The Design Process (or any creative process, really) usually begins with sourcing for inspiration. This can be in the form of immersion through traveling to a foreign country or learning about a new culture or artform, building on a design you’ve had at the back of your mind for awhile, or more commonly, through research.

A great source of inspiration for fashion designers are magazines, blogs and social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest. A couple of resources that we like particularly are Harper's Bazaar, where you'll find the latest trends in clothing design, and inspiration from stores like House of Hackney (inspiration, please, copyright infringement is not very cool).

Once you’ve got a sense of the design you’d like to create, you’re now ready to begin your first design. If you don't know where to begin, the Internet has a wealth of resources available to you - and you don't even need your own design software!

We shortlist a few of our favourite tools and resources that we think would be handy for you to explore:

Print and Graphic Resources

If you’re a lover of prints and patterns, Patternbank and Patterncooler are THE places to head to for inspiration. Explore thousands of royalty-free patterns and trend reports to get your ideas flowing.

And if you are looking for graphics, you're spoilt for choice. Sites like Shutterstock and Dreamstime do charge a premium for their curated selection of high quality graphics, but you can find some real gems in more affordable sites like Pixabay and Unsplash too.

You're welcome to use prints and images from these sites for your design, but do ensure you have checked the licence agreement for the file first. A Creative Common 0 licence means you are free to use an image for any purposes, while some sites require you purchase an extended licence for commercial use so the original artist also receives dues for their good work.

Drag and Drop Design Apps

Perhaps you already have a graphic, and would like to perform some simple manipulations like combining graphics and colours to make it your own. For simpler functions, we like Canva - particularly for its free, easy-to-use interface and extensive library of images, fonts and graphics.

For a little more advanced functionality, such as changing colours within an image, Pixlr is a robust, free online photo editor that can help you with this.

Create from Scratch

If you'd like to create something totally from scratch, Adobe Photoshop is the accepted gold standard in design software. But if you don't have it, don't stress - Gimp is a great alternative that is available to download for free.

If you have some knowledge with design software, or would like to learn, Gimp is a great place to start. It also offers a comprehensive tutorial tab that offers step by step instructions to create just about anything from scratch. 

Design your own logo or quote T-shirt with this tutorial, or learn to develop a simple print through this article.

Bonus

And speaking of tutorials, EnvatoTuts+ is a rich resource of courses and tutorials created by the global creative community. Whether you’d like to refine your illustrator skills or try your hand at designing a print, you'll find over 20,000 handy tutorials on this site. 

A good place to start is their Guide to Digital Textile Printing, where you'll venture into the world of vectors - a necessity if you’d like to create original designs of your own. Providing a step-by-step guide of how to create your first design in colour, this tutorial is suitable for beginners using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

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