A commonly held misconception about graphic designers is that their creativity is innate; that they are able to generate innovative and unique design ideas without any outside inspiration. However, in reality, graphic designers must seek inspiration from a variety of sources to nourish their creativity and to aid the development of new design. Inspiration may come from anywhere; a trip to the department store can inspire a color palette, a glimpse out the window can inspire a brand’s logo, or a child’s handwritten letter can inspire a new style of typography.
Graphic designers can find inspiration anywhere but there is a growing collection of websites dedicated to design inspiration. These are ideal sites to visit often to feel inspired, learn about other designers’ work, or to share your own design ideas and inspiration.
Some of our favorite sites include:
- Yay! Everyday This inspiration site is strikingly simple and is focused on sharing unique photographs, illustrations, and other images that may inspire a visitor to the site. It is not dedicated to a single type of design but instead to seemingly random images that may inspire a designer to think differently, approach a project from a new angle, or redefine perspective.
- The Dieline Committed to sharing unique an innovative package design, this site is the most frequently visited packaging design blog worldwide. It features complete packaging kits and shows the interaction of various packaging pieces, compares new and redesigned packaging, and highlights design professionals that work specifically in packaging design.
- Friends of Type The four main contributors to this site post new content to the site every day as a way to share typography they love and to inspire other designers. At the conclusion of each month a guest designer with a unique perspective or with a portfolio that will elevate the work of he Friends of Type site is featured.
- Logo Design Love One constant in the graphic design world is that every product, brand, organization, and institution will forever need a logo. Graphic designers are responsible for both the creation of new logos and the redesign and rebranding of existing logos. This blog highlights the design process behind both.
- Share Some Candy Husband and wife Reuben and Yael Miller maintain this design inspiration site that has something for everything. Contributors share inspiration in a variety of mediums including architecture, furniture, graffiti, logos, objects, sculpture, and illustration. All of the design subgroups work seamlessly together to provide visitors with a wide variety of possible inspiration.
- Aisle One Although each graphic designer certainly has his own style it is also important to be versed in alternate design styles to meet client requests and to expand a portfolio. Aisle One is a design inspiration site dedicated to minimalism and modernism. It also has an emphasis on grid systems and typography and how this interaction within a design can impact the overall look.
- Book Cover Archive Every book that has ever been published has a cover that was carefully designed to reflect the content and character of the book. It’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover but it is important to realize the significant potential the cover has to promote the book. This site is a collection of book covers that you are able to search by publisher, genre, publication date, title, or author.
- Designpiration As you gather online sources of inspiration you’ll likely need a way to organize and inventory them for future use. Designpiration is an invitation based site that allows designers to view what inspires them. Once your portfolio is accepted you’ll have complete control to organize your saved inspirations, search tags and keywords, and filter design by colors. You’ll also have the ability to share your inspiration and view what inspires others.