What if you could wave a magic wand and instantly transform your mockup or wireframe into a stunning web page?
…Without the hard work or stress usually needed to create a masterpiece.
Well, unfortunately, we can’t offer you a wand.
…that’s Harry Potter’s forte. 🙃
But we can offer you the next best thing: web design resources.
The web design industry is constantly changing, and you must be at the top of your game to offer premium services.
To do that, you need the right resources at your fingertips: color palette generators, font pairing tools–the works!
Don’t have enough time to scour the internet for them?
We’ve done the hard work for you in this guide. So, just sit back, relax, and let the creativity flow as you read.
Let’s get started!
Table of contents
Apps & software
Imagine the famous Italian artist Michelangelo without oil paint, pencil, or brush. Could he have pulled off painting the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
An artist’s creativity can only be brought to life by the tools they use.
In the same way, designers can’t create a modern, appealing website without proper user interface–design software.
And that’s where our journey begins. Here are some of the best software to design a website.
Figma is design software that enables designers to create mockups, web prototypes, and templates from scratch. With Figma, users can create UX design systems containing elements and styles needed to develop digital products for a client.
The design tool is a centralized workspace where users can collaborate with other professionals in the design process for a seamless workflow.
Figma also helps eliminate specific repetitive tasks by automating your work with plugins, widgets, and accessible libraries.
Some of Figma’s features include:
- Modern pen tool to draw vectors in any direction.
- Instant arc designs to design crescent-shaped objects such as design clocks or pie charts.
- Auto layout to ensure elements can be resized and stretched with ease.
- Dynamic overlay for building multiple layers of interactive content.
- Intuitive build to easily connect UI components and select animations.
- Embedded commenting ensures that feedback on a prototype also appears on your actual design file.
Canva is a graphic design tool that allows users to create designs for different use cases. It features a drag-and-drop editor, which makes it easy for users to design anything.
Canva offers numerous design templates and layouts for landing pages, invitations, flyers, posters, and presentations that users can modify to create ready-made designs.
Users with their own assets can create their designs from scratch or simply import them from Canva’s free library of stock images, fonts, or animations.
The design tool allows users to invite teammates to collaborate and work on designs.
3. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is a popular tool in the web design industry. It’s a design tool that enables designers to create mockups and prototypes for websites and applications. They can then test the products on multiple devices to see their functionality.
XD is integrated with the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite so users can design with familiar tools, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. The design tool also allows users to invite web design clients, stakeholders, and teammates via email so they can receive and request feedback in real time.
With XD, users can build design systems of reusable assets such as logos, fonts, colors, animations, and more. Some of Adobe XD’s main features include:
- Pre-built templates to help users create smart designs quickly.
- Digital asset management to find and edit design assets and share them with team members.
- Mockup creation to showcase every detail of a design before it’s created.
- UX/UI prototyping for creating lifelike designs users can interact with, leading to an improved user experience.
InVision is a collaborative platform that allows designers and developers to create high-fidelity web designs and mobile prototypes.
The platform functions as a workspace where teams can brainstorm and plan projects. It features a digital whiteboard where users can:
- Draw freehand sketches
- Create wireframes
- Request feedback from collaborators.
InVision’s features allow users to centralize their workflow and ensure alignment throughout the project. They include:
- Pre-built templates for creating quick designs.
- Organized spaces to group related files or documents and share them with your team.
- Integration with third-party tools such as Jira, Google Docs, Asana, Webex, Zoom, and Sketch. This means users can access asset libraries from other platforms they use for work too.
Webflow is a digital platform enabling users to create responsive websites on a visual canvas without writing code. By using Webflow, designers can transform their static designs into functional websites.
The platform offers customizable mobile-optimized templates and plugins across various industries, which users can edit to suit their needs.
Designers, marketers, and developers can use Webflow to automate designs, campaign launches, integrate custom open-source code, and more. Its features include:
- Parallax motion effect gives designs an appearance of depth and perspective.
- Advanced SEO controls include flexible content management tools and high-performance hosting.
- Integration with third-party apps, including MailChimp, Zapier, Google Analytics, etc.
You can get yourself a user-friendly web design with these digital tools. But what’s a badass web design without content users can interact with? Both concepts are like yin and yang in the web design world.
On the flip side, to keep visitors glued to your web content, you must ensure they find it easy to read. Now, that’s where fonts come in.
In the next section, you’ll find resources for designing with fonts to help users connect with your web content and design.
Fonts are everything in web design.
Well, maybe not everything.
But by choosing the right fonts, you can create visual hierarchy and brand consistency and make your website easier to read. Plus, the fonts you choose will set the tone of your website’s personality.
So if you think fonts are just a combination of letters, think again. Fonts play an important role in helping users navigate your website.
Here are some of the best places to find fonts for your design project.
6. Google Fonts
Instead of searching for fonts on the Google search engine, check out Google Fonts instead.
