If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
— Sir Isaac Newton
We each have personal design aesthetics that influence our design process. Sometimes the reservoir of design ideas runs dry and we don’t know where to take the next step. Thus we turn to our peers, mentors, and famous designers for guidance and graphic design inspiration. The following fifteen design websites can help you when you’re feeling that need for an extra boost of inspiration. Enjoy perusing these graphic design inspiration sites and gather graphic design inspiration and advice from inside a designer’s brain.
Abduzeedo is a collection of visual inspiration and useful tutorials from around the world. Created in December 2006 by Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso and his business partner and friend Fabiano Meneghetti in Brazil, they work together to develop and post what they find important to the global design community.
The Design Observer is a collection of essays, reviews, and articles related to graphic design, popular culture, social innovation, and criticism. Originally founded in 2003 by Michael Bierut (Partner in the New York Pentagram office), William Drenttel (design, critic, and partner with:), Jessica Helfand (Winterhouse Studios) and Rick Poynor (Eye Magazine).
David Airey is a graphic designer and author who focuses on brand identity design. He resides in Northern Ireland where he is self-employed. He posts design articles and discussions on contemporary design issues and trends. David has worked with a number of prominent clients and continues to devote himself to doing work to better Humanity.
Smashing Magazine is an informative, innovative resource for Web designers and developers that chronicles the latest trends and techniques in Web development. Led by Vitaly Friedman and Ricardo Gimenes, they try not to be overwhelming with quantity, but instead focus on the quality of information that they present.
TED is a nonprofit organization that helps innovative thinkers spread their ideas in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). They started in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged. They promote and propagate a global community of people from every culture and discipline seeking a deeper understanding of the world.
BauBauHaus is a direct feed into design, illustration, photography, fashion, and everything else art-related. Their goal is to visually inspire and entertain by promoting great content. This visual blog is organized and presented by two guys from Romania – Stefan Lucut & Andrei Don. They cultivate their “garden” of design in order to share their thoughts and inspirations with people from around the world.
Pinterest is more than mommy blogs and cupcake recipes, it is a visual discovery tool for finding and posting a variety of interests and subjects. Designers can use it to research different styles and projects that can hopefully inspire their own work. Unlike Tumblr, Pinterest doesn’t allow the user to change the default style of their boards which gives the website an overall more consistent looking format.
The Logo Smith focuses on the design process of famous logo designers as well as the personal logo designs of Graham Smith. He has been “Forging Logomarks, and Brand Identities, of Distinction” since 1986. Graham’s philosophy is to communicate his vision with a simple and clean aesthetic.
Subtraction.com is a blog about culture, technology, and design written by Khoi Vinh and has become more popular since it was established in December 2000. Khoi is currently the Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost.
Cameron Moll is a designer, speaker, and author living in Sarasota, Florida. He is the founder of Authentic Jobs Inc. and continually is working on personal endeavors. His website is a compendium of design, HTML5/CSS3, DSLR video, Apple, mobile, and other news articles related to art, culture, and his personal interests.
LogoDesignLove is a blog dedicated to famous logo designs as well as more modern logo trends. It is curated and updated twice a week by David Airey. He utilizes the blog to post about news, designs, opinions, and resources related to the logo design process.
Jonathan Lawrence started Typehunting in 2012. It is a personal archive of vintage typography that is displayed on a single page. He started this webpage to inspire himself as well as others. He believes in the simplicity of typography and its ability to effectively and efficiently convey a message.
A personal blog turned popular inspiration page for many, I Love Typography was created in August 2007. It exists because John Boardley had a passion for type design, lettering, and typography thus he wanted a place to express his love so that others might also be inspired.
The Die Line was created in 2007 by Andrew Gibbs as an inspirational resource for package designers. He wanted to catalog packaging by including a variety of image sources, from the web to his own in-store snapshots. His blog soon became a platform for package designers for industry leaders to share their work.
Did we save the best for last? Of course. Don’t forget to check out Catapult’s site for design inspiration and project samples the reflect that remarkable design begins with effective strategy.