You’re staring at a blank Photoshop file, “Untitled 1.” You draw some shapes, add some mismatched colors, but nothing is feeling right. We’ve all been there before.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and browse these sources of inspiration to get back on your A game.
If you’re inspiration doesn’t come from nature, it’ll probably come from another designer. Dribbble is a community of professional designers showing off what they’re working on. You can view different buckets related to what you’re working on, or simply browse randomly seeking inspiration from any graphic that may tickle your fancy.
Dribbble also has a great color searchfeature. You can start with a color from your own design and then develop a palette based on what other people are doing with the color.
Threadless is a community based around T-shirt design. Designers submit their work and compete with each other to win contests and get their shirts approved.
You don’t need to be making tees to appreciate the talent and style of the many designers submitting new Tees to Threadless. What makes it a great source of inspiration is the huge diversity of style due to the large number of people participating.
3. One Minute With
This source may not give you new ideas, but it will certainly help inspire you as a designer.
One Minute With is an interview-based site where successful designers answer questions about their lives, careers, and projects. To quote the site, “[One Minute With is] a collection of great interviews with great designers, developers, illustrators and creatives.”
Hopefully after reading a few interviews you’ll be reinvigorated with the energy to create something awesome!
Coffitivity is a site that simply gives you the background ambiance of a coffee shop. Apparently, the blend of sounds and chatter from coffee shops can help to inspire creativity. Try running it behind your music while you’re working on your next project or searching for inspiration somewhere.
5. Go Outside
Let’s think outside the box this time. No matter where you live, the suburbs, a city, or the middle of no where, there is an infinite amount of inspiration in the world around you.
Install Adobe’s Kuler app on your phone, and go for a walk. Getting away from the computer will help you ‘think outside the screen’ and get your mind going. If anything you see catches your eye, whether it be a sign for a musky dive bar, a scenty flower, or a neighbor’s wacky mailbox, pull out our phone and capture it for later. Take a picture, and then use Kuler to create a color palette to use later.
Pinterest is better known for its fashion and food categories, but there is a design categoryas well. There’s a huge variety of content and the infinite scrolling nature of Pinterest makes it a fun and easy way to take in a whole lot of inspiration all at once.
Forrst is similar to Dribbble, but it’s more focused on improvement than inspiration. That being said, reading other designers’ thoughts on their own work and seeing what other people have to say will help you improve your craft and give you new ideas.
While Forrst requires getting an invite, you can browse the public Design Critique sub-reddit right away. It’s a great way to quickly browse some different opinions on design, and also submit your own work if you’re feeling stuck.
While you’re at Reddit, check out the imaginary landscapes subredditas well. There’s a huge amount of creativity there and some really excellent, unique artwork.
Awwwards.com strives to find and award the best designers, developers, and agencies in the world. The sites showcased are works of art. If you need to get inspired, these are probably the websites that will do it for you.
The ‘Sites of the Day‘ section is a good browse to keep up with what cutting-edge web design looks like these days.
10. Around Your House
Everything in your house was designed by someone. Looking at web design may be more relevant to your field, but there are probably countless products around your own house that you could get your creative juices flowing. You may find inspiration in the curvature of a glass, or the sleek contemporary appearance of your dishwasher.
11. Design Fridge
Design Fridge, simply put, is a website gallery. People submit their sites and sites of others for review to be published on the homepage. A quick browse through might be all you need to get that spark you need to get back to work.
12. TED Talks
In case you didn’t know, the “D” in “TED” stands for design. There’s a great design category on the TED website with a wide range of design-oriented talks. Most of the talks are outside-the-box and incredibly thought provoking.
If you want to take things to the next level, put on a TED talk on your phone, put in your headphones, and go for a walk. Escape for a while and let your creative juices flow.
Equipped with this list of inspirational havens, you should have no problem coming up with new ideas and taking your design to the next level.