It’s a font repository that offers various typefaces for different design projects. Google Fonts is free to use, with no licensing cost. That’s good news for startups and small businesses creating web projects on a budget.
They’re also easy to add to websites, with over a thousand fonts available for users.
You can add fonts to your site using Google Fonts API. Here’s how:
- Find a preferred typeface using the search bar
- Choose the style you’d like to add
- Follow the on-screen instructions in the sidebar
- Add the link tags to the head of your HTML
- Apply the font by using the font family property in CSS
7. Urban Fonts
Urban Fonts offers a catalog of thousands of fonts for designers and developers. They’ve got free and premium fonts available for users, including free dingbats (fonts with symbols or icons).
Some of Urban’s fonts come as trial versions, so users may be unable to embed them on their site until a commercial license has been issued.
The different fonts are split at the top menu, where users can select whether they want free, premium, or dingbats fonts. After choosing the fonts they want, users can download them as a zip file.
Dafont is one of the oldest font websites on the internet. It’s got over 60,000 fonts to choose from! The site is easy to navigate, and if you’re not careful, you can spend hours scrolling through the different categories. If you’re on a tight deadline, use the search bar to find what you need immediately.
After finding a font, download the zip file, extract it, and install it.
Fontjoy is a website that supports pairing fonts. Font pairing is when you merge different fonts harmoniously to have an appealing contrast.
Pairing fonts can draw attention to the design you’re working on and influence the overall feel of the brand identity.
To pair fonts on Fontjoy, click Generate at the top of the page to create new pairs. On the left sidebar, you’ll see the different fonts. Select the padlock button to lock the fonts and the adjust button to manually choose preferred fonts.
10. 1001 Free Fonts
1001 Free Fonts is another font website alphabetically organized into different categories. There are tons of free vector icons, wallpapers, and more on the website. Users can scroll through to find fonts or use the search bar to search for them.
Some of their fonts are free, but you might want to check the license terms for each font you download before use.
So, in a nutshell, fonts help enhance your design, ensuring web users can interact with it. But it’s not the only hero in the web design Avengers squad. One of them is — color.
If you ever need its help, the next section will show you where to find it.
You know how fonts can influence a brand’s identity?
Well, color palettes can create a foundation for designing appealing interfaces.
So bookmark these resources when designing—they’ll streamline your workflow!
Coolors is a palette generator that enables users to create color palettes for their designs. It gives them access to trending palettes and allows them to extract colors from photos.
Coolors is integrated with third-party apps like Chrome and Figma so users can import palettes into their workspaces.
The palette generator features a contrast checker to calculate the contrast ratio of written text and background colors. Coolors’ users can also change background colors to images in SVG format.
Paletton is a color-scheme design software that helps users create color combinations that work well together.
With Paletton, users can generate color palettes and add complementary colors as they see fit. The application also features a handy reset button so users with the wrong schemes can start building afresh.
Paletton provides multiple ways to preview color schemes, making it easy for users to adjust their choices until satisfied.
The software allows users to export color schemes in multiple formats such as HTML, XML, CSS, SASS, and even text file formats.
Flatuicolorpicker is a website where designers can browse an updated feed of colors based on models such as RGB, RGBA, CMYK, HSLA, and more.
Users can browse the site for the colors they want by using the navigation menu. To use the color models, click the color box to copy it to the clipboard and paste it to your board.
BrandColors contains extensive collections of brand color codes, including hex codes for over 500 brands.
It’s a reference where users can find color codes for their design projects. Users can copy and paste colors of choice or the link to their webpage.
15. Adobe Color Wheel
Adobe Color Wheel is a color palette generator designers can use to create themes automatically saved to the Creative Cloud.
The saved palettes can be imported into other Adobe products using the Creative Cloud libraries.
Users can extract themes and gradients from images and save them as color palettes and gradients.
While colors can help you evoke visitors’ emotions, photos are more relatable and can draw them in.
Not sure where to find them or don’t have enough budget to buy images?
You were browsing the internet for relatable photos to use for your web development project. It took a while, but you finally found one—and there was no ignoring that warm feeling spreading through your chest.
You click the Visit website icon and see it’s the iStockPhoto site. Your relief melts into disappointment. You don’t have the budget for that!
Here are some tips for using stock photography in your next website design.
Pixelbuddha is a digital platform that offers high-quality free and premium resources to the creative community.
Things like effects, textures, mockups, graphics, and of course, photos.
To download photos, simply scroll down to the menu at the bottom of the page. Then, browse through their photo collection and download the image you want.
Dribbble is primarily a networking site where designers and creative professionals can share their works.
But they’ve got a database of images, mockups, animations, etc. users can browse for inspiration. They can also download them for their design projects, too.
Pexels offers royalty-free stock photos for designers. The digital photo database has pictures of a wide range of industries.
