Designers, do you pay for design resources?

over 8 years ago from , Web/mobile designer

So, the title says pretty much everything. There's tons of free and tons of paid design resources such as fonts, icons, templates, UI kits, etc. I'm interested how many of you actually buy paid resources and how much do you regularly spend on them on monthly or yearly basis. Where do you prefer buying them?

Thanks for all the comments!


  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 8 years ago

    I understand you may be trying to save a few bucks by getting free/cheaper stuff but investing in good quality materials usually pays off.

    For us, the client's budget influences the choice, but we never go for free resources - they are usually of lower quality and come with a lot of strings attached (read the license). The only free resources we're using are fonts for mobile app design where licenses cost 10* the regular price.

    For icons you can get all the icons you need for $10/m with a service like http://thenounproject.com or https://www.iconfinder.com You can also buy packs like Elite Pro, Glyphish or Smash Icons - careful with licenses though.

    For stock photos we use iStock and Shutterstock. iStock have a few more expensive collections but everything costs the same on Shutterstock. You can also try unsplash but I was never lucky enough to find something to use in a commercial project there.

    There are a lot of sites for mockups and general assets, with my favourite being UI8.

    Lastly, we use myfonts.com for fonts, and we never go for UI packs - they only limit and complicate things.

    I hope this helps.

    3 points
  • Jamie Dickinson, over 8 years ago

    Occasionally. I've never purchased icon or UI sets, I feel I can make them just as well or better myself. I often find they lack flexibility and will never fit a brief as well as me creating my own. I've purchased fonts, stock images and psd mock up templates. Since I either can't do them as well, or don't have the time.

    The issue with free resources if that 1) they usually aren't great quality and 2) everyone has access to them. Which isn't great for client work.

    Something like Unsplash is unique, because the quality is great, but you do tend to see the same images across the internet

    1 point
  • Taylor LingTaylor Ling, over 8 years ago

    I value other's work on the design resources that is done nicely for designer, so yes, most of the time I will pay for them IF I definitely needed them.

    I got my icons from icons8.com with annual subscription, which I think so far the best icon resources with very frequent icon additions and updates. For stock images, dollarphotoclub.com is pretty great I think (for the price), but of course the stocks are not comparable to big one like iStocks, most of the time match what I need though.

    And if I don't feel like paying (or couldn't find a matching one) - I will just make it myself - it uses some time, but eventually it paid off because it's your own work and you have full control over it.

    Just like we pay for tools like Sketch, Photoshop, Invision etc., I think design resources deserved to be paid as well if it helps in your design workflow.

    0 points
  • cliff nowickicliff nowicki, over 8 years ago

    I create things on my own instead of buying them. The only time I pay for resources if it's for a client who doesn't have a big budget. At that point, I buy WordPress themes and icon sets specifically geared toward their business. I stay away from free because I'd feel almost ashamed if someone pointed out something I did and say "Hey! I know that! That guy used free stuff because he's a cheap ass!"

    0 points
  • Charlie Keaton, over 8 years ago

    I really only pay for fonts, but always check the licenses for free UI sets or icons.

    0 points
  • Jignesh LadJignesh Lad, over 8 years ago

    There is no problem using free resources from my point of view like UI kits and icons, but that is my preference.

    When it comes to branding and using fonts that are free thats fine as long as there is a licence stating its free. I do tend to go for paid fonts so the licenses are there and the client has access to it to use in their brand.

    My personal view is it's not a bad thing to use free UI kits and icons but when it comes to fonts I personally like to pay for them when it comes to using them for commercial stuff.

    0 points