One of the best ways to expand your creativity is to take in as much inspiration in the fields of design, art, photography, typography and more. By exposing yourself to the creative word of others you’ll be able to see what’s already out there, identify the way you would change designs people have already created, learn new techniques, develop your craft, and come up with new ways of creating.
When you’re designing something for a new project or just for fun, ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes this design or concept stand out from others?
- How is it similar to what’s already out there?
- What is the style for this type of design?
- Does the style of this design work well with the concept?
- Where is the inspiration coming from for this project?
- What elements could I remove from this design to make it easier to use?
- What features could I add to this design to make it more functional?
The best way to answer the questions above is honestly to think about how other people have done things before you. Check out websites, designs, and concepts and look at what’s missing and what could make those designs better. The best way to get inspired and improve your design projects is to have a list of sites to visit every day for inspiration, and then just spend some time browsing and write down any ideas or concepts you come up with in a notepad. Check out some of my favorite sites featured below for design inspiration.
- Tools for Designers and Creatives: Looking for some amazing design resources to help kickstart your next project? Check out: 12 Handwritten Fonts for Designers.
- Inspiration for Design: Trying to get inspired and discover cool design? Here are some articles to do just the trick: 24 Elegant and Colorful Logos, 16 Inspiring Examples of Retro and Vintage Elements in Web Design, and 17 Inspiring Examples of Contact Pages and Forms.
- Cheat sheets and Information for Designers: Need little helpful hints to improve your design? Check out these resources: Web Designers Cheat Sheet and the Adobe Illustrator Cheatsheet.
2. Enfuzed: Enfuzed is a graphic design and web design blog that showcases a menagerie of design inspiration as well as useful articles for design. What’s great about Enfuzed is that it features a basic layout so you’re not distracted by anything and just focus on a lot of awesome design inspiration.
- Get Inspired: You can discover amazing product designs, cool themes, and more all right here. Check out: 10 Creative Examples of Branding & Identity Designs.
- Gain Insightful Tips: With these articles you will gain and discover new tips to help boost your design creativity and work: 6 Most Ignored Ways of Increasing Traffic and 5 Effective Types of Logo Design.
- Tutorials to Teach You New Design: Learn how to boost your designs with these tutorials: How to Add App Icons to a Website and WordPress Shortcodes: Creation, Parameters and Benefits.
3. Design Taxi: Here you’ll find everything from industry talk, photos of the day, and quirky design inspiration you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
- Inspirational Packaging Design: Design Taxi does an amazing job of finding the coolest and definitely the most unique packaging designs that stand out in a crowd. Medical Packaging That Changes Color as Pills Expire, Luxury McDonalds Burgers with Minimal Packaging, and Vodka Bottles That Glow in the Dark.
- Informative Industry Talk: Want to learn from the top creatives in the design industry? Check out these articles that will help you learn more about design: The Buzzword Problem, What’s the difference between branding and marketing?, and What is engagement?.
- Creativity: Design Taxi has a section of their site dedicated entirely to sparking your creative juices. Check out some of their articles on creativity and creative inspiration: Life-Sized Toy Assembly Kits Of A Boat, Bicycle, A Steampunk Ticker Tape Machine That Streams Your Tweets, and Crosswalks Painted In Brightly-Colored Patterns Make Crossing The Road Fun.
4. Creative Market: Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted design resources for designers and anyone interested in creating beautiful paper goods, web elements, and graphic design, and more. It’s a great source of inspiration for any designer, whether you’re an illustrator, web designer or developer, or graphic designer because you can browse through a variety of products designed to make design easier. Check out:
- Informative and Inspirational Blog Posts: On the Creative Market blog you’ll find design articles, inspiration, and ideas including posts like: 9 Examples of Creative Typography, 30 Useful Infographics for Designers and Developers, and Designing a Brand Identity.
- Fonts for Design Projects: Including handwritten fonts, display and webfonts, retro fonts, and more for your inspiration.
- Handcrafted Illustrations: Discover a menagerie of beautifully designed illustrations for inspiration including floral illustrations, animals, flourishes, and more.
- Inspiring Textures & Patterns Perfect for Design: Everything from gorgeous watercolor backgrounds to gradient textures to paper textures and patterns.
- Unique WordPress Themes: Creative themes perfect for your inspiration as well as use including blog themes, portfolio themes, and themes for business.