Users only need to use the search bar to find the photos they want and download them. The images are constantly updated by several creators and photographers looking to build a portfolio.
Pexels is also integrated with third-party apps like Sketch, so designers can easily access photos without leaving their tools.
Unsplash is another source for visuals you can leverage. They’ve got high-resolution images across different categories, from travel to architecture, nature, food, and more.
Just use the search bar to find photos that tickle your fancy and hit download.
Unsplash has a premium package for users who want an ad-free experience and enhanced legal support.
Picography is another website that features hi-res stock photos. Like the other sites you read about in this section, users can simply find photos using the search bar and download them.
Photos make almost every design look right. But sometimes, that design needs elemental support to make it pop.
A crucial—and often overlooked—element of any design is the “icon.” Here are some of the best places you can source icons from.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you know that bolts are one of the most important—and underrated—tools in your home repair arsenal.
Similarly, icons are often overlooked for other design elements, such as photos and colors.
But they’re just small in size, not in significance, as users need them to navigate and interact with a website.
What’s more, these visual anchors direct visitors on which action to take.
Here are several sites you can use to find appealing visuals.
Fontello is a font icon library but can also generate font icon sets obtained from external libraries. Pick the icons you’d like to use, and the software extracts them.
With Fontello, users can rename icon sets with any name they choose. After the fonts have been downloaded, users can access the WOFF (the Web Open Font Format) and CSS font files.
22. Perfect Icons
Perfect Icons is a website that offers social icons for websites and mobile apps. The site has icons from different categories, including business, multimedia, medicine, telecom, security, etc.
Designers can search for icons using the search bar on the right-hand side, facilitating interactions between users and the website. Then, they can purchase the icons in ICO, PNG, and BMP formats or together with their source codes in SVG or AI formats.
Pixeden offers a free library of icon sets that users can choose from based on their project’s needs.
Every icon set comes in PNG formats with layered Adobe Photoshop PSD. In addition, with CSS, users can customize their icons in color, size, and style.
24. Noun Project
Noun Project is a database containing over 5 million icons in SVG and PNG formats. Using the search bar in the top menu, users can type in keywords to find icons they need for their projects.
Icons on Noun Project are both free and paid. The main difference between both plans is that users with unlimited subscriptions can edit icons’ color, background, and shape.
25. Material Design Icons
When building apps for the web, Android, iOS, MacOS, or even social media, you need to have icons for different use cases – like communication, connectivity, content editing, etc.
Material Design icons offer all these in a downloadable zip file that can be installed using the Bower package manager.
But how do you get started if you don’t even know where to look for inspiration? Browsing through catalogs of icons probably won’t give your project the jump-start it needs.
Well, here’s what you can do:
Grab a cup of coffee and scroll through the resources in the next section for inspiration.
Billy Ocean was probably talking to designers when he sang, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
…because when the going gets tough, designers, beginners or experts, can draw design inspiration from free resources such as:
Siteinspire is a platform that displays some of the finest web and interactive designs online.
Users can browse designs based on their style, types, subjects, and platforms or simply use the search bar to find what they want.
27. Go Moodboard
If you need software that allows remote teammates to draw sketches, Go Moodboard is the answer. It’s an online tool that enables users to create moodboards from scratch with its simple drag-and-drop feature. You can browse beautiful designs and collect thoughts, ideas, moods, and color schemes in a centralized location. Plus, you can share the boards with team members too.
The platform also features customizable templates for users who need ideas to get started. Go Moodboard users can also add comments to moodboards to provide context for their collaborators.
Niice is a digital hub where creative team members can brainstorm ideas and discuss them in real time. Users can navigate Niice’s asset library for inspiration and build one for their team.
With Niice, teams can create canvases to present assets or ideas and invite others to collaborate.
Awwwards is a website that helps users identify web design trends. They take it a step further by organizing awards for top sites and tutorials for designers.
With Awwwards, users can visit the inspiration menu and review different websites, elements, and design collections for ideas.
The website has several filters users can apply when browsing through the collections, such as fonts, colors, websites, awards, and more.
Landbook is an inspiration platform for creatives and features some of the best designs, updated daily.
There’s a search bar for users to search for specific keywords, including filters like typography, style, industry, and color to streamline their search.
If you’re ever stuck or unsure how to navigate your web design project, this comprehensive list of resources will set you on the right path.
Don’t forget to bookmark it!
Before we wrap up, there’s just one more thing you should know.
Over to you
It’s time to start putting all of these tools to good use.
But wouldn’t it be even better to share sketches, designs, and new ideas with colleagues as they pop into your head? You know, without sending back-and-forth emails hoping they see it in time to respond.
That’s where MarkUp.io comes in.
You can use the platform to invite people to collaborate on multiple projects. It’ll help you receive real-time contextual feedback and ensure everyone is on board with your idea from the start.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial with MarkUp.io to start collaborating efficiently!