Colors, images, and fonts are some of the most important elements in a beautiful but results-driven brand or website.
Luckily there are a few free branding resources that can inspire you in making these decisions.
Perhaps you are starting a new company or are looking to revamp your current company logo, website, or brand. If so it can be tough to get started. Visual tools like free imagery sites, color picking tools and font catalogs are just what you need to start formulating a vision. Even if you are going to hire a company like ours to assist you with your branding or website design, sources are of inspiration are priceless and an important part of translating your vision to a designer.
A good color scheme, set of images or even the look of a font can foster a concept that could develop into your new look or brand. With this being said, online tools for these design decisions are boundless, so to avoid overload I selected several online resources that I use regularly for inspiration and actual decision making when it comes to a company’s image. For this post we will specifically cover resources for Fonts, Colors, and Images.
There are many font websites on the web. Most are there to sell you fonts, but they also have great search tools to find fonts. These sites are great because they want folks to be able search their catalog using more descriptive words like “fancy, strong, conservative, trustworthy, etc.” so you can see what types of fonts evoke your desired “feel”. If you are working with a design company you can offer these samples as a way to show your creative team where your tastes lie and a sensibility of how you want your clients to experience your brand.
Font Squirrel is great for free fonts especially for web use. There are many sites that fill the same space as Font Squirrel but for overall organization and quality control its a great place to start seeing some of the free styles that are out there. Plus you may find a font type that you love that is free.
My Fonts is arguably the most common font source on the web. It offers a variety of tools to help find fonts based on taste and description. In addition it offers the ability to test fonts by typing in your own name to see what a rough preview will look like (it can be very interesting in assisting in developing a vision for your company!).
Type Kit is run by Adobe (makers of Photoshop and much more). Like My Fonts, it is a more tailored site that focuses on truly professional fonts. With that being said it has a higher class of fonts that are created by true font foundries (font foundries make the best fonts).
Your brand colors are a crucial aspect to how your prospects experience your company. Your color scheme will ultimately determine the starting point for all if not many of your company’s marketing materials and public facing items. Picking colors can be challenging, and a good designer can offer insight to this process. Getting started can be facilitated with handy color tools that help pick colors from scratch and also develop color schemes from a specific color set that you may already have in mind.
Colormind has a nice and simple layout so getting started is quick. I find this site particularly useful to stimulate ideas. It has a “Generate” button on the homepage that will continuously create random color schemes. Often this tool is exactly what is needed to conjure up a perfect color scheme or to find interesting combinations.
Brand Colors is simply as titled, a list of major brands and their color schemes. Sometimes known successful color schemes can be a great way to assist in creating your own color scheme. This site is also a particularly helpful way to research the color schemes of other companies in your industry.
Adobe Color is a very sophisticated (not difficult) color tool. It has all the buttons and whistles as far as color information and color scheme creation. The trick with Adobe Color is to go there and just start playing around with it. You will see that it is very powerful in the ways you can create and manipulate color schemes, plus it will give you all the necessary color information that you will need for print and web.
You may notice that the stock image sites I have mentioned below have no description. All three offer excellent royalty free images and are worthy for searching for that next great post or marketing campaign content. In addition, stock image sites can be an excellent place to stimulate ideas about website content and even determine the overall look and feel of a company. For those of you who are working with a creative services like ours you can use these sites to share samples with your team so they understand on a visual level how you see your company’s character.
NEW RESOURCE UPDATE!
We recently found a great new source for high quality imagery in addition to the powerful image resources below, the site is Pikwizard. This royalty free image source can really enhance the look and feel of your website. Pikwizard offers a wide variety of photography with an easy to use interface so you can find exactly what you are looking for.