Photoshop is an amazingly powerful tool. It alone can allow you to create fantastic designs and photo manipulations. But, there are many, many other resources available to designers to enhance Photoshop and increase your productivity.
I’m talking about free gradients, patterns, brushes, layer styles and more that you can download and add on to Photoshop.
(Some of these sites don’t actually have the pattern present downloads. What you do will be to download the pattern and open it in Photoshop and define it as a new pattern yourself)
Pattern Cooler – Library of patterns (some a little too loud!) that you can edit the color scheme and size of.
Squidfingers – Some of the best, most intricate patterns I’ve seen. I’ve been stuck on Travis’s patterns since 2003!
Kaliber10000 – A collection of user generated patterns – 953 of them! Unfortunately hasn’t been updated since 11/2007
Kollermedia’s Pattern Library – A library of 272 patterns collected and available for download.
Tartan Maker – Create your own tartan patterns on this easy to use site. Store and download patterns of your own or from others!
bgMaker – Create your own pixel patterns or download one of the over 1000 pages of patterns created (warning all are user generated and some aren’t that good)
Stripe Generator – Like the name implies you can create your own stripe patterns (with a multitude of options) or download someone else’s creation!
Free Logo Maker’s Gradients – Small collection of 150 gradients available for download in ten different sets.
100 Awesome High Resolution Brushes – Photoshop Roadmap has put together a collection of 100 AWESOME brushes created by various artists.
Miss M – 80 sets of high quality brushes. Sets include swirls, text, florishes, dust, doodles and more.
Obsidian Dawn – Tons of useful and fun brushes. Be careful though – she requires a link back if you use the brushes unless you purchase a commercial license.
Brush Addicts on Livejournal – Hundreds and hundreds of Photoshop brushes. Unfortunately you will have to page through the entries and more often then not be directed to another link to download. Well worth it.
Inobscuro – Tons and tons of really useful brushes ranging from effects brushes to photo brushes.
Chez Plumeau – Collections of brushes made by graphics designers to use in various works of art.
My Photoshop Brushes – Patterns, brushes, shapes, styles, gradients and tutorials.
Brushes Download – Really nice brushes (609 packages) and gradients (75 packages). Unfortunately there is not categorization system, so you have to browse brushes by page.
Also, some of my favorite brush sets are by what used to be 8nero.net. Unfortunately site is gone – but the brushes live on via bittorrent. I’m sure you can figure out how to find it yourself ;).
These are just a teeny tiny sample of what you can download for free and use for Photoshop to enhance any project that you are working on from a website, print job or just making an icon for your blog ;P.