The internet is an endless ocean of inspiration for anyone learning creative skills.
Whether you’re an aspiring Graphic Designer, UX Designer, Illustrator, Typography artist, or any other type of creative professional, you’re always a quick search away from a never-ending supply of sites and networks that aggregate the incredible works of the most inspiring people in your field.
But with so many resources just a Google search away, finding sites that you can reliably turn to whenever you need a healthy dose of inspiration can be daunting.
So we’ve put together a list of the best places to find inspiration and sorted them by creative discipline. Enjoy!
Where to Find General Design Inspiration
To get things started, we’ve gathered some of the best “catch all” design inspiration sites.
This includes aggregator sites that don’t favour one discipline over another as well as social networks most frequented by people in the creative industry.
And if you’d rather talk to a creative mentor in a 1-1 setting to get creative inspiration, you can always chat with any of the design mentors at RookieUp!
One of the ever popular types of design inspiration sites you can find on the internet is the endless scrolling design feed.
These tools are generally fairly broad in their focus but are an effortless way start your creative day.
- Designspiration – an amazing grid-based inspiration site that focuses on visual and typographic work from designers around the world.
- Niice – a mood board ideation site that pulls from a large number of amazing design, illustration, and branding sites to create an endless scrolling inspiration board.
- Baubauhaus – named after the first modern design school in the world, this site has an incredible array of works from creatives in fields like visual design, typography, and illustration.
Social networks are another fantastic way to get inspired every day.
While you might be familiar with every site listed here, there’s a good chance you’re not using them to their full potential.
Doing a targeted search for specific companies, designers, or field and then filtering by People is an amazing way to find people to follow and groups to join.
- Dribbble – probably the most well-known of creative social networks, Dribbble is a site where creatives can post their work, comment on others’ work, and find paid gigs. It should be at the top of your bookmarks list.
- Behance – similar to Dribbble but owned by Adobe, Behance is another great place to find inspiration and recent work from designers around the world. Find designers you like and follow them!
- Twitter – the creative community is incredibly active on Twitter so it’s the perfect place to find inspiration. Do a search for “Designers” (or any other discipline) and filter by People, or check out lists that aggregate the best designers to follow on Twitter.
- Facebook – Facebook is home to thousands of communities of designers, like the Designers Guild. Do a targeted search here to find amazing communities to join.
- Instagram – the home of visually creative people everywhere. Look at lists like this to find amazing lists of Designers to follow on Instagram.
- Pinterest – Possibly even more search-friendly than Instagram, Pinterest is an incredible place to look for inspiration all forms.
Where to find Logo, Branding, and Advertising Design Inspiration
- Brand New – an amazing resource for anyone looking to get into branding + identity work. They aggregate the best collection of corporate branding work you can find anywhere!
- Ad Collector – a project on Tumblr that focuses on finding the most original and design-focused advertising from brands large and small. With so many less-than-amazing ads on TV and the internet, it’s easy to forget that many brands pride themselves on only putting out ads that are visually wonderful.
- Logospire – a fantastic and endless stream of logo work done by designers around the globe. Focused mostly on spec work and logos for smaller brands.
- Inspiration Grid – a great site for all sorts of design inspiration, but they do a particularly great job organising branding inspiration.
- Identity Designed – this site does a deeper dive into specific branding work for individual brands. Rather than showing just a logo, they show the entire branding process with write-ups and lots of photos.
Where to find Lettering and Typography Inspiration
- Typographic Posters – this is the holy grail for anyone who loves the lettering and typography-based posters. An incredibly active community online and via their Facebook group.
- Typewolf – this project focuses on highlighting what is trending and popular in the world of type. Perfect for anyone with an interest in typography-focused design work.
- Instagram Letterers – an awesome list of 25 letterers you should be following on Instagram.
- Font Inspiration – unique lettering and font examples from digital, print, and sign design.
