I love PSD mockups—Photoshop files with smart objects that you simply drop your artwork into and have them automatically tweaked to look photo-realistic. This free magazine mockup is perfect for presenting cover and spread designs to your client.
This free set of distressed halftone patterns for Adobe Illustrator contains 10 seamless vector swatches that can be applied as fills to add retro comic book style print effects to your illustrations. There’s a range of dot pattern densities so you can effectively shade your designs by using the different pattern fills across your artwork. Unlike your typical halftone pattern with clean, perfectly formed circles, these patterns have a distressed style to give your designs that grungy rock poster vibe.
Thanks to SpoonGraphics for providing these awesome distressed halftone vector patterns.
There are plenty of sites to find free fonts. The problem with most of them is that the so-called “free” fonts aren’t actually free to use for anything beyond the little flyer you made for your kid’s little-league team.
If you look at the license for many of these free fonts you’ll find that they’re only free for personal use, not commercial use—which is what most designers are looking to use them for. I’m not saying that paying for fonts when you need to use them for commercial work is bad, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or budget for them.
If you’re willing to spend a lot of time scrolling through long lists of fonts to find the very few that you can actually use, have at it. But if you value your time, try checking Font Squirrel.
Font Squirrel has a ton of fonts. All of them free. All of them free for commercial-use. There are tons of fonts available at Font Squirrel, so they’ve categorized them to make it easier to browse. Because the laws of the universe dictate that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, you can use the fonts for free in your print projects and web graphics, but you’ll have to read the license for each font to see if you can use the font for things like embedding in a website.
Extensis has released their annual Font Management Best Practices guide for macOS. I grab the PDF every year, if for no other reason than they always provide a list of required fonts for the current Mac OS version. This allows me to remove so many fonts I don’t use and aren’t necessary to run the system.
Grab your free copy of Poetsen One. It’s increasingly rare to find font designers putting full character set fonts in their free offerings, so I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it. Rodrigo Fuenzalida has a few other fonts available on his site, so be sure to check them out.