Where to find creative inspiration – the ultimate guide
Throughout history, artists have taken inspiration from practically everywhere: the furthest reaches of nature, classical art, even the people that fill our lives. The internet is an infinite source of inspiration, but its openness is also a problem — when you could be looking everywhere, how do you really know where to start?
We’ve narrowed down a list of top inspiration sources, dedicated sites outside of Instagram and Pinterest, which should get those creative juices flowing, no matter your specialty.
Table of contents
Graphic design blogs
Graphic design blogs
Abobe Create Magazine
Hosted by Adobe – perhaps the biggest brand in the creative industries – Create magazine profiles the work of creatives across photography, design illustration and more.
AIGA Eye on Design
Published by AIGA – the oldest and largest non-profit design organisation in the US – this colourful resource shine a “well trained eye” on the work of rising stars in the creative world as well as established designers.
With daily inspiration from the creative industries, Creative Bloq is also full of tips and tutorials to help you hone your skills, as well as inspire you to learn new ones.
Women of Graphic Design
Committed to profiling the creative work of female graphic designers, this site is designed as a learning resource that hopes to stimulate discussion as well as highlight projects related to gender, design and diversity.
High on design
With inspiration, tips, tricks and guides to fuel your own journey as a designer, High on Design features everything from personal stories from designers to monthly round ups of the best events and exhibitions.
We Love Typography
A simple resource that includes inspiration for fonts that range from fine art to the labels on beer bottles. You can sort the images by colour in order to refine your search.
This site stands out for its curated approach and focus on print work, with a slick website and thoughtful commentary on each featured design. Sort your inspiration by application and style, from minimal to corporate to geometric.
With its emphasis on the fine details of typography, this blog picks magnificently detailed designs and hones in on the fine extra touches, often showing different applications of the same type to give an idea of its range.
Fonts In Use
This collaborative project focuses on the real-world use of its typography, with an advanced search that lists everything from politics and sports to religion and activism. It makes a big difference to see the lettering in use, and each listing comes with a concise commentary on what makes good typography tick.
This site takes a critical look at the branding of various artists, including review roundups that gather together new developments and examples of the best ideas in branding from the business world.
What started as a personal blog soon turned into an exuberant celebration of packaging design, featuring everything from cheese to paint to Ramadan lamps. As well as info about design, the site includes job and event listings from the branding world.
Less casual inspiration and more thoughtful explorations of the branding world, the Brandstruck blog offers thoughts on strategy and case studies with senior brand experts. You can also use the search function to analyse the brand strategies of specific brands.
There’s more to good branding than image, and this site goes in depth on the process of each brand it features, supporting thoughtful work, beautiful presentation and quality over quantity.
From Up North
This curated blog is a strong dose of inspiration, nothing more or less. Designer Daniel Nelson updates regularly with fresh ideas on packaging, app design, graphics and more.
A free and open collection of colour palettes, Color Hunt allows you to discover the perfect palettes for your creative project. It’s a fantastic resource for designers, artists, web developers – or anyone – looking to get colour inspiration
Another colour palette resource, Coolors is a free tool that lets you generate colour schemes that will always work together, as well as allowing you to adjust and save your personal collection of palettes.
Plenty of Colour
A design blog celebrating colour in all its form, Plenty of Colour is a personal passion project by Vancouver based designer Chloe Douglas which allows you to scroll through photos of designs grouped by different colours.
World’s favourite colour
Building on the field of colour psychology, the world’s favourite colour project uses algorithms to discover the most popular colours in the world, as well as being a resource of in-depth information about all things colour.
Retail Design Blog
This respected portal for branding design has a dedicated space for visual merchandise, where brands from all over the world share their stories, with almost 20,000 to date.
Great T-Shirt Design
The cornerstone of many a merchandise run is a t-shirt, but the perfect garment can be a harder task than you might imagine. Go Media have some excellent hints for budding clothing designers on their blog.
This huge store of designs by independent artists includes any item that you could imagine, all with the twist of an individual creator which adds a quirky touch. A great source of inspiration for merchandise to represent your brand in the world.
We Wore What
New York blogger Danielle Bernstein runs this chic daily fashion blog where she models her own varied looks, a perfect symbol of timeless Manhattan style.
The Glam and Glitter
This luxury fashion blog from London-based Tamara Kalinic is a bible for upscale designer fashion, including blog posts and detailed breakdowns of the fashionista’s wardrobe favourites.
Life with Me
Marianna Hewitt’s beauty blog goes beyond just fashion. Hewitt includes tips on wellness and travel, while her blog retains the personal touch that just makes you want to keep reading, something many fashion bloggers lose when they make it big.
One of the most respected communities of online photographers, here people share their most striking pictures. You can follow particular users and join discussions, making it a perfect spot for motivation and ideas.
Draw inspiration from some of the best photojournalism in the world, with the archives of both Time and Life magazines, where you can chart a visual story of the last century. You might also want to check similar project The New York Times Lens.
This simple, beautiful website shares the work of up-and-coming photographers across a range of styles, focusing on the artistic side of photography. Scroll away until something gorgeous catches your eye.
A historic photography magazine that has been published since 1952, Aperture can always be relied upon to represent cutting-edge photography and thoughtful essays on the medium.
There is nowhere better to get inspiration for nature photos than this venerable institution which introduced so many of us to wonders of the natural world.
A favourite source of stock photography here at ICON, Unsplash has a huge archive of rich, creatively shot photos that are a world away from the awkward posed shots found in most photography archives.
Powered by the online sales platform Shopify, Burst is another royalty free stock photography site with a simple interface and a ton of high quality photos for creative use.
Another simple to use site with free photos for commercial use, Pexels has one of the largest libraries of royalty-free picture content on the web.
As well as having a strong collection of free to use photos, Pixabay is also a fantastic resource for royalty-free vectors and illustrations to support a wide range of creative and graphic design projects.
Need merch or t-shirt printing for a creative project? At ICON Printing we offer fast turnaround printing and embroidery with a wide-ranging catalogue from t-shirts to caps to bags. Get in touch for a quote.