- Type Hunting – a really cool project focused on showcasing vintage examples of unique typography on all sorts of products and brands around the world.
- Typeverything – a collection of typography examples, talks, articles, and more!
Where to find Illustration Inspiration
- Illustration Age – one of the most widely known sites in the illustration world, not only do they focus on inspiration but they also have a huge resource of educational tools for anyone trying to build a career as an illustrator.
- Colossal – Colossal is a grab bag of awesome illustration and design inspiration from all corners of the creative world. From illustration to infographics to branding, they cover it all!
- Eat Sleep Draw – each day, this site showcases an illustration submission from an amateur artist. A great way to stay grounded and see works from people just getting started in the industry.
- Hyperallergic – focused mostly on the art world, Hyperallergic is great for anyone interested in drawing inspiration from the world of modern art.
- Hi Fructose – one of the largest illustration publications in the magazine world, their site showcases the most stunning and unique works from their print publication as well as a tonne of other illustration work from artists around the world.
Where to find UX / UI and Web Design Inspiration
- Siteinspire – Daniel Howells curates this showcase site that features several new sites every day. If you want to keep up with current web design trends, Site Inspire is the place for you.
- Awwwards – One of the original “daily website winner” sites, Awwwards showcases websites across a variety of verticals and categories. Their incredibly rich repertoire.
- Web Design Inspiration – This site focuses on, you guessed it, web design inspiration! No other description needed.
- The Best Designs – another showcase site that curates a daily list of colourful, unique, and cutting edge sites from all corners of the web.
- UI Movement – a great site that curates 5 of the nicest UI animations daily and emails them to you. Too easy!
Where to find Visual and Graphic Design Inspiration
- Smashing Magazine – one of the most widely known and useful design sites on the internet today. With hundreds of articles, tips, and features posted every week, this is every aspiring designer’s dream site.
- It’s Nice That – this site has grown from humble origins to become one of the most respected design blogs on the internet. They feature amazing designers and illustrators (as well as helpful tips) every day!
- Creative Boom – similar to It’s Nice That, Creative Boom showcases inspiring design work as well as helpful tips and tricks for anyone trying to become a designer.
- Abduzeedo – a beautifully curated selection of the best in design, illustration, photography, and web design.
- Canva – while their main product is a DIY design tool, Canva also has an amazing blog that features awesome designers and helpful tutorials for anyone trying to break into the industry.
- Inkbot Design – a great list of 100 other niche design blogs you should be following!
Where to find Creative Education Inspiration
- Skillshare – probably the best known creative education site out there today, Skillshare paved the way for incredibly high-quality creative classes from well-known and accomplished professionals.
- Brit + Co – another quickly growing force to be reckoned with in the creative space. Brit + Co focuses on DIY creative projects as well as the more traditional fields like Design, Lettering, and Illustration.
- Udemy – Udemy is a bit broader in its approach, but you can nevertheless find some amazing creative courses there to supplement your creative education. And unlike Skillshare and Brit + Co, a good number of them are free.
- Skillcrush – Unlike its similarly named companion, Skillcrush focuses more on longer-term creative education courses designed to prepare you for a creative career.
- Tuts+ – an awesome selection of creative classes, tutorials, assets, and more from the team at Envato.
Hopefully, this list has been a good jumping off point as you gather together the perfect set of resources to inspire you to continue crushing your creative goals.
Remember that the creators of modern design principles didn’t have the internet as an easy source of inspiration – they had to rely on their own personal experiences.
With that in mind, remember that inspiration doesn’t have to only come from websites and lists.
It can come from anywhere – walking to work, in the grocery store, at your favourite bar, in nature, etc.
Author Bio: Alec is the co-founder of RookieUp, an online mentorship platform for people learning creative skills. RookieUp is on a mission to create a global on-demand mentorship platform to bring personalized and flexible 1-on-1 creative learning to the world of online education.
If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, email us at: [email protected]