We all need inspiration every once in a while, and I have a few favorite sites I'd like to share with all of you. Some of these may be obvious, some may not, but I'm including the obvious ones because I realize a lot of people who read BittBox may be new to design. If you fall into that category, bookmark these sites (a couple of which are in my sidebar). We all get stuck sometimes, and when that happens, I like to stop everything, sit back and surf for inspiration. Or just to try and take in some new ideas.
My 2 Favorites (by far):
These 2 sites are more like a goal to me. Both of these artists are not only cutting edge, but on top of their game and highly-sought-after. I love the style and I find their work inspiring and incredibly eye-pleasing.
A self confessed mac monkey based in a rural miners cottage 20 miles north of Manchester (UK), I create pieces that combine elements from mixed media, photography that are interlaced with complex vectors to create pieces that always hit the brief for clients all around the world.
Radim Malinic, the creative force behind Brand Nu, prides himself on his artistic sensibility. His work has been described as imaginative, sophisticated, sensual and sexy. While his goal is to fulfill the needs of his client, he creates contemporary visions that are a complex montage of layered photographic and colorful elements. His award winning creations could be and have been used in books, magazines, corporate identity, CD?s and DVD?s, posters, and fine art picture collectionslist full of returning custom.
Sometimes I like to search for album art or CD cover art to find inspiration. My preferences align well with a lot of album artwork so I find this type of artwork useful in order to gather ideas to use in things I do. (which doesn't include CD art).
Typically, I use 2 different ways to view album art, the first Being Flickr (I find it to be more accurate). I usually just do a search for Album Cover, and Album Art. I'm always surprised at some of the wicked album covers I've never seen. There is some really interesting stuff to look at in the world of album art. Seriously, why or how else would you get to see these miniature works of art, unless you bought the album, or it was so famous that it reaches iconic status? I think album art is a very untapped source for inspiration.
Second, I sometimes do a Google Image Search for Album Cover to see what I can find. It's way less accurate than Flickr, but lots more results. Also, the site containing the image you click on sometimes has more than one, and maybe even a gallery of covers.
Design Tutorial Blogs
A lot of tutorial blogs often make collections of “good” designs for us to look at for inspiration. Here are some that I've found.
- 50 Beautiful CSS – Based Web Designs in 2006
- 45 Fresh, Clean and Impressive Designs
- 30 Dark Designs you Should've Seen
- 83 Beautiful WordPress Themes You (Probably) Haven't Seen
CSS Design Galleries
I like to browse CSS design galleries, not only to see some excellent CSS in action, but to feast on some cool visuals. These galleries pride themselves on showing you the best of the best as far as CSS goes, but there are tons of unique visual styles to checkout. You can stumble across the perfect button style, creative headers, unique menus/navigation, and lots more. If you are thinking of starting a website or blog and can't decide on a style, this is where you start.
- Unmatched Style
- CSS Beauty
- CSS Mania
- CSS Elite
- CSS Import
- CSS Remix
- CSS Zen Garden
- CSS Drive
- CSS Vault
- CSS Tux
- CSS Brain
- CSS Design – Yorkshire
Along with all of the cool designs above, I sometimes like to browse the different Themes available for bloggers. Some of the good theme designers out there put a lot of effort into their work, and you can often get inspired just by looking at the themes. There are lots of creative designs and lots of creative elements within those designs. I use WordPress, and it has a huge theme directory with lots of filters for easy viewing:
I know, istock isn't normally thought of as an inspiration site, but every time I go there, my mind floods with ideas. Just do a search for something you're interested in (like Swirls or Vector Grunge), and see what you can find. You don't have to buy anything to get inspiration. You can download the preview and use it as a guide while trying out new things on your own.