This article will provide the always needed inspiration for web designers. As we are always hungry for some great designs to inspire us at our own work. So look at the table of contents and scroll to your interest.
Table of Contents:
- What Are Web Designers Best Sources For Web Design Inspiration?
- 20+ Absolutely The Greatest Sites to Gain Inspiration and Resilience
- Feeling Uninspired?: 6 Best Ways To Find Inspiration
- 7 Best deviantART Alternatives for Web Designers to Showcase their Skills and Inspire Others
What Are Web Designers Best Sources For Web Design Inspiration?
#EspressoMonday Episode Nr.14
If web design inspiration is as easy as drinking a cup of coffee or you can easily find inspiration in a cup of coffee, then a web designer’s life is a breeze. However, like their art and all the codes that go with it, there are times when inspiration seems hard to come by. So where do you get inspiration as a web designer?
Well, you still need your shot of espresso and dive into this dilemma with us for this #EspressoMonday episode. Who knows? Coffee might just be what you really need…and this video, of course.
Artists, no matter what medium they specialize in, need inspiration. These two always go together and an artist who doesn’t need inspiration isn’t an artist at all.
Inspiration plays a very vital role for an artist in order to create his or her masterpiece. The inspiration might come from an experience, an object, or a person, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it spurs the artist to go on making something complicated look easy and simple.
Unfortunately, inspiration can’ t be found on trees. With the exception of Newton, of course, who was inspired what made the apple fell on the ground, thus discovering gravity.
The process is also not as simple as squeezing the juice from coffee beans and producing a little cupful of aromatic espresso. Inspiration, for web designers, are simply complicated. Or is it?
You Don’t Need to Squeeze the Juice
Inspiration can be quite tricky for a web designer because what works for you won’t most probably work for me and vice versa. At least, that’s what web designers often think. However, Austin Kleon, an artist and New York Times bestselling author, thinks differently. In his book, Steal Like an Artist, he said that “all creative work is iterative, no idea is original and all creators and their output are a sum of inspirations and heroes.”
So in this #EspressoMonday episode, we present you some great websites where you can draw not only inspiration from, but get a lot of ideas from for your next top design .
1. Site Inspire
10. Admire the Web
11. CSS Winner
12. Unmatched Style
13. Style Boost
15. Design Fridge
16. CSS DSGN
17. One Page Love
19. The Best Designs
20. Web Creme
Hope you are able to find these websites a source of inspiration that will spur you to create websites that not only please the eye, but also meet the needs of your clients.
Lets take on some more sites where you can find some inspiration and just for web design, but also for other directions of design.
20+ Absolutely The Greatest Sites to Gain Inspiration and Resilience
Good inspiration stands under every great innovation and success. People need to gain good inspiration form time to time. Sometimes we just want to nestle in blanket with a cup of tea and regale our eyes. That can repress depression and it livens us up.
In this section you will find lot of small, cosy blogs with awesome inspiration in every of them. Photography, digital art, package design, traditional art and simply things that makes us smile. This post ain’t about quantity and I hope you’ll find your special inspiration source for cheerless moments.
How can you write about digital art inspiration and not mention Deviantart? As a community destination, deviantART is a platform that allows emerging and established artists to exhibit, promote, and share their works within a peer community dedicated to the arts. The site’s vibrant social network environment receives over 100,000 daily uploads of original art works ranging from traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, to digital art, pixel art, films and anime.
With Behance you can showcase your work on the world’s leading platform for creative professionals, and gain exposure to millions. You can build your portfolio, gain exposure and get hired by top companies. You’ll find some of the best artworks around the web on Behance.
Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. One of the goals of Abduzeedo is to be an open channel to the design community, encouraging feedback. The Daily Inspiration is a proof of that, everybody can send images that inspired them so we can share with the community.
The Design Inspiration is created by a group of designers who are seeking various design inspiration every day.To make every designer’s life easier, they decided to feature the best logos, illustrations, websites, photos and patterns from the most talented designers from all around the world.
Inspire me, now is a little inspiration blog created by Szymon Blaszczyk. You’ll find some great inspiration there daily. Make sure to check it out once a while.
6. Drawn Blog
The Drawn Blog is your daily source of inspiration for illustration, animation, cartooning, and comic art.
