A good way to approach design is through research, as in, understanding your current project and finding inspiration. This process should happen before even lifting a pencil, but without the proper resources you could find yourself at a stand-still before you have even started! Here’s a few favorite sites I’ve collected over time, not including the ever useful Pinterest and its ability to create boards for nearly any type of collection. (I’ll admit I’m a bit biased when it comes to Pinterest, BUT I’ll look past it and present to you my top ten list, in no specific order, of inspirational websites!)
This website focuses more on interior design and tangible products, but inspiration can come from anywhere. They have a minimal black and white aesthetic and a two-column spread to display their posts that are easy on the eyes, and the infinite scrolling keeps the content coming.
From Up North has lots of categories to choose from to get you straight to where you want to go. Their posts include everything and anything that can fall under the broad spectrum of what is considered “art”.
What started as a simple blog of linked images and personal photographs that the owner deemed good design, has now grown into one of the largest package and branding design inspiration sites today. They’ve now published books, created competitions that are great for resume building, and host informational conferences.
I found a link to this site inside an article I was reading; the text before it simply stated that you would not regret subscribing to their newsletter. I hardly ever subscribe to anything, but I was drawn to the concept of the site, “Curated Stories for Designers”. Ever since then, I may get just a little too excited receiving my daily email from them. The articles are enticing and include information like developing both web and print skills, UX and UI designs, newly released technology, and a few silly articles here and there.
A nicely spaced grid to display each image, giving you a chance to focus on each one individually. Along with a search option, they allow you to select a COLOR to filter out images, and also mentions that it’s nude-free, so there’s no worries of “artsy nudes” popping up on your screen as you’re browsing at work.
Just as the name states, it’s another clean grid with infinite scrolling and constant visual feedback. The site is easy to navigate and contains a large dropdown with specific categories for all types of design research.
Colossal is a quirky blog, once nominated for a Webby Award. The best way to summarize it is this quote from their About Page- “Colossal is also a great place to learn about the intersection of art and science as well as the beauty of the natural world.”
A beautifully clean site that focuses heavily on its carefully curated package designs. If this is what your project is about, don’t hesitate to give it a visit! (I’m a sucker for beverage packaging). They also have a sister site called Lovely Stationary.
Creative Bloq is a fantastic content heavy site that offers a lot of resources like tutorials, news, videos, and deals, including a few freebies.
I’m a big fan of the tight grid where everything fits into place perfectly. Searching simple words brings up relevant and surprisingly helpful irrelevant images you didn’t think you needed to see. And just like Pinterest, you can sign up for free and create (up to five) moodboards to contain images you find in Niice.
I hope you find this list helpful, and inspiring for your current and future projects. If you have different sites that you adore and find quirky/inspiring in the design world send them our way!