzle/design pieces) are able to adapt to smaller screen sizes for all devices. Sometimes the client does not have the pieces necessary to fill in these empty spaces and it is the designers’ responsibility to fix it. This leaves you with 3 choices:
- Create the object/element/resource
(Can become time consuming)
- Buy the resource
(Can become expensive)
- Find free resources by scouring the web like a rabid opossum looking for garbage juice
(Just be wary of licensing information)
Now, I am not saying to never create your own artwork. I am saying that if the project’s time doesn’t allow for custom work, then it doesn’t allow for custom work. This has to be realized before the project begins and the designer has to take this into account as to how creative he/she can be.
When first starting off as a web designer in 2008, I felt as if everything I did was missing a few pieces, many of my designs were coming back to me, and I had no idea where to even look for help. This is natural. As the web designer, you are required to express the unique ideas in people’s heads and make things simple at the same time. The biggest realization for me was that your audience is not only the client, but also the client’s audience, as well as your own boss. This can be very overwhelming at first because everybody views things differently and you have to account for that. If you are doing custom work and time is an issue, you will always be biting the bullet of time. It became clear that if I was to give the client what they wanted, as much as it hurts….it couldn’t always be 100% custom. Creating elements (puzzle/design pieces) such as stock images, icon packs, textures, and patterns can take a lot of time.
With the amount of time to create these objects being high and rising costs of these resources, it became difficult to keep project time low and cost effective for the clientele. I knew that there had to be other ways to acquire these types of resources so whenever I needed a specific type of element, I would scour the internet for free resources and add that link to a bookmarks list named FWDR (free web design resources) in case I ever needed to go back and look for similar objects.
After a couple months went by, I came to a realization:
“I can’t possibly be alone in this world, there has got to be other people in my same boat or starting off that are wondering… Where can I find an icon for a golf caddy? Or a pattern of clouds?”
So then I came up with the idea with sharing my list “FWDR” to the world so that it may not only help designers in their beginning stages, but also assist advanced & even expert level designers to reduce their project time and find the exact resources they are looking for at no cost. The result was Free Web Design Resources. An advertisement free website with nothing but solid resources for YOU the designer!