No matter how brilliant or successful you are as a designer, everyone has those days – you're stuck in a rut, hitting dead ends, feeling like everything you create looks like something else you've already done, or it's just not quite right. We all need a little inspiration-on-demand from time to time. Fortunately, there are plenty of design and creativity resources on the interwebs to spark ideas and keep you moving forward toward the cutting edge. Check out some of our favorites.
While Creative Market is known as a retailer of graphic and font products, its blog is a great all-around resource for designers with tutorials, inspiration blogs, trends, and round-ups of some of the newest design products available for use. Their tutorials can help you learn new design skills to implement in your work, such as how to retouch photos in Photoshop or how to create a timeline graphic, and it's absolutely free. They also release regular trend reports, keeping you up-to-date on the latest happenings in design.
Brought to you from what might be the design world's leading authority, Adobe 99U is a resource, particularly for design professionals – people navigating their design careers. Less about inspiring specific design projects, this blog provides higher-level inspiration – think tactics for moving past creative obstacles, tips for better brainstorming, how to market yourself, or how to find collaborative partners. Adobe is 99U is a great everyday read for those interested in advancing themselves in their design career.
A British magazine-turned-website, the Creative Review is the broadest inspiration resource on this list. It highlights all types of art and creativity, from branding to photography, from television and film to poster design. Articles range from design how-tos to profiles of up-and-coming artists and business owners. With content that caters to readers in more than 120 countries, designers can pull international inspiration from across mediums by adding Creative Review to their regular reading list.
Dribbble is essentially Pinterest without the vegan recipes and DIY bachelorette party decorations. It's a database where thousands of designers showcase their work in what they call "shots," which can be saved and shared to create your own inspiration collection. It also acts as a social media platform, where you can comment on other people's designs, follow designers you like, and connect with other people whose work inspires you. This is a super quick and easy tool for spurring graphic design creativity.
If you're working on any kind of product packaging, Dieline is the place to start for ideas and inspiration. With curated lists of top packaging designs each month and stories behind trends in various product markets, you're sure to find something worth looking at on Dieline. Be warned; if you're a real design nerd, it's easy to get sucked in on this website. Tread lightly! Dieline is also big on advocating toward more sustainable packaging solutions, so it's a great source if you're working for a company that holds those same values.
Everyone needs that extra bit of inspiration when ideating that new design that they're working on. Whether you are at the idealistic end of digital art for art's sake, or developing a new ad campaign for that top tier client, digesting good design is what helps you discover what ideas connect toward your own project. Some of the other honorable mentions are places like Behance, Luezer's Archive, Huge, and Design Milk. Check them out before you start your next project. And, if you feel like you need some agency-level oomph to your next brand or campaign project, contact us here at PRIME to see how we may be able to help.
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