60 More Places to Get Design Inspiration – Online and Off
A few weeks ago we published a list of 34 places to get design inspiration online and off and it proved to be one of our most popular articles to date. So today we journey back out to the world of design inspiration to bring you many, many more places to get inspiration – 60 to be precise.
I have literally been combing the web and have unearthed so many great sites and places that I’d never seen. From advertising to architecture, graphics to web, art to design, there’s a bit of everything. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed finding them and that they inspire some of the great works of tomorrow!
11 Inspirational Books
Although this whole series of books was really good, number 9 is my favourite and one I still use to this day for branding and stationery work.
Like the book above, this one is another Rockport classic, a great addition to any collection.
Dos Logos, the sequel to the similarly named Los Logos, is a huge collection of logo designs. It tends more to the funky than the corporate and is packed with iconic inspiration.
I seem to be on a Rockport rampage today, here’s another great title from their catalogue, does pretty much what it says on the tin…
Oodles of gorgeous print work to flip through including some pretty creative ideas as well as a few more average formulas.
I must admit I’ve never done any bag, tag or label design… but if I had, I probably would have needed this book!
I’m not sure who the old masters of poster design were exactly, but I’m sure you’ll love the new ones as much as I do!
You know how they say you have to truly understand a rule before you break it, well Making and Breaking the Grid will help you do just that.
Not so much an inspiration book as an instructional one, this is still a must for any designer struggling with type. Once you master typography you’ll unlock a whole new room of inspirational goodness.
I often find that getting an interesting layout will then lead on to me designing out something great. It’s almost as if you just need a push from somewhere, anywhere, and once you have it, you’re off and running. In any case Rockport’s Layout Workbook is a handy book for doing just that.
I came across this book when we were compiling prizes for the FreelanceSwitch Survey. It’s a set of exercises to get your creativity flowing, perfect for those designer block days.
6 Magazines to Subscribe to for Recurring Inspiration
OK unless you are in the UK this magazine might be a little steep. Over here in Australia I just read them in my local borders because I’m so cheap! But if you can get your hands on them, ComputerArts and its sister magazine ComputerArts Projects (below) are absolutely fantastic.
Where ComputerArts is a general magazine, the Projects editions which run parallel each go into one specific theme in depth with tutorials, profiles, associated software on the discs and so on. Examples of themes include Typography, Illustration, Flash and so on.Note that it was just so appropriate for this site that I swiped the image on the right from Sam Gilbey’s Site, so go check out his awesome illustrations so he doesn’t get mad at me
How has to be my favourite American magazine, it’s quite practical which I like, sometimes designers can get a little self-involved elsewhere…
Another super well known design magazine from the US, copies of Print unfortunately cost me a fortune over here in Australia
CommArts is a bit of an institution these days, mixing photography, illustration and design, it’s a great read.
I have to confess, I’ve never actually read CMYK, but it had such a gorgeous cover that I had to include it.
And 4 Free Ways to Get the Juices Flowing
A mind map is an awesome tool to think outside the square for a project. It’s a diagram used to represent ideas and words. If you don’t know what this is Wikipedia has a good explanation here. Especially handy for logo and design work, as you can explore more obscure interpretations and representations.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’re stuck ask everyone what they’d do with your brief. This is more effective if they’re not a designer. The more crazy ideas you have in your arsenal, the more likely it is that inspiration will strike.
Search for a quote or creative description that relates to your brief. Use the elements and metaphors you find in it as your inspiration for a concept.
Download a piece of music or album which is totally outside of your usual taste. Listen to it while you fiddle with your first concepts. Try some gregorian chant, tribal or classical music and see how it influences your style.
And That’s It!
So there you go, if that doesn’t unblock your creativity, then it may be time to take a holiday and come back to work next week! As for me, I am completely overstimulated and will now spend a few days staring at a blank wall to come back down to normality.