Are you needing a hit of creative inspiration? Inundated with different websites and no idea where to start? What are some good staple websites to keep in your back pocket for when you need quick ideas for fresh branding?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about 14 sources of inspiration to keep you creatively inspired.
In This Podcast
- Grain Edit
- The Design Blog
- From Up North
- Links to Inspire
- Design taxi
- The Real World
Dribbble is an online community geared towards designers to allow them to easily showcase their work. Dribbble uses an invite-only system for designers as a membership system, therefore only a handful of designers get to showcase their work, however, the work that is up is always at a high standard.
Behance is also an online community for designers that acts as an online gallery for their work. Anyone can join Behance, unlike Dribbble, and enables it to have a bigger archive of artwork compared to Dribbble. The large assortment of artwork makes finding specific design inspiration much easier.
Abduzeedo is a design blog filled with inspiration, case studies, tutorials, and much more.
Abduzeedo has a ‘daily inspiration’ category available on their site so ensure that their content is always fresh and exciting, and includes interesting things/finds/work to spark inspiration.
Awwwards is a professional web design and development competition site. It is a search tool that allows you to specifically filter for the exact version of the design that you are after. Since it is also an award site, you can see the best work from specific categories.
Pinterest is another great site to find design inspiration and craft tutorials. A defining feature about this site is that you can specifically create your own mood boards and ‘pin’ ideas to them that you find inspiring or relating to a project that you are working on, anything in the world.
A great place to discover design, Designinspiration curates, and maintains only high-quality content and it is a great place to be visually stimulated and get the creativity going. This set allows you to properly organize and save things you like and search by topic tags or color.
If you are looking for a little old school inspiration, look no further than Grain Edit. With a focus on classic design work from the 1950s to 1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period, this site is bound to move your nostalgic side.
This started in 2011 as a personal inspiration board for Croatian designer Ena Bacanovic. The young designer carefully curates high-quality work from designers and studios around the world, with a special focus on young designers and students, giving them a platform to showcase their work.
This is an online magazine that curates the creative web to bring you the latest industry news and showcase the most engaging bits of inspiration. It has a brilliantly laid-out feed that highlights design gems from all around the world.
10. Links to Inspire
This site is straightforward, simple, and chock-full of links to inspire. It is minimalist, easy to follow, and keep track of your favorite tags and is therefore especially popular among those of us who enjoy systems and clean aesthetics. You can browse your way through the list, pick your favorite letter, or search by topic tag.
*at the time of publishing this podcast, this site no longer exists.
Design Taxi is a great place to go when you do not know what you want. This site has a bit of everything to satisfy almost any creative hunger. Whether it is innovation, design, social media, or typographic, this blog has advice, news, and how-to’s on a plethora of topics.
You can also sign up to receive their newsletter.
A great way to do some personalized curation for yourself, this Google Chrome extension creates a homepage that is full of possible inspiration. Select a layout that works for you, choose the websites you love to visit and let Panda do the rest.
Instagram is a great source of inspiration for designers and other creatives. Start saving pictures and videos you like to private collections, or simply follow your favorite designers for inspiration.
To allow for the most creative flow, follow authors, meme accounts, bakers, and anyone else who is constantly updating with their work. Take inspiration not just for your projects, but for your work as a whole—for who you want to be and what you want to be working on.
14. The Real World
Other places to find inspiration in the ‘real world’:
– Architecture and interior design
– Board games
– Packaging design
– The natural world
– Illustrated picture books
– Movies and TV
You really can find inspiration everywhere, that’s probably the last thing you wanna hear when you’re not feeling inspired, but that itself can kind of get you inspired, that there really is inspiration to be found everywhere.
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Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
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Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you will discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand your business, visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
High there. Thanks so much for joining me today on the Marketing a Practice podcast. I hope you’re having a good day and week, and I’m so glad that you’re here with me.
So today I wanted to talk about where to find design inspiration. Whether you are handling your design work by yourself, or even if you’re working with a designer, or designers, it can often be difficult to stay inspired, or to even be able to provide your designer with a brief of what you want because you aren’t even sure what you want. So I wanted to provide you with some resources, both online and offline, on where to find design inspiration and how to stay inspired when it comes to the look and feel of your brand. And I came across this quote recently, which says, “Creativity is magical, not magic.” And that’s so true. Us creatives know that you need to kind of tap into that magic. It’s not always around but when you do tap in it, then it’s bound to create something great, something magical.
