As a professional designer, trying to find free PSD files that are fresh and high quality among the countless “best of” lists and low quality resource sites often ends up leaving me frustrated and wishing I hadn’t wasted the time. But because a well designed Photoshop file can shave hours of a project, going the route of designing from scratch isn’t always the best option. It’s great not to have to waste budgeted project time re-inventing the wheel and instead benefit from the amazing talents of another designer, especially when it’s an area that they are better in than you are. In the end, making the decision to search for usable PSDs vs just designing from scratch sometimes feels like a complete gamble.
Enter Design Basement, a source of incredible design resources that are 100% free for personal and commercial use. The quality of the work displayed makes it a fun site to browse even when I’m not on a project; sometimes it’s just a great source of inspiration (with stuff I can download if I like it enough!). But because the site is so well organized and easy to use it’s turning out to be a very handy tool to search for free PSD files that relate to a specific project.
And the resources aren’t limited to Photoshop files either. There is a whole range of great resources for web and app designers. I loved the bundle deal revolution when it came along, but I’m finding I don’t actually get that much value out of those purchases unless I use them the first month; after that they have a way of disappearing in a deep folder structure. But of course why buy a bundle when you can get more stuff for free online… and it’s easier to find. My new workflow is to check Design Basement for free PSD files first, and if they don’t have it, it’s probably worth building what I need from scratch.