11 Design Inspiration Sites To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Posted in: Innovation
There’s nothing worse than feeling uninspired. We’ve all hit that wall where even all of coffee in the world can’t give us the creative energy we need to get our brain moving.
Lucky for us, there is an endless supply of design inspiration on the World Wide Web that can reignite that creative spark. Over the years, we’ve searched far and wide for inspiration and found that many sources can be, well...uninspiring. That’s why I sat down with Hello Innovation’s Art Director, Ignacio Giri, to round up our team’s favorite resources to spark creativity. Without further ado, we present to you eleven of our favorite design inspiration websites.
Dribbble is a community of designers who use the site to answer the question, “What are you working on?” Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, typographers, and other creative types post their in-progress work to get feedback and put their unique creative process on display. Our own design team keeps up with Dribble in order to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in web design and check out what the most influential designers in the world are doing. (Nothing is more inspirational than seeing artists at work.)
“I started using Dribble when the website first began. It’s ‘exclusivity’ made it a place of desire,” Giri told us. “Although, once you are a player, you must decide whether you really play or you are just a fan.”
Also, if you want to get a sneak peek of things to come here at Hello Innovation—not to mention keep up with the bad ass designs of our super talented crew—be sure to check out Hello Innovation’s Dribbble page.
“Behance is the biggest design portfolio on the Internet. And its curation makes it even better,” Giri said. Think of Behance as a library of designers. The creative site hosts complete design portfolios for tens of millions of creative professionals, artists and admirers to sift through, all in one place. Behance provides a chance for great work that might not usually gain exposure to gather fans from across the globe. It’s empowering to glance through the complete works of artists and turn to a portfolio of your own.
The Webby Awards honor the best in design, innovation, writing, videos, and just about anything else you can think of that’s on the web. They have narrowed down creative inspiration to the best of the best on a website that is in and of itself extremely visually pleasing.
“If you want to be the best, learn from the best,” Giri said while referencing the Webby Awards. He should know a thing or two about the Webbys from the inside; the website he created alongside the rest of our Hello Innovation design team was recently an honoree for Best Visual Design- Aesthetic.
One of the coolest things about Designspiration’s search tool is that you can not only search for keywords or design motifs, but also colors. Having a purple kind of day? Just click on the shade and hundreds of purple centric designs will gather to get your minds violet-colored synapses firing. Designs come in the form of logos, typography, photography, tattoos and more to match the medium of whatever project you’re seeking inspiration for.
Those who think Pinterest is just for wedding planning and cute cupcakes need to think again. Our Art Director calls Pinterest a “cloud of collective inspiration” and it’s true - the site can serve as an inspiration board for everything from technology to design to networking events and more. (Follow Hello Innovation on Pinterest for regular Pins on each of these topics!)
Think of it as the digital version of the inside of your locker. Fill it with whatever personally inspires you the most (and if that includes a recipe for cupcakes that look like mini hamburgers, so be it). The one trick to Pinterest is having enough self-control to pull yourself out of the endless loop of amazing photos and tutorials once you finally find inspiration. “Once you get way deep into Pinterest, you can’t get out,” Giri admitted.
Site Inspire gathers all the most eye-catching and resourceful sites for designers in one place. Anyone can submit their site for consideration, but the featured collection is carefully curated to ensure a viewing experience that is clean, simple and creative.
“SiteInspire is well known for always featuring a series of really clean design websites,” Giri said. “With its particular style and smart filters by style, type or subject, it’s always very handy to take a look at when you need inspiration.” Magazines, shopping sites, design blogs, corporate sites and more are featured in one place, offering a range of examples in which great design can make all the difference.
Awwwards is like if the Webbys happened every day, or the Oscars for the web. “This site's famous for featuring and recognizing the best websites in the world,” Giri told us. “It’s the FWA [Favorite Website Awards] from way back when all of the coolest, hottest websites were only made in Flash. Not anymore, baby!”
A different site is featured each day to highlight the talents of web designers and developers, along with monthly and yearly awards given to honor websites that are useful, innovative, intuitive and beautiful. Click through to see what has been narrowed down as the best of the best. Remember that your opinion matters, too; you can cast your vote for a handful of categories on any given day to have a part in the design
“Baubauhaus is my place to find inspiration outside of the trends,” Giri told us. This one of a kind website is a great place for daily inspiration in design, illustration, fashion, photography, and anything else art-related you could think of. But don’t expect to see the same design trend over and over again. This website only features the most unique and out-of-the-box creations in the design world. Their motto says it all: “Don’t be sure you’ll be featured on our wall. What is cool for you could be uncool for us.”
“Go to Baubauhaus and let it blow your mind. Baubauhaus gives you wings,” Giri said.
Another source for creative mood boards, Niice only lets you choose from its finely curated collection of beautiful, inspirational images. With a simple drag and drop interface, it’s easier than cutting and pasting from your favorite magazines, but the results are just as effective for igniting a creative spark. “Nice.co is a daily tool to keep up with the design world and it’s current trends while they are happening,” Giri said.
It’s Nice That is the online presence of the quarterly print publication Printed Pages, and in tandem they both encourage creativity in the design world, whether on a glossy page or a computer screen. “When it comes to inspiration, curation is the key,” Giri said. The site updates daily with articles about design innovators, new works on the scene, and insightful pieces on the state of design today. “With a beautiful design and unique taste, the site is definitely worth visiting once a week.”
Design Made In Germany (DMIG) is one of the leading non-profit design platforms for creative and web professionals in Germany. “Germans, Germans, Germans… they do everything much better,” Giri admitted. “What they like, I like. What they do, I like.” DMIG is especially useful for finding inspiration across every design discipline and seeing it all in one beautifully curated site.
What are your favorite sites for design and creative inspiration? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below. Also be sure to follow our ‘Design Porn’ board on Pinterest for even more visual inspiration!