So we all gather inspiration from different mediums and in different ways. But knowing how to trigger those creative juices is an important part of being a creative. When you can identify what causes your mind to clear, moves you emotionally, or helps your imagination spark, then you know how to work that creative muscle. And this is something that Joe Sanok from Practice of the Practice often speaks about, is slowing down to create that spark. And he often says that it’s times when you are on holiday, or when you’re having some downtime, that you think of your best ideas and that you’re at your most creative. So if that’s something that you need to do, if you need to kind of just step back, go for a walk, spend some time away from your computer, to gain those creative ideas then that’s what you need to do.
So if you’re struggling to get ideas on the type of design you’re after, it can be helpful, as I say, to take a step back from the project for a moment and to look at others’ work for inspiration. Each of the websites that I’ve gained, or that I’m going to share with you today, contain their own unique web design haven, where you can browse casually and let your imagination wander. So something to note when it comes to looking at these sorts of places for inspiration is to not copy other people’s work. So it’s obviously not a license to see something that you like and be, like, cool, and then do the exact same thing. The idea is to get ideas, and then figure out how you’re gonna make it your own.
So here’s a list of some of the places that I found for you to find design inspiration. And again, these will all be included in the show notes, so if you’re on the move, you don’t need to worry about missing anything. The first one is Dribbble. So that’s Dribbble with three B’s. This site is an online community for designers to showcase their artwork. What’s interesting about Dribbble is that it’s invite only. So they make use of an invite only membership system which helps to keep the quality of artwork up. Members are given a handful of invites to freely give out to other designers and this ensures that the artwork on the site is from talented designers, and not someone who can just use Photoshop. So be sure to check out Dribbble. I have yet to receive an invite, but I will let you know when I do.
The second one is Behance. So my portfolio is available on Behance. But this is another community for designers to showcase the artwork and what differentiates Behance from Dribbble is that anyone can join and post on the site. This gives me a bigger archive of artwork compared to Dribbble’s. Obviously there’s more designers’ artwork available, and the large assortment of artwork makes finding specific design inspiration much easier. So be sure to check out Behance as well, if you’re needing some design inspiration. So those are kind of both online communities where designers can showcase their artwork, usually in the form of online portfolios. And it’s a great place to go to get ideas for your own designs.
The third one is abduzeedo. So this is a design blog filled with inspiration, case studies, tutorials, and much more. The site is also equipped with a daily inspiration category, which is pretty cool. So that’s curated daily, and which includes interesting things, finds, and works to spark inspiration. So that’s something that you can look at daily if you’re wanting to get fresh design ideas.
The fourth one is Awwwards. And again, that’s Awwwards with three W’s. So that’s a professional web design and development competition site. So the Awwwards search tool allows you to filter for the exact inspiration you’re looking for. And then because it’s an award site, you can see the best work from specific categories. So that’s also pretty cool.
The fifth one, which you may be more familiar with, is Pinterest. So Pinterest is a great site to find design inspiration and craft tutorials. I’m sure many of you already have your Pinterest boards set up, especially when it comes to things like home improvement, or weddings, or baby showers or any sorts of event, Pinterest is great. You can also use Pinterest to create mood boards. So a mood board is an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc, that are intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. So a mood board is something that a lot of designers make use of when working on a project.
It’s something that I usually include in my brand style guides as well to kind of create a visual representation of what the brand is about. So it’s a nice way to start a creative process because it really gets you in the zone of kind of thinking what you want the creative process to look like, even if you’re not going to end up using some of the images or things that you’ve curated in your mood board, it’s still a great way to kind of get those creative juices flowing. And Pinterest is a great platform to do that.
So you can create a board for a specific project and then add multiple images and links to use for inspiration. It’s also a really nice way to put together a brief for your designer. So you can create a board, you can even share the boards then the designer has access to it, the designer can add things. It’s just a really nice visual way to create that brief.
The sixth one is designinspiration, which is one word. So this is a great place to discover design. Designinspiration curates and maintains only high quality content, and it’s a great place to get visually stimulated. The site also lets you organize and save things you like and search by topic tags or color. So it’s got that nice bit of organization that Pinterest has as well.
