Graphic Design

100+ Free Open Source Tools

Free Open Source Tools

This is a showcase of the many websites and platforms where you can find openly licensed icons, fonts, image, tools and other resources. You can use them for any purpose, also commercial (some works have specific licenses, so always make sure it’s fine to use).

Here is the list of free open source links.


  1. The Noun Project CC and purchasable icons.
  2. IcoMoon CC icons and free to use icon-font creation software.
  3. Pictogramas Open source free icons for personal and commercial purposes.
  4. ToIcon All icons are licensed under a Creative Commons.
  5. Inkscape Open Symbols Open source icon sets to use as Inkscape symbols.
  6. IconMonstr A large collection of glyph icons from a German artist. Free to use without attribution and free to modify.
  7. FontAwesome The iconic font and CSS toolkit. Free to use. CDNGitHub.
  8. Font Fabulous A fabulous iconset packaged as a font. Free to use. GitHub.
  9. Remix Icons Huge repo of consistent neutrally styled icons. GitHub


  1. The League of Movable Type
  2. Open Font Library
  3. Google Web Fonts
  4. Open Foundry
  5. Open Source Publishing Foundry
  6. Velvetyne
  7. Use & Modify
  8. FontForge font editor
  9. Metaflop parametric font editor
  10. Prototypo parametric font editor (source code)
  11. Metapolator font editor
  12. Type:Bits collaborative type design workshop

Some of these platforms also take submissions, so if you designed a font with an open license, submit it there!


  1. Pixabay
  2. Flickr Creative Commons
  3. Gratisography
  4. The Stocks
  5. FreeImages
  6. StockSnap
  7. FindA.Photo
  8. New York Public Library Public Domain Images
  9. unDraw
  10. Interfacer
  11. Open Doodles

Media from big platforms under Creative Commons licenses

  1. Creative Commons search
  2. Wikimedia
  3. Youtube
  4. SoundCloud
  5. Vimeo Music Store

Design tools

  1. Use a pen & paper for mockups and prototypes. No hi-fi Photoshop work needed.
  2. (diagrams, mockups)
  3. Pencil (mockups)
  4. Krita (art, digital painting)
  5. Blender (3d rendering, animation, textures)
  6. darktable (photo workflow)
  7. RawTherapee (photo workflow)
  8. digiKam (photo management)
  9. GIMP (image manipulation, compositing)
  10. Inkscape (vector elements, print export)
  11. Natron (compositing, VFX, motion graphics)
  12. Scribus (page layout, desktop publishing)
  13. DisplayCAL (color calibration)
  14. Kdenlive (video editing)
  15. Design discussion on the issue tracker of the project. For example at GitHub – get an account, identify design issues, participate, and open new issues. Establish a »Design« tag on the tracker to group these issues, for example like in the Nextcloud issues.

Color Choices

  1. Blend: CSS gradient generator.
  2. by Adobe: Color contrast generator.
  3. Overly descriptive color palettes.

CSS Frameworks

  1. Bootstrap Fully featured mature HTML, CSS (LESS) & Javascript.
  2. Foundation Fully featured mature HTML, CSS (Sass) & Javascript.
  3. Bourbon A simple and lightweight mixin library for Sass.
  4. Kickoff A lightweight front-end framework for creating scalable, responsive sites.
  5. Space Base A sass-based responsive css framework.
  6. Rebar Simple lightweight HTML, CSS (LESS)
  7. PatternFly A community of designers and developers collaborating to build a UI framework for enterprise web applications.

General Design Reads

  1. First Rule of Usability? Don’t Listen to Users by Jakob Nielsen (2001)
  2. 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design by Jakob Nielsen (1995)
  3. 19 Principles of User Interface Design by Joshua Porter
  4. ten principles for good design by Dieter Rams (1970s)
  5. A Beginner’s Guide to Finding User Needs
  6. The Design of Everyday Things
  7. Design principles for UI/UX

Open Source and Design Reads

  1. Free Software UI (2002)
  2. How Not To Design a Portfolio
  3. Open Design Now book.
  4. Coordinating usability & testing in Free Software (2011) thesis.
  5. An Exploration of Fedora’s Online Open Source Development Community Research Paper.
  6. Designers, Women, and Hostility in Open Source Project Follow up to the above article.

Other nice stuff in the design + open source space

  1. Libre Graphics magazine print magazine.
  2. Libre Projects collection of nice open source web apps.
  3. Libre Graphics Meeting conference.
  4. Beautiful Open Beautiful sites for Open Source projects.
  5. Open Design and Hardware Group. OKFN open design and hardware group.
  6. PIXLS.US Free/Open Source Photography.
    1. List of Free Software Photography Projects
  7. Photos of Design Research on Wikimedia Commons
  8. Checklist Design A collection of the some UX and UI practices.
  9. Untools Tools for better thinking.

Learn to Code

Focused on HTML, CSS, Javascript. Ideally, to be able to implement your own suggestions. But also to better discuss with developers and be understand why and how certain things work and don’t work.

  1. WebPlatform web development resources.
  2. Mozilla Developer Network for great web dev documentation.
  3. Unheap a tidy repository of jQuery plugins.
  4. Transitional Interfaces, Coded for good animations.
  5. Codecademy with interactive tutorials.
  6. Try Git also with interactive tutorials.
  8. Code School learn even more.
  9. Egghead to learn the AngularJS framework.
  10. Tota11y a bookmarklet to check that your website is a11y compliant.
  11. Open Source Guide: How to Contribute to Open Source
  12. Course: How to Contribute to an Open Source Project on GitHub

Learn to Design

Learn about design concepts! ?

  1. Hack Design Free design lessons by inspirational designers.
  2. Design Lab Design course with mentorship and projects.
  3. Voice and Tone Learn about writing good copy.

Credits to OpenSourceDesign