Get Inspired: Websites to Boost Your Creativity
I’ve put together a list of the creative websites and blogs that I visit on a daily and weekly basis. There are a new crop of sites out there that I believe offer a fresh respite from the mundane; stirring the creative fires and igniting the imagination.
There are some trusty favorites on this list too; ones that have stood the test of time and offer an inspirational diversion. Check out these favorite and leave a link or two of yours in the comments below.
Minimal Directory: Minimal design is everywhere and this is a great place to marvel at the austere. “Minimal Directory is a collection of simple, clean and minimal design objects curated by Ronalds Vilcins.”
Sojournal: This site is just plain old beautiful. “We are Sojournal, a Berlin-based interior magazine curating spaces, designers and trends that inspire us. Sojournal is a place for the urban, connected culture, looking for inspiration beyond mainstream.”
Form Fifty Five: Lots of branding and some really great interviews. “Founded in 2007 by an ever growing group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across, FormFiftyFive soon became an international showcase of creative work. We scour the world’s best creative talent to keep FormFiftyFive a foremost collection of current design from both the young upstarts and well known masters.”
The Garret: A collection of beautiful things. “The Garret is a collection of products curated by Half & Twice studio. They are beautiful objects. Well-designed. Inspirational. They come from companies all over the world. Every single one of them represents an ideal close to our hearts. We look for like-minded people who value craftsmanship, beauty, and authenticity.”
The Practical Man: An online shop featuring independent designs for men, with favorites like Joshu+Vela, and a pretty great blog, “The Practical Man stocks select globally sourced brands who take a progressive approach to men’s sportswear and an active lifestyle. This is your one stop shop for men’s performance wear, sports fashion, accessories & grooming. We seek out and partner with cutting-edge brands who are creating unique active lifestyle clothing and accessories. Apparel designed with technical excellence while retaining style and simplicity. The Practical Man is an independent retail concept based in Melbourne, Australia.”
Design of the World: Cool blend of modern craft, architecture and more. “Design of the World is curated by Josephmark – a digital ventures studio that believes in the world-changing power of a great idea. It’s a space for us to shine a light on creativity we’re inspired by – design that’s educational, eco-friendly or just plain awesome. Design that’s independent, innovative or community-driven. And design that’s always – always – produced with ethics and integrity.”
Still Blog: A favorite that recently underwent a major remodel and still looks incredible. Images that stick to the soul. “This blog posts one image, daily, of gathered natural objects found near me. Near me usually means Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, my home. Sometimes it can mean the Languedoc region of southern France, a kind of second home. And sometimes it simply means, wherever I am right now. Still blog is a place to stop. A place to look at one thing at a time. A place to be still.”
Flawless Typography Checklist: Created by Typewolf, this is really a tease: the full course will cost you a few pennies, but it seems worth it for a good type education. “As a designer, you’ve probably read a book or two about typography and skimmed through hundreds of online articles. But how do you keep track of all the complex typography rules, tips and best practices that you’ve read over the years? To solve this problem, I’ve created the Flawless Typography Checklist.”
Things of Wonder: Another resource for great interviews, with a few extras. “Thing of Wonder creates an environment to explore the themes and questions we encounter as we live our lives. We exist to unite and inspire individuals from diverse backgrounds, inviting people to ask new questions, consider new perspectives, and think new thoughts.”
Us Blah + Me Blah: Pretty diverse interviews from creatives in various fields. “The name Us Blah + Me Blah points to the structure of the interviews. Us Blah, the conversation, is complemented by notes, explanations and comments in Me Blah. Us Blah + Me Blah was initially launched as a riso-printed zine in March 2015. Soon after publication, work began on a digital platform, as it felt silly copy-pasting hundreds of URLs on printed matter. The project came from a desire to share and celebrate the talents of the people around us. Us Blah + Me Blah wants to put the spotlight on our interviewees, contributing to their success in Japan and the West alike.”
Type Anything: You’ll know why you need this when you visit. For nerds and type junkies alike. “We created Type Anything in the need of a simple tool to create great font combinations. To put focus on typography. Type Anything lets you customize the most necessary font settings for your next project. From font families and letter spacing to font weights. Our goal was to create a great user experience, whilst working on the perfect match.”
We The People: Just a straight-up style blog with excellent layout. “We The People is an online fashion and lifestyle destination created by Jessie Bush. What started out as a New Zealand-based streetstyle blog and has since evolved to include personal style, travel, editorial, style features, interviews, beauty and streetstyle from around the world.”
Typographher: My Aussie Web BBF since the beginning, Nicole Arnett Phillips will make you love type and its history. “I love to share knowledge and tutor/lecture regularly in Type, Editorial Design, Ideation, Design history, and printmaking in Australia and New Zealand. I also speak at conferences and industry events from time to time – including the 2013 Typism Conference, and 2015 CWC Brisbane speaker event.”