The seventh one is grain edit. If you’re looking for a little old school inspiration, then grain edit is for you. With the focus on classic design work from the 1950s to 1970s, and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period, this site is bound to move your nostalgic side. So if that’s you, if that’s kind of the creative style that you’re drawn to, then definitely check out grain edit.
The eighth one is The Design Blog. So this was started in 2011 as a personal inspiration board for Croatian designer Ena Bacanovic, The Design Blog quickly attracted more than one set of eyes. And now the young designer carefully curates high quality work from designers and studios around the world, with a special focus on young designers and students. So that’s a good place to go if you’re looking for fresh content, or maybe styles and designs that are a bit different and aren’t kind of run of the mill stuff.
The ninth one is From Up North. This is an online magazine that curates the creative web to bring you the latest industry news and showcase the most engaging bits of inspiration. It’s epic feed highlights gems from all corners of the creative web and you can narrow down searches to your interests. So with most of these platforms it gives a search option for you to search what you’re looking for. So if you’re looking for inspiration for a social post, or a flyer, or whatever marketing material you’re busy with, you can usually search exactly what you’re looking for and then ideas for that will pop up.
The tenth one is called Links To Inspire. So this site is straightforward, simple, and full of links to inspire. Its minimalistic design, alphabetized list and neatly tagged links make this every organization freak’s dream. So if you are a personality type A, this one’s for you. You can lazily browse your way through the list, pick your favorite letter, or search by topic tag.
The eleventh one is Design Taxi. Design Taxi is a great place to go when you don’t know exactly what you want. This site has a bit of everything to satisfy almost any creative hunger, whether it’s innovation, design, social media, or typographic, this blog has advice, news, and how-to’s on a plethora of topics. And you can also sign up to receive their email newsletter, which gets delivered right to your inbox, which usually contains some of the latest news and design trends, things like that. So that’s something that if you want the trends and style tips to come to you, then you can sign up to receive the newsletter.
The twelfth one is Panda. So this is a great way to do some personalized curation for yourself. Panda is actually a Google Chrome extension which creates a homepage that is full of possible inspiration. So you can select the layout that works for you, choose the websites you love to visit, and let Panda do the rest. So that’s really cool. It’s a really cool custom tool where you can actually create your own kind of inspiration, digital inspiration board. So that’s definitely something to check out.
And the last one on the digital front is Instagram. So Instagram, again, is kind of a custom way to go about finding inspiration because you can choose who to follow. So it’s not… Instagram isn’t just for sharing pictures of your brunch. It’s also a great way to find design inspiration. You can save pictures and videos you like to private collections, or simply follow your favorite designers for inspiration, ie me.
But again, don’t just follow designers. Follow authors, meme accounts, bakers, anyone else who’s constantly updating their work. And then take inspiration, not just for your projects, but for your work as a whole, for who you want to be and what you want to be working on. So Instagram, if done correctly – by that I mean, if you follow the right people, the right accounts – can be a really interesting place and can be a great place to find inspiration.
And then the last one is the real world. Who knew that you can find inspiration outside of websites? I’m just kidding. But some other places to find inspiration for design is in the real world. And this includes fashion, architecture and interior design, photography, packaging design, board games, the natural world, travel, music, crafts, food, illustrated picture books, and movies and television. So this kind of illustrates that you really can find inspiration everywhere. And I know that’s probably the last thing you want to hear when you’re not feeling inspired but that itself can kind of get you inspired, that there really is inspiration to be found everywhere. And I know my husband and I traveled to Portugal last year, and I was just in love with the mosaic tiles there. They are everywhere. Every building is just covered in the most beautiful mosaic tiles with these elaborate patterns and just beautiful colors. And I literally just came back from that trip so inspired creatively and just wanting all of my creative projects to include this mosaic style and these bright colors. But yeah, that’s something that inspired me hugely. And that wasn’t a website, or Instagram. That was through traveling.
So you really can find inspiration everywhere. Just remember that when you are feeling uninspired, try to kind of rewire your brain to focus on everything that’s around you. So I hope this has been helpful to helping you feel more creatively inspired, or at least be able to put together better briefs for your designers. I will catch you in the next episode.
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want to have a print flyer designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
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