I have decided to compile a list of websites I visit on a daily basis that help me with my inspiration and design production. I want to create a reference for other design types and I’m welcome to other suggestions so comment below if there are any others that you use daily that I could have a look at.
I love Google Web Fonts and as I design for both print and web for my clients it is so useful having an opensource website where all the fonts are free to download and web friendly. We do have a Typekit subscription where I work but this is not practical for trying fonts out at the design stage. Not all the fonts are amazing on Google Web Fonts but I have found some brilliant fonts on there and a couple to look out for are: Lato, Josefin Sans & Slab, Abril Fatface, Ubuntu, Arvo, Lobster, Vollkorn, Lora, Pacifico, Pompiere.
SXC (or sexy as I call it) is a brilliant free stock photo site. It has millions of high resolution good quality images and all are free to use but check the copyright info first. I find this site really easy to use and a great alternative to iStock or Shutterstock when it comes to getting a stock image without having to use up valuable credits. There’s not everything on there and you do have to sift through a lot of rubbish sometimes but I’ve found some good images on there at high resolution to use for my print jobs.
The Noun Project is an impressive website that provides a platform for users to be able to download visual communication icons for their design work. They are available in EPS format although not all are free to download and again copyright info will have to be checked with your usage. The website has almost any icon you can think of and i’ve rarely not been able to find the icon that I want too. Icons are a great communication tool in design for other languages and cultures to be able to relate too.
This website run by designer Chris Spooner is a fab site with a mix of tutorials, freebies to help you with your designs projects and interesting articles. I love the whole design and layout of the site and finding things is really easy. When i’m stuck on something in my work I always come here to see if there is a handy tutorial to help me out. The freebies are brilliant and definitely worth checking out.
This handy QR code generator helps me on a daily basis with creating QR Codes from different kinds of data for my clients work on business cards, adverts, leaflets and even vehicles. So being able to download the QR Code as an EPS is really useful to me. It’s simple, easy to use and the site has a nice clean design too.
I love using Pinterest for my intital inspiration now. I create boards for individual jobs I’m doing and searching using keywords is really easy. I have found some really creative ideas on there that help my own design processes. I also follow other designers to see what they’re pinning and it really is a great community. I always have a browse over my lunch break to see what’s new and build up my inspiration boards.
This site is always my first port of call when I need a colour theme. It is a brilliant creative community that helps users with colour inspiration. You can browse through palette’s made by others and the search facility is really easy if you already know what shades you want to go for. I love this site and use it daily.
When you haven’t got the design eye to recognise fonts at a mere glance like me yet or you can see a font in a magazine or advert and you really want to know what it is then what the font is amazing at finding it out or getting a near match to it. Uploading is easy to do and takes no time at all, I use this site loads and even have the app on my phone so I can take photos of a font with my iPhone and have it recognise it straight away.