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Best Design Websites: Where Our Team Looks for Inspiration

website design inspiration

Designers and artists pull in inspiration from the world around them. For our web designers, that means the digital world, and pulling in ideas from websites that help bring their projects to life. Here we have compiled a list of some of the most helpful websites our designers use on a regular basis. They provide inspiration, as well as helpful tools that allow our team to create beautiful logos, websites, mobile apps, and other collateral for our clients.

Pexels

The Pexels website gives designers access to high quality stock photos that can be used when looking for quick generic shots needed for different projects. Rather than relying on the imagery provided by a client, this is a good backup plan to get the resources you need. Not only are these photos free and licensed under Creative Commons, but there are a minimum of 1,500 new photos added to the site every month.

It is easy to search and navigate the tagged images you are looking for, while exploring new concepts through their “discover” pages. You can support the community by making a donation, or uploading an image of your own to allow other artists to use.

Jeremy Howell, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

Lost Type

Lost Type is a font aggregation website that can act as a great alternative to Google Font for designers. With the number of people that are able to access Google Font, the downloadable options can get a little repetitive after a while. Lost Type presents you with many more creative and unique options. The website is donation-based so you can “pay what you want” for this underground collection of font styles compiled by other designers.

Their website also lists the different designers who contribute to the site, with links to each of their own personal portfolios. It’s more than just fonts, and you can easily get “lost” if you keep clicking around long enough in this endless source of inspiration.

best design websites - lost type

Hannah Carroll, Senior Web Designer at Blue Fountain Media

Gridulator

Gridulator is a helpful website that lets you plug in a specific width for the layout of your project, and the desired number of columns you want. Then it will give you all the possible grids options available for you to continue working on your image while having clean, organized integers. Photoshop only allows you to create a grid-within-a-grid manually, while Gridulator can do it for you.

The best part is when you are finished using the tool, it gives you a full-size PNG to use, whether that is working on it some more in Photoshop or finalizing it as a finished product.

Fabio Redivo, Brand Director at Blue Fountain Media

ColorFavs

This website is a great tool for developing and finding new color palettes to use within your design projects. Whether you are browsing an existing palette that was recently created, or making one of your own, ColorFavs can help. You can upload an image, and it will create a group of colors based on the ones found in the image that you can then go on to use in your next design project.

After creating an account you can even favorite individual colors, or different palettes (in groups as little as 2 or as much as 5) to keep an organized collection of all the different groups that inspire you. The site also provides the hex code of all of these different colors so you can plug them directly into your design program for future use.

best design websites - colorfavs

Irina Likhashkina, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

Noun Project

The Noun Project is a lifesaver for designing iconography when you just don’t have the time needed to create something of your own. Think of it as a shortcut to clipart that gives you access to an intense number of icons and imagery options. Not only is this beneficial in saving you time, but it can also help communicate your products and service offerings to international markets and customers who visit your website with these universal images.

Every day new icons are added by the designers that make up the community of the site itself. Many designers have included entire icon groups to allow for consistency in the icons you choose.
It is a subscription based platform (some icons are free), or you can give credit to the artist whenever you use one of their images.

Fabio Redivo, Brand Director at Blue Fountain Media

Behance

Behance is a platform that allows designers to showcase their work, and lets employers discover new creative talents, easily in one place. However, this not only helps designers with job opportunities, but it also helps designers share their work with one another, and it can be a useful source of inspiration when working on your projects. It is a very empowering website that puts a lot of control in the hands of the creators, spreading their design work on a global platform, and connecting them with meaningful opportunities.

Irina Likhashkina, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

Flaticon

Similar to the Noun Project, Flaticon is a useful tool that easily gives you access to simple icons to use on your design projects. They are presented in different packs so you can easily browse and download groups of images that were designed together all at once. The other perk of Flaticon is that there is no fee to use the icons, and you don’t have to give credit to the artist (unless you want to!)

best design websites - flaticon

Jeremy Howell, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

The Best Designs

This website is a platform for web designers to showcase their beautiful work. When looking for inspiration, it’s a great place to get an organized idea of the best trends going on within the industry. Like a gallery, the website showcases trendy website designs. When there is a certain style that is popular, they are grouped together in a collection for you to view different examples of that particular format.

It’s good to stay on top of modern ideas, and The Best Designs showcases designs, designers, recommended themes, and collections of trends for you to browse. They also help guide designers in the right direction when it comes to creating their own individual online portfolios, and recommend which design formats would best serve the work they produce.

Irina Likhashkina, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

Snazzy Maps

This website gives you the option to customize Google Maps in a style that fits the needs and themes of your website or design project. Pick through different settings and color schemes to determine how you want your map to look. You can choose to include rivers, roads, mountain ranges, and specific locations, all in a designated palette to match your brand. Snazzy Maps gives you a preview of what your finished product will look like, and then provides you with a code that you can input directly into your website.

The styles are created by the community of users, and then shared for immediate use completely free of charge.

best design websites - snazzy maps

Jeremy Howell, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

These are just a few of the MANY design websites that are out there. Where do you go to look for design inspiration? Have you had success with any of these platforms? We are always looking for new tips and tools to use, so leave a comment below or tweet us @BFMweb.

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