Noquedanblogs is a project of Sabino Aguad from Santiago, Chile. Another small and lovely blog to visit when you are villing to find some inspiration.
Dribbble is show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives. Share sneak peeks of your work as “shots” — small screenshots of the designs and applications you’re working on.
Ffffound! is a web service that not only allows the users to post and share their favorite images found on the web, but also dynamically recommends each user’s tastes and interests for an inspirational image-bookmarking experience.
10. Yay Everyday
Yay!Everyday is an endless wall of awesome art. It’s always joy to visit the site and just scroll and check out those fantastic artworks.
Creative Ad Awards is one of the best advertising archive, serving all the advertising fan and others who need it. This site keeps providing you with the world’s most creative and sophisticated ads.
Designflavr is in simplest terms a Design and Visual Art Gallery. They aim to deliver the highest level of content on a daily basis so that you can continue to keep the creative juices flowing. They scoure the darkest corners of the internet for new and refreshing artistic talent, and share these with you, the reader.
1x is a photo community with a difference. Take the work of the most talented photobloggers, various famous photographers, and many serious amateurs, select their best work and collect it all in one place – that is 1x. Everyone is welcome to contribute, but every photo is screened, which means it has to be approved by an editor (screener) before being published. 1x is a photo gallery with a constantly evolving exhibition. We publish dozens of new images every day.
Design You Trust is a hourly-updated design blog and community, full of new design trends, news and events, great design portfolios, young design bloods, design articles, photographies, fashion, creative advertisements, architectural inspirations, video design and hand-picked design stuff from all over the globe.
15. Stationery Style
Stationery Style is very user-friendly showcase gallery in which you’ll find some quality content. Stationery Style will always have more of what you want to see and less of what you don’t want to see.
16. The Dieline
Established in early 2007, The Dieline is dedicated to the progress of the package design industry and its practitioners, students and enthusiasts. Its purpose is to define and promote the world’s best packaging design, and provide a place where the package design community can review, critique and stay informed of the latest industry trends and design projects being created in the field.
Creattica is a gallery of great design and inspirational imagery. Anyone can submit their work for consideration and voting on items is open to one and all. The best work is accepted and featured in the gallery which receives thousands of visitors every day.
18. My Modern Met
My Modern Met is a community of intelligent people who want to be in the know. They’re a destination that serves as an indispensable source of information for not only what’s cool but what’s relevant. My Modern Met was created with one goal in mind – to give people an engaging, entertaining and interactive experience.
Coolvibe is a site dedicated to showcasing the best and most inspirational digital art from around the web — be it science fiction, fantasy, retro, 3D, illustrations, vector art, and virtually everything else.
Graphic-Exchange is an alternative to the “links only” web site, showing you the a selection of work directly on this site.
In the next section we will talk about ways to find inspiration. We have shared a big list to find it, but what if that’s not enough? Keep reading and find out what to do.
Feeling Uninspired?: 6 Best Ways To Find Inspiration
Creating a list, writing a tutorial, discussing things, designing a logo, painting, or sculpting, no matter what form of art you wish to create it is, often, difficult to begin. Writers and designers may sit for several hours waiting for inspiration to kick in but unfortunately it does not come. Fortunately we are built to continue on learning, inherently we are beings capable of finding our own ways to survive in the trade we are into.
Below are easy steps that you can do to find or boost your morale towards anything you wish to do in life. Easy, yet takes courage to deal with; mind you that what is to follow are things of longterm effect. Get out of your comfort zone and start finding out where that shy inspiration went to.
What Every Writer and Designer Fear
Great talent is common but great inspiration is not. There comes a time when you just can’t seem to figure out what to do next, you know you have to do something but what? Contrary to popular belief it is not that your mind is “empty” of things to think of but full of unnecessary thoughts. Ironically you can’t force these unnecessary thoughts out, they can only be dealt with calmness and..the tips below.
Where to Find Inspiration
Inspiration is everywhere, except inside your room. Go out once in a while and breathe fresh air, see new faces, marvel at the sight of a building, go to the shopping mall, or find a place where you can be alone and contemplate (no, your room is not included).
1. Cultivate Your Imagination
Let your imagination run wild, do not suppress the things that enter your mind. Remember when you were still a child you say things that may sound stupid, you doodle on your note, sing a lyric-less song, and believe you have super powers? Your mind is a private thing, do not be ashamed to imagine yourself flying and shooting laser beams using your eyes. This refreshes the mind and gives enough avenue to be inspired by the simple, and foolish, things you may think of. Do not be intimidated by contradictions. Interpret bizarre stuffs through your words or designs, let it flow naturally.