5. DesignSkilz: This blog is meant to entirely be a source of inspiration for anyone creative. It features numerous articles on everything ranging from architecture to photography to typography for anyone to find inspiration. Check out some of the inspiration featured on the site:
- Typography: 10 Creative Examples of Typography Design, Hand-drawn alphabet by Raul Alejandro, and the Seth Mach Typography Project.
- Graphic Design: Stunning Illustrations by Russ Mills, Book Cover Illustrations by Matt Taylor, and Twitter Re-Design Concept.
- Photography: Stunning Portrait Photography, New Zealand Travel Photography, and Hong Kong Travel Photography.
6. DeMilked: This website is a design milking magazine that works to milk the minds of the best designers and creatives around the world. There’s everything from interior design inspiration to inspiring architecture to web design. You’ll find creative posts like these:
- Creative Graphic Design: 31 Mapping Stereotypes from Around the World, 14 Clever Illustrations by Patrik Svensson, and Sarcastic Posters Reveal What it’s Like to be a Photographer.
- Inspiring Architecture: Architecture Student Converts Old School Bus Into Cozy Home And Travels Around USA, Brooklyn’s Old Clock Tower Transformed Into a Modern Penthouse , and Cat Owner in Japan Builds an Outdoor Catwalk Around His House.
7. Design Your Trust: This website is a collective publishing creative blog that allows anyone and everyone to apply and submit creative inspiration from around the web. The site is constantly updating with creative posts and information. If you find something inspiring in the world of design, feel free to sign up and start collaborating with this creative community.
8. Design Swan: This site is a complete curation of inspirational articles and posts, as well as technology, graphics, and design resources. In addition to offering inspirational posts, Design Swan highlights graphic design and web design freebies available to help designers get their work done faster.
Some of the inspirational posts you’ll see:
- Art & Design: You’ll find some of the coolest art and design related posts on design swan like: Life is Adventure:Imaginative Life of Kittens and Puppies, Fashion in Leaves: Clever Fashion Illustration Using Leaves as Dresses, and Top of the Line: Colorful Tape Strips Portrait by No Curves.
- Photography: Inspirational photography motivates people to change their lives and helps inspire people to become more creative. Here are some of the inspiring photography collections you’ll see on Design Swan: Second Skins: Unusual Photo Series of Dressed Up Animals, Spectacular Photos of Fly Geyser, and 19 Incredibly Cute Photos of Mini Pig.
9. Design Boom: This online magazine features the latest news when it comes to design, inspiration, and architecture. You’ll see the latest when it comes to art, and you can even participate in competitions, read the latest design-related interviews, and more.
- Get Your Daily Dose of Design: Design Boom shows off the coolest art from around the world in articles like these: Miniature Scenes: dream no small dreams at ronchini gallery and Hiroshige fukuhara’s black sculpture and drawing series
- Design News: See the latest international design news and products in articles like: Muller van Severen’s furniture project at london design festival 2013 , Cliveden House Slide, and Till Grosch + Björn Meier ‘s modular furniture system: docks.
10. Abduzeedo: This site curates the best of the best when it comes to design and inspiration. The editors find and showcase only the most exceptional work.
You’ll find information and inspiration like:
- Interviews to Help You Learn: Interviews with top designers of the world on where they find inspiration and become successful, like – Interview with Kutan Ural, Interview with Tobias Hall, and Interview with Raphael Vicenzi aka. Dead Pony.
- Inspirational Posts: You’ll discover some of the most interesting posts like – Mind Blowing Playlist Project by Robba Saldana, Creative UI Design by Cosmin Capitanu , and ABC poster by Dado Queiroz.
11. Pondly: Pondly is one of my favorite sources for creative inspiration. This site finds and showcases everything from interesting illustrations to cool web design artwork. The editors of this site find and showcase the best and most creative visual artists from around the globe in one place. I could easily spend hours looking through the new artists’ work featured daily on this site.
12. COLOURlovers: COLOURlovers is the ultimate in color inspiration for all avenues of design. You’ll find tools to help you create color palettes, you’ll be able to browse through color combinations created by others, and so much more.
- Palettes: Browse unique colors palettes on COLOURlovers and even create your own.
- Patterns: Need to find an inspiring pattern for your creative project? Browse through a variety of patterns and create your own using a multitude of color palettes.
- Discover Tools for Creativity: COLOURlovers can also be a great piece of inspiration for your projects. Here, are some great articles to help you fully reach your creative potential: Watercolor Photoshop Tutorials, Colorful Watercolor Birds, and Colorful Backgrounds and Wallpapers.