1.07.2016

Free Design Resources // Patterns + Icons

My original idea for this post was to share resources to use to create planner stickers.  However, all of these resources can apply to general graphic design as well.  The goal for this post is to promote the idea of proper credit and educate others on copyright when it comes to digital patterns and icons.  These resources all have various degrees of attribution and proper use....but I hope to share with you ways to use freely designs created both for personal and for commercial use.  The planner community is passionate about copyright.....so this post is geared towards that, however, if you're a designer looking for patterns and icons to experiment with, please continue to read!

One of the most fun things when it comes to planning is having a matching set of stickers to plan with. You may not be like me, but I love having a full set to plan with. It is often hard to find pre made printable sets that you like, and even harder to find some that are free in the design you're going for.
Today I want to share with you three resources for free patterns and icons to create fun sticker sets for yourself or any other graphic design work you may be experimenting with. If you haven't see my video on how to make planner stickers using the Cricut Explore, check it out here - you can totally use the resources below to make your own fun & functional sticker sets.

This website is a great resource not only for patterns but for icons to use in making functional stickers. If you search your term in the search bar then click the icon label you'll find hundreds of icons available for download in a variety of formats. Download either the SVG or the PNG to use in your Cricut Design Space platform (or just the PNG if you're going to use something like Word or a photo program to design your stickers)
You can choose the color and size you'd like to download the PNG - I suggest the largest size - but also sign up for a freepik account so that you can add this icon to your favorites. (You won't loose it if you want to download a different color next time.) If you download the SVG you can change the color in Design Space and use it as a cut file. An SVG means that the image is scalable to a multitude of sizes, where as the PNG will be maxed at the largest size you download. Otherwise you risk a pixelated image.

If you spend a little bit of time on Pinterest you can find some free for personal use digital scrapbooking papers and embellishments. I love finding new blogs that offer things for free! Be sure to read the designer's terms of use to make sure that you aren't violating their copyright if you decide to use the digital papers in a certain way. Most of the time (but not all) the designer just requires attribution or a link back if you share what you make with the digital files.
I suggest contacting the designer through an email or reach out using social media to make sure you'll be crediting them properly. If you tag the shops/stickers/elements you use in your layouts on your own social media platforms tag the designer as well.

There are also designers that offer free papers for commercial use without attribution. Be sure you're checking the terms of use as well as contacting the designer with any questions (or visit their FAQ section).

This has been my go to site forever for patterns. A new feature to Design Space is the ability to upload fill patterns for use in print then cut designs. I can't wait to test this feature out! How exciting is it that you can now create those popular full box stickers that everyone uses?
Again, most of the patterns on ColourLovers must be used only for personal use. If you recolor a pattern that already exists, most of the time you'll need to share it with the same license the creator shared. However, this is my favorite site for patterns because you can recolor existing patterns to match whatever spread you're working on. You can also create color palettes (or use existing ones) to inspire your theme.

This marketplace is a division of ColourLovers where designers sell there awesome wares.  However, if you make an account you will get a weekly email with designs offered for free for that week.  These designs often include fonts but sometimes you'll get a nice hand drawn graphic to work with.  As with any of these resources, the designs come with their own terms of use.  So be sure you've read and agreed to them before you start your project.
I love to check out the email every week to see what awesomeness may await me!

If your the creative type and the planning type these three resources work great for designing stickers in Design Space for use with your Cricut Explore. I love that there are resources out there for those that are creative to explore their creative side without costing a million bucks. However, I can't stress enough to be sure you're following the copyright and terms of use set out by designers when you use these free resources though. Abiding by the rules not only protects the designer but protects you from any legal trouble!

If you haven't seen the Cricut How To Videos for sticker making, check out my growing playlist here!

How you do get creative using digital resources? Do you have any fun resource suggestions?

xoxo, Moe

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