10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Here are a number of websites that you, as a web designer, will use on a daily basis making life easier and making you more efficient.

Here is a list of 10 websites that I find useful and am constantly using. I’m also interested in what websites you swear by and use all the time, so please share in the comments below.

1. iStockphoto

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

iStockphoto is a collection of royalty free photos, illustrations, video and audio. You can search for these resources based on any keyword and purchase from only $1.

iStockphoto saves you time and money. Need a good photo for a website but don’t have the resources to setup your own photography shoot? iStockphoto will do the job, and you’ll be able to use the photos legally as they’re royalty free.

I find it really useful for illustration graphics. There are graphics available for $10 that could otherwise take you a day or two to design from scratch.

2. Pingdom

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Pingdom Checks the loading time taken to load the website. Very handy tool to check the loading time of the website.

3. Smashing Magazine

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Smashing Magazine is the ultimate web design blog.

If you need to know how to do something, or need some inspiration, Smashing Magazine will undoubtedly have an article on it somewhere. All you need to do is search the site.

4. Stack Overflow

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

A question and answer site for programmers.

The great thing about Stack Overflow as opposed to other forums is there is no sign up required. And it has a great community around it that are always willing to help.

5. SEOmoz

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

SEOmoz is one of the best search engine optimisation related websites on the net.

I constantly find myself using the SEO tools available, especially Rank Checker that lets you check how your domains (and client domains) are ranking on each search engine for keywords.

6. Lovely Charts

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

With Lovely Charts you can create user flow diagrams and sitemaps.

A great little app for starting off a project and getting your website flow down to a tee. Free to use.

7. Balsamiq

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Balsamiq lets you create wireframes.

It’s a quick way of doing up wireframes and it’s meant to look quick so that it’s obvious to the person you send it to that it is rough. Saves a lot of time and the online version is free.

8. Notable

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Notable enables you to take screenshots and then make notes on top of the design.

Great way for teams to provide feedback on designs, super easy to use and lovely user interface.

9. Campaign Monitor

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

For email marketing. Setup, manage, send and analyse email campaigns.

Campaign Monitor provides an easy to use interface for creating and managing your email campaigns. Once your campaign is sent, it provides statistics on how many emails opened, bounce backs, unsubscribed etc.

Very good value for money at $5 per campaign +$0.01 per recipient.

10. Delicious

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Delicious lets you bookmark and tag websites.

Use delicious to tag useful or inspiring websites you come across so you can come back to them when you need them.

11. Colour Lovers

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Colour Lovers gives you veriety of the colour scheme for website design. Great for getting a huge range of ideas for colour schemes.

Bonus: Dribbble

10 Websites Every Web Designer Should Know About

Still in ‘invite only’ mode, Dribbble is an app for designers to share sneak peaks of your work, which can then be liked and commented on by other designers.

There is some amazing work being showcased on Dribbble.

My favorite Type House

Filmed months before their split, Font Men isn’t just a captivating exploration of font design. It’s a poignant reminder of what the type world has lost.

When Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler, the Beatles of the typography world, dramatically broke up their famous partnership in January, what was perhaps most shocking was the bitterness that seemed to exist between them. According to Frere-Jones, Hoefler had exhibited the “most profound treachery” and “sustained exploitation of friendship” in cheating him out of his half of the world-famous type foundry.

In the final recorded interview with Hoefler and Frere-Jones, there is not a single glimpse of the enmity that has come to exist (and must have been festering even at the time) between the two font masters. Called Font Men, the short documentary freezes in time one of the last moments the partners could be in the same room together without rancor, a video memento of what the type world has lost.

Filmed by New York–based video production studio Dress Code for the American Institute of Graphic Arts late last year, Font Men is a six-minute exploration of what made Hoefler & Frere-Jones unique during their 10-year partnership.

“What separates Hoefler & Frere-Jones from other type foundries is how attuned they are to what the public wants,” says Dress Code’s Creative Director Dan Covert. “They’ve been incredibly influential in making the transition from fonts in person to fonts on the web. Lots of foundries make display fonts, but it’s stuff you can’t use, say, in magazine body copy. Hoefler & Frere-Jones, on the other hand, are good at making families of fonts that can work in an entire body of mediums. It’s a very niche thing.”

While Font Men shows Hoefler and Frere-Jones in the same room discussing their work, there isn’t a whiff of the animus which has come to exist between the two men. Rather, Hoefler and Frere-Jones have nothing but nice things to say about each other: Hoefler says that there is “no one who’s opinion [he] values more than Tobias’s,” while Frere-Jones says “we’ve always been friends.” In fact, the only visible disagreement between the two men in the video seems to be an amusing tiff about the proper height of a lowercase “t.”

[ef-heading size=”h4″]There isn’t a hint of the animus which has come to exist between the two men.[/ef-heading]

According to Covert, who recorded three hours of interviews for Font Men, this wasn’t a mere facade: The relationship between Hoefler and Frere-Jones seemed equally warm even off-camera, without a hint of the dispute that would ultimately fracture their business. Which makes it all the sadder that the partnership between the two seems, at this point, to be irrevocably shattered.

“Obviously, we’re well aware that Font Men might well be the last interview that Hoefler and Frere-Jones do together,” Covert says. “It’s sad. Most graphic design is ultimately ephemera, which gets forgotten almost as soon as it is made, but it’s obvious that people will use Hoefler & Frere-Jones typefaces for the next hundred years. Their ability to explain in simple terms what they do is why the video comes across as it does. It’s obvious that these two were just the cream of the crop. They’re the pinnacle of what this field is. ”

Font Men was an official selection at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival. You can read our previous coverage of the Hoefler & Frere-Jones split here, and what designers can learn from it here.