25 Unusual Places to Get Design Inspiration

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Credit: photo by by Phantasy Photo on Flickr

One of the most frustrating situations you can encounter as a freelance designer is when you’re all ready to go but the ideas just aren’t flowing! You struggle to retain focus but staunchly refuse to accept defeat, until your screensaver goes on.

One site that can help you is Creattica, a gallery of great design and inspirational imagery. It’s a great place to start with your search for ideas and has a wealth of outstanding design in almost every category imaginable! Today though we’ll go even further afield and look at 25 more sites that might just give you the inspiration you need to make that breakthrough!

Inspiration

Note & Point

Note & Point describes itself as a gallery of Keynote and PowerPoint presentations looking that much better. If you thought that a slide presentation had to be functional and unappealing, think again!

The Book Cover Archive

The Book Cover Archive is exactly what it says on the tin, an extensive collection of book cover designs and their designers. You’re bound to find something that grabs you – maybe enough to make you buy the book!

Printed Piece

Printed Piece describes itself as a full, unique, and creative community-driven platform that connects designers and businesses around the world in the print industry. Less a place to find design ideas, more a place to connect with those who can help you realize your ideas.

Photo Retouching

As mentioned above Creattica is the place to get all kinds of design inspiration! To get new inspiration it’s definitely worth digging deeper and going to places you wouldn’t normally go. For a more unusual but undoubtedly interesting source of inspiration it’s definitely worth checking out the Photo Retouching category.

One Eyeland

One Eyeland is an gorgeous island in the virtual world inhabited by people who shoot for a living. Browsing through the gallery is a delight for photography lovers and is sure to get your creative ideas flowing!

Fashion Served

Whether you’re someone who is ‘On Trend’ or just a casual follower of fashion, a browse through the gallery of Fashion Served won’t disappoint. Look for something that catches your eye and be inspired!

Industrial Design Served

As with Fashion Served, Industrial Design Served is another site showcasing curated content from the Behance Network. Industrial Design Served itself features top work in categories such as product design and industrial design.

Typography Served

The final site in this list from the Behance Network is Typography Served – a beautiful showcase of simply the best typeface design, lettering, and illustrated typography. Typography Served highlights just how immense the impact of a typeface can be!

Visual Complexity

Visual Complexity is a site that is simply beyond fascinating. These gorgeous visual representations of complex networks will fascinate, intrigue, and almost certainly ignite your creativity.

Flowing Data

Following on from Visual Complexity’s information design we now take a look at Flowing Data, which aims to highlight how designers, programmers, and statisticians are putting data to good use. While the site’s layout is less enticing the visual representations of information are just as fascinating and will keep you occupied for hours if you’re not careful!

Information Is Beautiful

Information Is Beautiful is another fantastic site devoted to Information Design. Enthralling information made to look fantastic – just be careful you don’t lose a whole day here!

Pattern Tap

If you’re looking for specific ideas and inspiration for user interface design then Pattern Tap may be just the thing! It describes itself as aiming to satisfy and encourage the inspiration needs of interface designers.

The Postage Stamps! Pool

The next three places we’ll look at are pools of inspiration from within the wonderful world of Flickr. First up is The Postage Stamps! Pool, which is an extensive collection of intriguing stamps.

The Oodles of Doodles Pool

For many of us a collection of doodles is the inevitable consequence of an idea rut. If you want to move on from your own doodles and see what others have been doodling then Oodles of Doodles is the place to head – you may just find something that will get you back on track!

The Pretty Sketchy Pool

For even more sketches and doodles from the world of Flickr  be sure to check out The Pretty Sketchy Pool!

Buamai

The next four sites are all image bookmarking sites of one sort or another and great sources of visual stimulation. The first one to check out is Buamai, a brilliant array of curated images from a closed collective of artists, graphic designers, programmers, architects and fashion designers based in various cities around the world.

We Heart It

We Heart It lets you create an online album (a Heart) with your favorite images and videos. It ‘s a creative community of people who love to share interesting images and videos and is fully searchable!

Vi.sualize.us

Vi.sualize.us follows on naturally from We Heart It as another social bookmarking community. As with We Heart It, you can search the posted images or browse through the most popular tags for something that catches your eye.

FFFFound

FFFFound is a visually stripped back site that not only allows the users to post and share their favorite images found on the web, but also dynamically recommends each user’s tastes and interests for an inspirational image-bookmarking experience!

Ads of the World

Ads of the World describes itself as an advertising archive and community showcasing fresh campaigns daily from around the world. Think about those adverts that ignited your curiosity about a product and delve into Ads of the World for some nuggets of advertising gold!

siteInspire

siteInspire is a curated showcase and CSS gallery featuring the best web design today. Browse their gallery of gorgeous websites and let your imagination go!

Packaging of the World

If you’re looking for a more unusual source of ideas and inspiration then Packaging of the World may be the perfect thing! It describes itself as a packaging design archive showcasing the best, most interesting, and creative packaging work worldwide and it doesn’t disappoint!

HTML5 Gallery

HTML5 Gallery is a great showcase of modern web design and allows an interesting look into how people have interpreted and implemented the specification.

HDR Creme

HDR Creme hails itself as the first reference website for HDR photos that lets you share your works with other people, watch thousands of pictures and learn through tutorials about High dynamic range imaging. Really good HDR photos can look truly stunning and HDR Creme allows you to search its extensive archive and browse by tag, location, camera, and user.

Minimal Sites

For those of you who can’t stand cluttered and over-fussy web design, Minimal Sites will be a breath of fresh air! At Minimal Sites they truly believe that less is more and showcase those sites that achieve their goal of “doing more with less”.

Share Your Ideas

Hopefully some of these sites will help you get that kick of inspiration you need!  All of us have different things that help us get our creativity flowing. Feel free to share your favorite sources of inspiration!

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