2. Be Guided by Nature
Art is an attempt to mimic nature’s beauty, but we can only get as closer as we want and never achieve perfection. As such, look into nature’s wealth and be inspired by how magnificently the mountains are carved, how poetic a hundred year old tree stands, in every stream flowing with life, and many things both cold and warm. There is a magic in nature that is hard to define, right?
3. Weekend (Window) Shopping
T-shirt designs, the mall’s floor, the way people talk, signages, and anything that may seem new to the eye will give a jolt to the Inspiration part of your brain. Although a lot of people around you entails incessant buzzing, for sure it will help. Don’t let yourself suffer from staying inside your home two straight weeks, you are killing both your social life and things that may inspire you.
4. Learn to Share
George Bernard Shaw said “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” You can merge two related ideas to form a new, and better, idea.
Share online and offline. Call your friends and talk about things, share your experiences and hear theirs. Aren’t you inspired yet to share?
5. Solitude Bears Fruit
Be in a place where you can be alone to think of nothing at all and relax your mind. As opposed to finding inspiration, offer your self a break and just sit still or walk slowly. Consider your mind as a celebrity who, once in a while, needs to retreat from his legion of fans just to relax and think of nothing.
6. Try New Things
Doing the same things over and over again will make you proficient with them, but change is little with it, you are then limiting your self to what is only at hand. Thus, new ideas and the drive to go on and give your best shot dies out with your unchanging life. As time moves forward, so should your learning be.
Try seeking places you’ve never been to and experience things you’ve seen only on the television. Sing with friends in a KTV even if you’re not good at it, dance, eat at a newly opened restaurant, challenge a chess grandmaster to a duel and feel despair, go to the park and play with kids, feed the birds, and feed your life with things out of your daily routine. I find playing RPG video games dramatically increase not only my vocabulary, but ideas to fuse with my work too. I was once a ninja and I decided to try writing, and I liked it.
Try many things and find what fits you and from there on you venture. Always seek higher mountains for a brand new perspective of the world at large.
Extra: Bring a Notebook or a Sketchpad
Bring a small notebook or a sketchpad to jot down your thoughts wherever you are. Funny thing is you can’t write or sketch while showering which, ironically, is the time when all great ideas pop inside your head. And by the time you’ve wiped your hands dry and get to your computer or note, great ideas are already miles away, erased suddenly by a mysterious force. Who disagrees?
Feel free to share your ways of finding inspiration. Best of luck!
Now that you know what to do, when the inspiration hides. Maybe you want to show off your skills and inspire someone else. That’s why we have gathered a list of websites where you can do just that and maybe even get your next gig. Some of these websites were also mentioned above.
7 Best deviantART Alternatives for Web Designers to Showcase their Skills and Inspire Others
There can be many reasons to stick to deviantART (dA) — the biggest art community and a basic step for a design newcomer. At the same time none of these reasons should prevent you from participating in other professional networks and showcasing your skills.
Founded twelve years ago, today deviantART has the widest art-loving audience. However, lately there is an opinion that deviantART is overcrowded with work which can only be called “art” by a long stretch of imagination. So many men, so many censures! Anyway, like it or not, dA is a wonderful art community, but at the same time, it helps to be part of other art networks as well.
Today, we will take a look at seven major art communities and deviantART alternatives for aspiring designers and creative artists.
Unlike deviantART, Behance is built for those who work with art professionally, doing it for a living or as a very serious hobby. Due to the strict rules and high standards, Behance tends to be an upper-level professional network.
The website looks intuitive and well-organized: works are divided into groups, categories, and even countries. You can circle your friends or teammates according to the interests, professional level or the project you are working on together. If you are looking for a standout feature here, take a look at the job board and interaction system. On Behance, artists get a consistent portfolio system to show the workflow and project progress in steps. Although a large number of famous names may scare the beginners, Behance is probably the only place where you can share your experience and knowledge with artists and designers and get professional feedback.
- Categories: Web and interface design, typography, typeface, graphics, industrial and interaction design, etc.
- Job board: Yes, very active.
