When designing, drawing inspiration can either be a difficult task or the easiest thing in the world. Finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places can dramatically alter your work for the positive but when road blocks show up, designing can feel like a monumental task. Here’s 5 great places to become inspired and break down the creative road block.
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources. Keeping an open mind to pieces of work outside your field of design can open the door to creativity.
FFFFOUND! is in image bookmarking site that collects great pieces of design and art in an easily digested format. FFFFOUND! allows user submissions and refines results based on what you’re interested in allowing for a new level of inspiration aggregation.
2. Colour Lovers
When I’m looking for inspiration or trying to conquer creative blocks, one of the first places I turn to is Colour Lovers to rethink my color scheme of choice.
Color has a profound impact on how we design or perceive everyday things. I’ve found that while I may be hellbent on a particular color scheme, rethinking why I chose the color combination I did or looking at how others have interpreted color is a major mental boost. Colour Lovers is an expansive community of those who are passionate about designing with color and pushing it to the limits.
Palettes for all manners of medium from CMYK to RGB based color, patterns and individual colors is what has me going back to Colour Lovers for inspiration. Color palettes are sorted by various applications and supplied with the appropriate RGB and CMYK numbers.
3. Smashing Magazine
Another obstacle to design is simply not knowing how a feature works or how you would incorporate an interactive feature. Smashing Magazine is one of the best resources of tutorials from all walks of design.
This recommendation encompasses the Smashing Magazine name rather than the site on its own. The network of Blogs that are under Smashing’s umbrella and extensive yet immersive books (both electronic and print) are packed to the brim with best practices, design inspiration and monstrous tutorials.
I would recommend reading Smashing Magazine’s main Blog and branching out in to their books – you’ll find something whether you’re a fashion or web designer. Aside from being a valuable resource is the tone of Smashing Magazine’s writing. Professionals come together and lend their advice about their field in a friendly yet upfront tone that is neither bland nor daunting.
4. Cool Infographics
Structure and hierarchy are crucial to guiding a viewer through art, websites or anything you’ve designed. Sometimes data can become so daunting that you don’t know where to start let alone make it look pretty. I’ve found infographics are a great source of inspiration in this field.
Cool Infographics is one of the largest Infographic Blogs that compiles not just the best of the best but mixes in some bad with the good. Why would you care about mediocre work when you’ll most likely care about great design? Data visualization is very elaborate and knowing what went wrong or looks bad can be just as big of a motivator as looking at one that’s good.
A variety of infographics from the most unlikely of subjects are available. Even if you aren’t trying to visualize an extensive data set, infographics can still be a well of inspiration for hierarchy in design.
The role of the designer to communicate a message. Sure you may be a master at Photoshop, king of markup and a rock star coder but what if you have nothing to talk about?
Digesting not only real world events but keeping an open mind to human interactions, how our environment is perceived by others and news that wouldn’t make the 11 o’clock show are vital to designers. Good tackles all aspects of cultural and real world events, business, politics and what makes the world tick.