Writers’ Block. Everyone gets it whether they’re a writer or not. Its that part of your process where you hit a brick wall and your brain cannot process any new thoughts. I tend to get this when I’ve been staring at a design or wireframes for a few hours and my eyes start crossing. It usually hits in the afternoon, and sometimes just getting up to get a snack or glass of water remedies my predicament, but other times its a bit more serious.
All I need is some serious inspiration… and with the internet at my fingertips, its not hard to find some.
Designers (and non-designers!) can be influenced by so much. Everything in the world can somehow be interpreted into something creatively plausible by anyone with the ability to see. Color, light, movement, and shapes are everywhere, its impossible not to notice.
Here are some blogs and websites that I immediately go to to gain some creative input.
I always go here, even when I’m not stuck, just to check out the new stuff they’re doing. There are constantly new write-ups and demos with all the fancy new trends. I tend to do keyword searches like, typography or design and browse multiple articles within one theme to get in a certain mindset. Originally shown to me by Jeff Chew, I quickly became enamored with this group for their vast skill-set and wide arrange of knowledge across design, the web and usability.
I love coming to this site to clear my design hang-ups. This group of illustrators, designers, writers, photographers and thinkers compile a wonderfully simple, continuously scrolling blog. I find that their design aesthetics reference a lot of vintage and traditional graphic design, which is, appropriately, very graphic. The bold use of color with minimalist type is seen often, along with nostalgic photography and tons of patterns. This blog always brings me back to the basics and reminds me why I love to create.
ffffound is a great site that just has tons of images. What I love doing is scanning through until I see something that catches my eye, and then losing myself in an infinite cycle of clicking related images. There’s a lot of content on here, but with proper determination, you can find tons of inspirational posters, illustrations, designs and photos.
Clearly, the name is referencing ffffound, but this is a blog created by one guy who has a love for all things menswear, women and sleek design. Warning: There are nude images intermingled amongst so most definitely NSFW. He only posts occasionally but he posts so much its fairly easy to lose track of time scrolling through. This brings out the minimalist in me… his taste and aesthetic are beautifully simple.
Christopher David Ryan is a designer that I keep coming back to. He is incredibly talented with iconography and imagery. He invokes so much thought and feeling through his charismatically simple and joyful images. I usually keep up with his blog, but its always refreshing to just go back and look at his portfolio. A lot of his designs end up being my desktop!
Design Sponge is one of the most renowned design blogs out there, for good reason. Mostly directed towards interior design and decorating, Grace Bonney overflows her blog with tons of design-driven posts that are sure to inspire anybody. She has a ton of different writers from all walks of the earth that keep the content fresh and ever-changing. The DIY and Before-and-After posts are huge for getting you motivated to use your hands and get those creative juices flowing.
This is an invite only site, but once you’re in, it is incredibly addicting. You follow people who like the same kind of things you do, and the homepage pushes other users that are similar to you as well. This is honestly just a huge burst of inspiration… you can search any kind of keyword and just pour over images upon images.
Forrst is also an invite only site, but specifically for designers and developers. It is a social network directed towards those who design sites and those who code sites. They encourage critique, feedback and sharing your knowledge with others who ask. I spend a lot of time checking out other people’s designs and reading all the feedback to keep up with what audiences are seeing and feeling. Its like a virtual classroom, and its very rewarding for users who are active in the community.
At this point, I’ve probably lost you to at least one of the above websites, but I hope that if any readers are ever in a pickle, they can find solace and get revived from one of my suggestions.
Would love to hear other people’s suggestions for sites that spur creative thinking, so please share in the comments!