- Pro account: Not exactly. Behance ProSite for publishing portfolio websites starts from $11/month.
First things first. Dribbble is a “by invitation only” website and stays one of those private networks that every designer is proud to be a part of. Users get 24 free shots each month to showcase their skills and get spotted. Frankly, Dribbble is all about “shots” and “rebounds”. Shots are small (400×300 pixels JPEG, GIF or PNG) sneak peaks of your work or even a piece of it. Rebounding is a good way to reply with a shot or post a series of your sneak peaks tied with a certain idea.
The invite system has also ensured that the quality of works remains intact. Drafting a newcomer is sort of a responsibility, after all.
- Categories: UI Design, Web Design, Script, Typography, iOS apps design, 3D Designs, etc.
- Job board: Yes.
- Pro account: Yes, $20 per year. Better search for scouts, PRO badge for members, additional projects, attachments and stats.
Private communities always cause a lot of rumors, but I should admit: Forrst beats them all. It is an invite-only community but if you are a member of GitHub, you have a right to login without asking for an invitation. On the whole, Forrst is all about sharing four categories: questions, snaps, code and links. It may look a bit similar to Dribbble, but it focuses on web developers too.
The editorial team has launched an amazing podcast covering design-centric topics and tutorials, which can be downloaded on iTunes. Being a closed network, Forrst makes its members keep up with the high level of work and invites only those who meet the requirements. Another strict measure is flagging offensive posts, so the community content is always clean and relevant.
- Categories: Icons, software, web interface, user interface.
- Job board: Yes.
- Pro accounts: Yes, called “supported accounts” and cost $5 per month. Provides stats and custom domains, unlimited attachment and more.
Designmoo.com is an open designers’ network aimed to provide its members with objective feedback and the opportunity to get their projects done. With its rich base of free stuff (fonts, brushes, illustrations, icons and other items) and active interaction system, Designmoo is a fast-developing network with one of the largest worldwide communities.
Each work can deserve a “like”, comment and feedback with suggestions. There is also a marketplace for pro members interested in selling their items via Designmoo or a third-party website. The community is vividly using all possible ways to promote free and quality stuff. A very popular one is so-called “Sponsored Freebies” featuring sources of peak traffic on a page branded with a company’s logo.
- Categories: UI elements, email newsletter layouts, fonts, graphics, etc.
- Job board: No, but there’s a marketplace for buying/selling quality design-centric products.
- Pro account: Starts from $9/month, gives you Dropbox synchronization, externally-hosted resources sharing and widescreen preview images uploading.
Designshack is a user-friendly all-in-one solution for designers to submit their work, get feedback and make use of regular design-centric news and articles. The website is extremely easy to use; there are three main categories in the gallery: web design, branding, logos and interface design.
Being a part of DesignShack will get you an exclusive WordPress theme “Marketed” for free, while its usual price is $30. Your work can also get featured in a promotional article prepared by the editorial team for $49 only. Thus each member gets an opportunity to get spotted and receive objective critique for his pieces of art.
- Categories: Web design, interface design, branding and logos.
- Job board: No.
- Pro account: No, but promotional opportunities for $49.
Let’s move to more focused communities. Patterntap was created four years ago as a “living classroom, where designers learn what is working well on the Web and why”; its members are mostly interested in UI design and patterns. There is a quick Twitter sign up and as a network participant, you can leave your comments below each item. If you are looking for inspiration or improving your design literacy, Patterntap is the right place to go!
- Categories: Typography, texture, subtitle, colorscheme, slidebars, subnavigation and many others.
- Job board: No.
- Pro account: No.
Typophile is another focused community — this time for typography enthusiasts. If you are fond of typographic art, want to get experience, meet like-minded people and are ready for standing some criticism, you’ll find everything here. The network itself is a huge forum tree, where fonts and typefaces, associated software, tips and tricks are discussed. Holding tons of pieces of creativity, this website has never had paid accounts and is supported by Punchcut.com — a design consulting company from San Francisco.
- Categories: Bitmap Display / Script, Typography / Composition, etc.
- Job board: No.
- Pro accounts: No.
Is that all?
Of course not! You can also make use of the following websites:
Now that you’ve seen the most popular alternatives to dA, which one do you find the most attractive? Let us know whether you’re going to stay with dA community or explore something else. Share your thoughts or help us to expand the list!