Free resources to hone your design skills

If 2013 was the year of code, let’s make 2014 the year of design. Here is a list of free resources that can help you develop and improve your design skills, delivered right to your inbox!

Hack Design

HackDesign is “An easy to follow design course for people who do amazing things.” Sign up to get a new design lesson in your inbox each week, hand crafted by a design pro.

Design for Hackers

Design for Hackers teaches the principles of good visual design to programmers, developers, and makers of any kind. Each email from the 12-week course is based upon a chapter of Design for Hackers. You can buy Design for Hackers as a companion book for the course, or just get the emails for free. There’s also a Facebook page where people in the program connect.


Gibbon makes “playlists for learning. Almost all the knowledge is available on the web, all you need is someone to guide you to it.” Specify how much time you want to dedicate per week and the topics you’re interested in and it will send you a list of links in email each week. Topics include design, development and business.


I look forward to the myFonts Newsletter because it’s always a great source of inspiration and education about fonts and the designers who create them.

The Smashing Newsletter

I consider the Smashing Newsletter a must-read for any Web designer. It’s a great way to track hot topics and emerging trends in Web design.


Most UX people are aware of Jared Spool through his writing, speaking and event hosting. When you subscribe to the UIE Newsletter you get UIEtips mailings which contain useful free content, in addition to announcements of paid virtual seminars and events.

If you know a great resource not on this list, please leave a note in the comments. Thanks!