Design Cuts is an online market place for downloadable design resources. They gave me the opportunity of receiving a free copy of their current deal, The Inspiring Artistic Design Collection, in exchange for a review of this bundle. [UPDATE: This deal has expired – but some of the resources may be available separately in the Design Cuts marketplace.]
The collection costs $29 (or around £28 including VAT) which Design Cuts say is 99% off the full price of thousands of best selling design assets. Of course, a typical small business owner or blogger will have a particular style for their brand, so you may wonder whether the bundle is still good value for money even if you would only use a fraction of the resources.
I decided to see how someone might use assets from the collection if they had one of a couple of styles for their website. If your brand does not fall into one of these categories, then you’d need to look at the other items to see whether you feel that this bundle could be useful for you.
If you wanted to add some shiny golden touches to your website and marketing materials, then these are the particular items in the collection that are likely to catch your eye:
- The Feminine Logo Creator by Worn Out Media, which includes gold and silver textures
- Lights & Stars Clipart Backgrounds by MixPixBox
- Golden Paint Transparent Background Textures by Jim Lepage
- Glitter Washi Tape and Frames by Pattern Pop
- Be Wild & Free Collection by So Nice (colour palette number 2)
(Click on the images to enlarge them.)
To buy just these five items for their full price would cost a total of $90 so, if you felt you could make good use of them, it would be worth buying the collection for $29 – even if you were unlikely to use many of the other assets.
I had a quick play with some of the resources to get just a few ideas of how they could be used by someone with a gold or sparkly style.
The Feminine Logo Creator
This item includes textures, circular decorative elements and links to some suggested free fonts. If you think that one of the circles would work well as the basis for your logo then, of course, you could add your own fonts and other decorations.
As is common for logo creation kits, no actual fonts are included. You’ll need to follow the links and view each font, then download and install the ones you like. If you’re going to use a font for your logo then I suggest that you double check the license yourself, although all the ones mentioned should be free for commercial use. Design Cuts have a tutorial on installing fonts or you could use a font manager, such as the free Nexus Font.
The kit includes instructions for adding a gold (or other) texture using Photoshop or Illustrator. Alternatively, here’s one way it could be done in Corel Paintshop Pro. I added text to one of the decorative circles to make a logo. Then, I cropped and resized the gold texture image and the logo image so that they were the same size, before adding the logo as a layer mask to the gold texture.
Here’s the resulting logo.
The same technique could be used to add one of the gold textures to other shapes to use as website icons, or in banners or adverts.
It would also be possible to use the gold textures directly in your website design, as a background for elements such as buttons.
Glitter Washi Tape and Frames
A frame could be combined with a photo before uploading to your website, as shown here (photo of woman from Pexels).
The washi tape is pretty, but is not seamless so it couldn’t be used as a repeating background. Each piece of tape could be used to add interest to graphics for your site, or could be the background to a small element, such as a button as in the gold texture example that I used before.
It is possible, but fiddly, to edit the washi tape to create a seamless strip. This involves cutting off one end and moving it to the opposite side, then cloning, painting and copying to tidy up the join.
Lights & Stars Clipart Backgrounds
I found that one of the clipart items was near enough to a seamless pattern to be used as a header.
The non-seamless backgrounds could be used in areas where they don’t need to be repeated, or you could attempt the trick mentioned above to try to create a seamless pattern.
If your website has a watercolour style, then you may also find enough items in the collection to make purchasing it worth the price. In fact, for both the styles I’ve considered here, as well as for many other types of site, if you are inventive you could adapt items that don’t immediately seem to fit in with your preferred look.
As a quick example of this, before I look at the more obvious watercolour themed items, the Graphic Spirit Woody Photoshop Design Kit doesn’t appear to be useful to anyone looking for watercolour design assets. But it includes these leaves.
But to return to the items that are most likely to appeal to someone keen on watercolour graphics… The collection includes a number of items that would be a useful addition to your stock of resources:
- Watercolor Texture Set by Go Faster Labs
- Watercolor Textures Collection by NKate
- Salty Sea Watercolor Textures by Eclosque
- Winterflora Floral Set by Eclosque (hand painted with gouache)
- Be Wild & Free Collection by So Nice
- Floristic Watercolor Collection by Julia Dreams
(Click on the images to enlarge them.)
The total cost of these six items, if bought for their full price is $111, so if you want to purchase them then the Design Cuts deal is great value.
These collections contain some lovely graphics and could be used in lots of ways to enhance the look of your website. My favourites are the Julia Dreams, So Nice and Salty Sea Collections. I could see myself using items from those packages, although I’m not sure I would purchase the other items I’ve listed, if they were not part of the deal.
Here’s an example of a button background using a texture from Go Faster Labs (Note: I did have problems opening the large TIF file in Paintshop Pro so I converted it to a png file with the free Paint.Net application. I imagine that Photoshop would handle the files without issues.)
This wreath is by Julia Dreams.
The menu background below was made using one of the Go Faster Labs textures. The frame around the headshot (a free photo from Pixabay) is from the Feminine Logo Creator, with the addition of one of the Salty Seas Watercolor Textures.
I don’t think that any one website owner is likely to make full use of all of the resources included in the collection. It’s important to consider whether you have the software and skills needed to use the items, and to think about whether you would really use them.
But when you consider the price, I feel that it is good value for money if you could find a use for even a handful of the items.
Build a Bundle Marketplace
The Marketplace is a great feature of the Design Cuts website. Some of the best items from previous deals are listed here for you to purchase individually or in bulk.
If you buy two items, then you receive a 20% discount. A purchase of three items gives a 30% discount, four items gives 40% off and five items leads to a 50% discount.
Freebies and Tutorials