Creativity will never be an exact science. Sometimes the juices flow, but other times it’s easy to feel all dried up. And while changing your workspace and rethinking your process are simple ways to see things differently, sometimes all you need to do is see great work to get inspired.
For those situations, here’s our growing list of places to visit when you hit a dry spell. There’s enough here to last you quite a while (nearly 100 sites), so you may need to a deep breath and close all your other tabs. Note: Our favorites are in bold.
Often dubbed “design porn,” here’s a collection of 29 inspirational sites that were suggested by TNW’s readers from all fields of graphic design. Absolutist, AIGA Design Archives, Behance, Bitique, Blogless, Design Less Better, Booooooom, Brand New, Brand New: The B-Side, Campsite, Designspiration, Design is Kinky, Designers go to Heaven, FFFFound!, FormFiftyFive, Grain Edit, Graphic Exchange, Information Aesthetics, It’s Nice That, Logo Design Love, Looks like Good Design, Mocoloco, Okay Great, Processed Identity, Quipsologies, Reform Revolution, Siteinspire, Swiss Miss, Visuelle .
Here’s 14 Inspirational sites that don’t quite fit in with pure graphic design blogs. Expect a vivid mix of illustration, fashion, decor, photography and art. Design Sponge, From Scandinavia with Love, Mint, Oh Joy, Oh So Beautiful Paper, Notcot, Pitch Design Union, Share Some Candy Sight Unseen, Svpply, The Fancy, The Visual Dictionary, Today and Tomorrow, Yewknee .
Print, Packaging & Product Design
17 Sites specifically catered towards design that’s off the computer screen. Aisleone, Beast Pieces, Bench.li, Book Cover Archive, DesignWorkLife, Designer Daily, For Print Only (FPO), Identity Designed, ISO50, Lovely Package, Lovely Stationery, Packaging UQAM, Serifs and Sans, Swiss Legacy, The Dieline, The New Graphic, Retronaut Ads .
19 Sites of strictly typographic awesomeness for the font obsessed. Art of the Menu, Book Cover Archive, Fonts in Use, Fontseek, Friends of Type, Specimenism, Swiss Type (see our full review), Type Connection (see our full review) ,Beautiful Web Type (see our full review), Typeverything Type for You, Type Goodness, Type Token, Typography Daily, Typographic Posters, Typography Served, Upscale Typography, We Love Typography, TNW Typography .
Web & UI
18 Inspirational sites that are particularly suited for Web and mobile designers. Dribbble, Dribbbleboard (see our review here), CSS Mania, Awwwards, Design Fridge, Web Picks, TheFWA, Web Creme, Design Licks, Best Web Gallery Make Better Websites, Media Queries, Premium Pixels, Little Big Details (see our review here), Pttrns, PatternTap, Mobile UI Patterns, The Best Designs, Scoutzie
Although most designers today do most of their work digitally, every once and a while it can even be best to step away from the computer and look elsewhere for inspiration. Some designers can find inspiration in just about anything, which is a wonderful trait to have. Plus, looking outside your industry leaves you with the opportunity to bring new ideas to the table. You can also (literally) look outside, wander around and enjoy nature, as some of our readers recommend:
In the end, it doesn’t matter at all how the inspiration comes, just so long as you know how to tap into it. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to look around.
If you have any favorite sources of inspiration, links or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll add our favorites to the list!
*Huge thanks to everyone who submitted already, especially @auraseltzer*