Liebal: Another site devoted to minimal design, it will suck you in and never let you go. “Leibal was started in 2010 as a sourcebook to collect the world’s most beautiful and minimalist designs. Since then, the blog has evolved into a leading authority on design, and is focused only on the most recent works in regards to architecture, interiors, furniture, and products. In 2012, Leibal expanded into an online shop, curating a collection of carefully selected products and brands. In an effort to make design accessible, Leibal became the exclusive wholesale distributor for a number of worldwide brands as well. In the end, promoting designers and brands will always be the focus for Leibal.”
Defringe: Photoshop users know what the name means, but I bet you didn’t know it inspired a stellar design destination. “Defringe is a curated online gallery that filters creative content on the web. Defringe stands for quality which results in an intuitive and award-winning experience. With the idea of a gallery in our minds, we want the site to act as platform for innovative and creative ideas.”
iyouall: Maybe the second best name for a site, after Us Blah + Me Blah. “IYA Studio have been at the forefront of creative design for over 10 years working with a large cross section of individuals and brands from start up to global to develop ideas and identities across both the physical and digital worlds. From those same creative minds comes Iyouall. Iyouall is a considered collection of homeware, accessories, stationery and curios beautifully packaged with simplicity, quality and functionality running through their core. Based in our store in Deptford, South London we champion product from local designers and makers alongside sourcing brands from around the world to create a curated selection for those with an eye for design. ”
WONCE: Hide you wallets. Seriously. “Founded in late 2015 by Britta Reineke, WONCE is the online journal and newsletter that inspires with a deliberate assortment of aesthetically pleasing products, brands and concepts. Carefully selected, qualitative goods are presented in the fields of art, beauty, design, fashion and interior always with a high focus on the aesthetic principle.”
The Gallery: Beautiful and inspiring web design by Manuel Moreale, who never seems to stop being able to creative sites that draw you in like quicksand and never let you go. See also: The Beauty of Space, Visual Journal and Is Invisible.
Formagramma: If you live for stunning architecture and design, this is your new home. “Formagramma is an online magazine about architecture, art, design, graphics and photography. A selected showcase of projects by creatives from all around the world.”
Trend Tablet: A design fest that I was introduced to by the next creative on my list, this is more than just a design resource; it’s an education. “Founded by Lidewij Edelkoort, edited by Cecile Poignant. This tool explains how trends grow, evolve and flow; helping us to better perceive and understand how they interact with our daily life.”
Design Seeds: Like Still Blog, Design Seeds is blog royalty, run by the most underrated design professional on the internet today. Design Seeds is a global treasure run by a woman who also loves robots. “Back in the April of 2009, I got a wild hair and leapt from my career in corporate design studios to chance it on my own. From art school, through my time working at companies including Ford, Reebok, and Timberland, I catalogued my colorwork in endless sketchbooks. Fascinated by the emerging online creative community and voice social media offered independent designers, I was inspired to reinterpret my journals into a color blog. In May 2009, Design Seeds was launched for all who love color.”
100 Days of Fonts: No greater Google Font pairings can be found on the web. This is a must-bookmark. “100 Days of Fonts is a personal creative project inspired by Elle Luna the 100 Day Project. Every day for the last 99 days, I designed and coded a combination of Google Fonts, the result of which lives on this page.”
Good Design is Invisible: What a good Tumblr blog should be.
Run Humans: Stunning photography and great discoveries. “Run, Humans is an online magazine for digital escapists, travellers and curious minds, documenting inspiring places, stories and all things beautiful.”
Council of Objects: Go to the About Us page and tell me you don’t want to live in this space. “At Council of Objects we source and curate items that are designed and made by local artisans; with an emphasis on simplicity, functionality and above all else quality, promoting ethical craftsmanship. We have selected objects we covet ourselves, each object holding its value in its timeless, sustainable luxury.”
Quipsologies: The first of four websites from Under Consideration, this one will keep you guessing, but in a good way. “Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.”
For Print Only: This site makes me wish someone would start an online shop so I can buy cool corporate brochures. “FPO (For Print Only) is a blog dedicated to the visual stimulus and the detailing of the development and production of printed matter: Annual reports, books, business cards, stationery suites, collateral materials, posters, packaging and anything else where ink meets substrate.”
Brand New: By rule, I don’t read online comments anywhere anymore. Except here. “Brand New is a division of UnderConsideration, chronicling and providing opinions on corporate and brand identity work. We cover redesigns and new designs of notable products, companies, services, and organizations across all industries and locations. Brand New is edited and written by Armin Vit, co-founder of UnderConsideration.”