10 Places to Find Design Inspiration Online

Design Inspiration: Hero

Creativity is magical, not magic.

I wish I could say I came up with that clever adage, but I have the deep dark corners of the Internet to thank for that (and this awesome post about 101 Inspirational Quotes for Designers).

The truth is, I didn’t know how to start this post. I had completed all my research, figured out a focus, but hit a roadblock as soon as I wanted to start writing – start using my creative talent. I was staring at a blank white screen with nothing but frustration. Sound familiar?

For me, one of the places I find inspiration is in words because I define myself as a writer (as you can probably gather from this post). That’s why I Googled the words “quotes,” “inspiration,” and “design.” And voila, I found something that made me think about how to introduce the topic of finding inspiration.

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 professional (that’s why I listen to a playlist of *really* embarrassing music that helps me feel inspired when writing).

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 creativity muscle. Keeping it healthy and strong is a must throughout your career.

The next time you face the deadly blank screen, try browsing through the websites I’ve curated below. Each is its own unique web design haven, where you can browse casually and let your imagination wander, or participate actively, letting community interaction ignite your artistry.

Here are ten great places to find design inspiration online. Or, check out our examples of how to build a great web design portfolio, or our list of funny lorem ipsum generators, for further inspiration!

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1. The Blog of Mr. Cup - Graphic Exchange

Design Inspiration: Mr. CupA popular place for designers and creative professionals of all types to congregate and source inspiration, the Graphic Exchange blog follows the life, work, and travels of freelance graphic designer Fabien Barral, aka Mr. Cup. Since 2006, Barral has published more than 50,000 images, and has millions of international visitors to his blog every year. The blog covers everything from his travels to the Offf Festival in Barcelona, to his fascination with hand-lettering projects, to his fondness for USA banknote history. Eclectic? Yes. Inspiring? Duh.

2. Designinspiration

Design Inspiration: DesigninspirationA great place to both discover and share great design, Designinspiration curates and maintains only high quality content and was created in 2010 by visual designer and entrepreneur Shelby White. A great place to get visually stimulated, this site lets you organize and save the things you like, and search by topic tags or color.

3. Awwwards

Design Inspiration: AwwwardsAwwwards provides a unique meeting place for design inspiration. An expert panel made up of international creatives hands out awards to recognize the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers, and agencies in the world. Judging for design, usability, creativity, and content, this site truly celebrates some of the world’s top web creations, while spurring important conversation and debate in the process.

4. Grain Edit

Design Inspiration: Grain EditIf you’re 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. Featuring interviews, articles, and designers’ libraries, Grain Edit has a little bit of everything to get those vintage juices flowing.

5. TDB - The Design Blog

Design Inspiration: TDBStarted in 2011 as a personal inspiration board for Croatian designer Ena Bacanovic, The Design Blog quickly attracted more than one set of eyes. The young designer carefully curates high-quality work from designers and studios around the world, with a special focus on young designers and students. Fun daily sections, like Monday’s Designer of the Week or Sunday’s Best of Dribbble, and a strong resource page make this blog sure to please.

6. From Up North

Design Inspiration: From Up NorthThis online magazine curates the creative web to bring you the latest industry news and showcase the most engaging bits of inspiration. Its epic feed highlights gems from all corners of the creative web, and you can narrow down searches to your interests (beautiful web design examples live here in abundance). You can also browse through From Up North’s original content, or peruse their hand-selected (and often discounted) resource page.

You might also like: 6 Places to Find Design Inspiration Early in Your Process.

7. Abduzeedo

Design Inspiration: AbduzeedoFounded in 2006, this design blog’s odd name means abducted in Portuguese, reflecting founder Fabio Sasso’s feeling of being abducted by the world of design. Articles on architecture, design, photography, mobile app design and UX are compiled by a collective of individual writers located around the world. Alongside tidbits of what inspires them, you’ll find opinions offered freely here, as well as sought-after tutorials ranging from animation to Photoshop.

8. Links to Inspire

Design Inspiration: Links to InspireThis site is straightforward, simple, and chock-full of, you guessed it, links to inspire. Its minimalistic design, alphabetized list, and neatly-tagged links make this every organization freak’s dream. Lazily browse your way through the list, pick your favorite letter, or search by topic tag; whatever you find is sure to inspire.

9. Design Taxi

Design Inspiration: Design TaxiA great place to go when you don’t know exactly what you want, Design Taxi has a bit of everything to satisfy almost any creative hunger. Whether it’s innovation, design, social media, or typography, this blog has advice, news, and how-tos on a plethora of topics (tip: check out the Disney section of the blog).

10. Panda

Design Inspiration: PandaA great way to do some personalized curation for yourself, this Google Chrome extension creates a homepage that is full of possible inspiration. Select the layout that works for you, choose the websites you love to visit, and let Panda do the rest. This tool can cause a bit of distraction if you’re opening a browser with an intended task, but in the end it’s worth it for the possible creative reward.

Did we miss anything? Tell us what websites inspire you in the comments section below!

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