Useful Design Resources
As a teacher I see it as my responsibility to keep up with graphic design trends and emerging web technologies. Fellow designers might agree that this can be a challenging task in such a fast paced industry. So you might ask how I go about staying on top of things?
Well, fortunately enough these days my job has been made a lot easier thanks to a growing collection of professional blogs with inspiring articles and examples of good design practices and techniques. I have hand picked a few of my favourites and explained why I believe they make so much appeal.
The CSS Awards
The CSS Awards is a fantastic website which recognises creative and talented works within the web design industry. A truly exceptional source for inspiration and forms a major part of my research process.
Make Better Websites
Make Better Websites exhibits a gallery of superior websites. Much like The CSS Awards website they identify innovative practices and showcase them in a structured graphical manner.
One Page Love
One Page Love is a collection of the best one page website designs on the internet. One of my personal favourites especially for create user interface design and information graphics.
Similar in style to The CSS Awards this website showcases the best talent and effort of web designers, developers and agencies around the world. I hope to join this astute club and be recognised for one of my own creations in time to come
Subtle Patterns is a high quality resource for anyone looking for free tileable patterns. The patterns are subtle textures which are ideal for applying to website backgrounds. A feature I personally like on Subtle Patterns website is the ability to live preview a pattern swatch before downloading.
Adobe Kuler is an internet application from Adobe Systems that allows you to create, save and share various colour schemes. I find this site very helpful in discovering complimenting colour collections for logos, brands and websites.
Lost Type is a font distribution website which has a beautiful collection of designer typefaces. For typography lovers this is definitely one to add to the bookmarks.
Snazzy Maps is a site that I recently stumbled across when searching for custom display Google Maps. The site has a repository of different color schemes for Google Maps aimed towards web designers and developers.
The Logopond website is a portfolio of creative brands logos, visual and corporate identities. There are a few sites similar to LogoPond although in my eyes this site features the most innovative concepts.
Font Squirrel is another typographic website resource much like LostType which offers free font kits. The site also has a useful font converter for web designers. The font generator converts TFF and OTF typefaces into web safe fonts that can be viewed on all browsers and devices.
Smashing Magazine are without doubt the industry leaders. They continually amaze me with their inspiring design posts and currency of information. I have a number of students who use this website more than they use Facebook (including myself) – well almost anyway.
Fontello is a custom icon based font that features regularly on the sites I design. It is based on Entypo but has better support for CSS customisation in particular line height adjustments.
If you need icons look no further than Icon Finder. This website provides beautiful icons to millions of designers, developers and other creative professionals. With over 350,000 beautiful icons in stock you are sure to find the ideal symbol for your next graphic design or web project.
GraphicBurger is a buffet of premium quality design resources offered for free to the community. The site includes a large collection of layered PSD assets ideal for creating super imposed ‘in-situ’ mockups.
Creative Market is quite similar to Graphic Burger in that the site has collections of handcrafted design templates for typographers, web and graphic designers. Although I prefer these graphics over Graphic Burger they all come at a cost.
There is a stack of professional design blogs available on the Internet although topping my list in order are DzineBlog, Web Designer Depot, Web Designer Wall, CreativeBloq, Design Modo and Spoon Graphics. These three blogs not only comprise of useful web resources, they also offer exceptional inspiration for logos, packaging, typography and many other areas of design.