University of Wisconsin–Madison

Student Resources

Use this page to learn more about the various digital media projects that DesignLab supports. Click below to get overviews, examples, links to software support, and more.

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Design Tools

  • Colors

    CMYK vs. RGB? – This DesignLab-made handout talks about the differences between the two most common color settings in digital creation.

    Adobe Color LogoAdobe Color CC – This online app enables you to try, create, and save color schemes. Try using the interactive color wheel, presets, and individual sliders to edit the colors in your themes.

    Paletton LogoPaletton – This online app is for producing harmonious color schemes in several color spaces including RGB and Pantone. Also, this site shows how colors will appear to various conditions.

    Color Hexa LogoColor Hexa – This online tool provides information about any color and generates matching color palettes for your designs. Also, this tool converts colors to their equivalent in RGB (Standard Web), CMYK (Standard Print), Hexadecimal, HSL, HSV, CIE-LAB / LUV / LCH, Hunter-Lab, XYZ, xyY and Binary.

  • Fonts / Typology

    Serif vs. San-Serif – This DesignLab-made fonts poster shows the differences between the two major font classes and demonstrates a few of the most commonly-used fonts in each class.

    What Font it Right for You? – This DesignLab-made handout demonstrates some of the most commonly used fonts in the serif, sans-serif, script, and decorative font classes.

    Wordmark LogoWordmark – This online app detects the fonts installed on your computer and helps you choose the ideal typeface for your project by comparing them.

    Type Tester LogoTypetester – This website lets you compare a large selection of fonts side to side, which can be uploaded straight from your computer. It is perfect for developing websites and testing designs for online media.

    Type Connection Logotypeconnection – This online “dating-style” app lets you choose typefaces that work well together and learn typographic terms, type history, and find the perfect typeface(s) for your project.

    What the Font LogoWhatTheFont – Upload an image to WhatTheFont to find the closest matches in the MyFonts database. MyFonts is also a resource for premium (fee-licensed) and some free commercial-use fonts.

    Match-erator LogoFont Matcherator – Much like WhatTheFont, this program allows you to upload and image and find comparable fonts. It claims to be more “robust” than WhatTheFont in its search parameters.

  • Images

    Raster vs Vector – This DesignLab-made handout talks about the differences between the raster and vector image types.

    Social Media Image Sizes – This infographic is a cheat sheet for sizing images used in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube

  • Copyright / Citations

    Copyright Flowchart – This infographic is a flowchart for educators and students about copyright laws by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano (aka Langwitches)

    Copyright for Digital Media – This is a guide, plus resources for students & instructors using images, video, and music prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.

    MLA Citation Infographic – This infographic was created for students by EasyBib to properly cite books, websites, online videos, online journal articles, and digital images in MLA format.

    Creative Commons Infographic – Learn more about how the Creative Commons licensing works with this helpful infographic created by Shihaam Donnelly at the University of Cape Town.

Free Resources

  • Equipment for Checkout

    Looking for equipment to use for your digital project? Check out the equipment available from College Library’s InfoLab!

  • Fonts

    1001 Free Fonts Logo1001 Free Fonts – A collection of mostly free fonts. Some are free for personal use and some are in the public domain. Most can also be purchased for commercial use.

    DaFont.com Logodafont – Another collection of  mostly free fonts. Some are free for personal use and some are in the public domain. Many can also be purchased for commercial use.

    Fontstruct LogoFontstruct – A website that allows you to design and create your own fonts using their online software. Includes a gallery of user-created fonts and competitions to provide ideas and inspiration.

    Google Fonts LogoGoogle Fonts – A directory of free web fonts. All Google Fonts are open source and available for use on websites and blogs.

  • Images

    pixabayPixabay Logo – This site is curated by community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.

    Vecteezy LogoVecteezy – This site is one of the largest vector graphics communities in the world. Most of the files are free to download and, depending on the license, free to use in your projects. Be sure to cite these files properly.

    Pexels LogoPexels – This site provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through their discover pages.

    Morgue File LogoMorgueFile – This site is a free photo archive “for creatives, by creatives.” All photos found in the Morguefile archive are free for download and re-use in any work, be it commercial or not.

    Stock Snap LogoStockSnap – This site offers beautiful, high quality stock photos for just about any use you can think of – including commercial usage – for free.

    Flickr LogoFlickr CC – This site has a selection of photos sorted by their Creative Cloud license. Be sure to cite/attribute where necessary!

    Every Stock Photo LogoEvery Stock Photo – This site is a search engine for free photos. The photos come from many sources and are license-specific. You can view a photo’s license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos.

    UW Photo Library LogoUW-Madison Photo Library – UW–Madison departments, faculty, staff, students, and alumni may use any of the images in this library for noncommercial communication pieces about UW–Madison. *Images from this site are not available for generic use unrelated to UW–Madison.

  • Video

    Pexels LogoPexels Video – This site provides high quality and completely free stock videos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can edit or change the videos and use them free for personal and even for commercial projects. All without asking for permission and attribution is not required.

    Videvo LogoVidevo – This site offers completely free stock video footage and motion graphics for use in any project. Everything on Videvo is free to use for commercial or non-commercial usage.

    Coverr LogoCoverr – A collection of stock videos designed primarily as cover videos for websites. All Videos published on this site can be used for free both for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the Videographer or Coverr.co, although it is appreciated when possible.

    Vimeo LogoVimeo Free HD Stock – This is a group of videos designed by a user. All clips found in this group are given away for free use in your projects. *The free nature of these videos does not apply to other Vimeo content!

    Videezy LogoVideezy – This site allows you to share and download Free HD Stock Videos, b-roll, backgrounds, and other cool free video footage. All the videos are free to download and, depending on the license, free to use in your projects.

    Vidsplay LogoVidsplay –  This is a collection of completely free stock footage. You are granted non-exclusive rights to use and download our video material without the need to pay royalties for each use.

    Beachfront B-Roll LogoBeachfront B-Roll – This site allow you to download (for free!) unique HD stock video footage and animated backgrounds for any production purpose. All clips in the library are completely free to use and are a simple “right click save” to download.

    Moving Picture ArchiveInternet Archive Logo – This library contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download. *Be sure to check for licensing!

  • Audio

    Audacity LogoAudacity – This is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. The interface is translated into many languages and is open source (free).

    CC Mixter LogoCC Mixter – This is a community music remixing site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses. You are free to download and sample from music on this site and share the results with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Some songs might have certain restrictions, depending on their specific licenses.

    YouTube LogoYouTube Audio Library – This page contains a large collection of free downloadable music and sound effects.

    Free Music Archive LogoFree Music Archive – The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, a freeform radio station.

    Ben Sound LogoBensound – A collection of royalty free music that is licensed for use under Creative Commons as long as it is cited properly.

    Sound Bible LogoSound Bible – This site offers free sound clips for download in either wav or mp3 format. They offer free and royalty free sound effects and clips.

    Free Sound Effects LogoFree Sound Effects – This site contains both free and for purchase sound effects. Be sure to scroll down and select the Free Sound Effects categories (listed on the bottom left of the site).

    Free Sound Project LogoFree Sound – Freesound has a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, etc. released under Creative Commons licenses that allow for reuse. Be sure to cite files that need attribution under the CC license.

    Sound Gator LogoSoundGator – This is a free sound effects library. Users can download sound effects for films, videos, multimedia projects, presentations, apps, games and just about any other project – but are not allowed to sell, license, distribute or post online the individual sound effects (i.e., must be a part of a larger project).