Since my last blog entry was on the ills of creative block, I figured it appropriate to follow up with a list of design blogs/sites that I use on a regular basis to keep up with what's hot in the design world. (I know this topic has been done before on the LB blog, but…not by me! )
I've talked before about how important I think it is as a designer to immerse yourself in the world of design . Personally, I sometimes obsess over it to the point of it being a bit unhealthy, but what can I say - I love the stuff.
When I was a design student at the Art Institute of Dallas, the library was full of design annuals, books, & magazines on design of all kinds. Inspiration was never more than a library trip away. But have you ever looked at the prices of these annuals and publications? Man, they're not cheep! That's why a high quality design site is worth gold; they're super accessible and best of all…FREE!
Here's a list of some goodn's:
1. Logo Pond
Welcome to my latest obsession. Logo Pond is a free site where some of the biggest and best logo designers (along with anyone else who wants to upload their work) post designs for critique, feedback, and show. It's a huge resource for inspiration, and a great place to get critiques from some of the best in the business. If your submitted logo makes the gallery (and our Taste of Watters Creek logo recently has), you've done something outstanding.
2. Logo Design Love
Moving on with logo sites, Logo Design Love is a great place to find articles on what's going on in the world of logo design, articles on the logo design process, and interviews from top logo designers.
3. Logo Lounge (I promise not all of these will be logo sites!)
Logo Lounge is the website of the famed Logo Lounge book series. Without being a member, access to the site is limited, but there's still some good content to get at, like the logo trends article. If you are a member, you can upload logos to be considered for their publication (fingers crossed for a future pick from the LB!).
4. Under Consideration
This site mostly shows brands who have currently undergone image overhauls or revamps and gives commentary. Sometimes the commentary errs on the negative side, but it's cool to see who is updating and what they're updating to.
Behance has got to be my all-time favorite. This place is a great resource for creative professionals of all kinds. Users upload projects and the best ones get showcased in the gallery. Let me tell you, the work here is hot, hot, hot! It includes everything from fashion, product design, photography, web, branding, print, illustration, painting, animation, architecture, interior design, and sound can be found here. It is truly inspiring!
6. Smashing Magazine
Geared for design on the web, Smashing is good for both graphic guys and developers alike. They have informative articles, interviews, themed showcases, great inspirational entries, and I love all their freebies - specifically the icon sets.
7. Luke Lucas
Luke Lucas is an Australian designer who deals mostly with typography illustration. His blog is mostly about the aforementioned. It's not something I get the pleasure to do very often - if at all - in my professional career, but it's super inspiring to me and I respect the heck out of it. Overall, there's a lot of cool artsy stuff there.
This site is pretty cool - sometimes a little too cool. At times it's too much of a hipsters paradise for me, but there's also a lot of stunning cutting edge imagery that can be found here. Users can posts and share their favorite found images from around the web, mostly having to do with art and design. Warning - sometimes the images contain "artsy" nudity and can be rather racy. Gasp! Not my thing at all, but there's lots of wholesome design goodness at ffffound too.
9. Design Observer
Founded by Pentagram's Michael Bierut and others, Design Observer is a more intellectual approach to the design world. There are lots of well written essays and commentary for when you feel like getting all brainy about design.
10. Under Consideration FPO
Aka, For Print Only, is all about topnotch projects from the wonderful world of print design. What's really cool about this site is that it shows a project overview and details, including quantity produced, production cost, production time, print method, dimensions, paper stock used, etc. For a design nerd me, it's really cool to see all of those real-world specifications. Inspiration + real-world education = a better designer.
11. Page Crush
A self proclaimed inspirational design hub, page crush is chalk full of examples of well designed websites. It's a nice stop to gather some quick ideas for web layouts if you're feeling a little creatively stumped.
This is the blog of graphic design guru Scott Hansen aka ISO50 I've been a long-time fan of ISO50's work. His blog is a nice showcase of design stuff that inspires him, including a lot of retro design goodies, as well as some practical information entries like design magazine critiques & overviews.
13. The CSS Awards
Another web design specific blog a lot like page crush. What I really like about this site is that it ranks every featured site on a scale of 1 - 10 on the criteria of design, creativity, usability, and content. The rating is displayed in a cool color-coded graphic and the featured work is always top-notch.
FWA stand for Favorite Website Award. It is a recognized industry award program and inspirational portal. If you've won an FWA, you've done something truly amazing. When you want to be floored & inspired by some forward-thinking outside of the box conceptual madness, this is the place. These sites push boundaries in design, functionality, and content. I heart FWA.
In their own words, "AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. AIGA's mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution." Couldn't have said it better myself! Their site is a great stop for all things design, including inspiration, professional resources, education, the business of design, and articles.
Well there you have it, folks - 15 of my favorite design site bookmarks. If you're a design junkie like me who has a huge scrolling list of bookmarks of design sites & blogs, I hope I've turned you on to one or two that you haven't been to before. If you're new to the world of design sites, well then...welcome to the obsession. Is there one I missed? Please leave comments with your favorite design site and maybe I'll feature it in my next blog.