By Ars Grafik
This is a post dedicated to the best websites for designers and other creative types. As web developers and designers, we spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet, especially compared to most people. By the end of the day, my veins are throbbing from the 5 cups of french press coffee I’ve ingested and my brain is reeling from the amount of amazing content I’ve seen throughout the day. Visions of future web projects dance in my head as I force myself to sleep. This offers no escape either—inevitably, in my dreams I am literally in Google’s SERPs or trying to extricate myself from a maze of senseless navigation, always ending up stuck in the 404 page. Then there are the Photoshop dreams, but those tend to be at least a bit more creative.
I love being part of this industry because, as designers and developers, we are literally molding and directing the shape of the internet and what it will look like in the future. With 23.8% of the total world’s population ( or nearly 1.6 billion people) now online, your ability to communicate and reach a global audience is forever increasing. And in this world of incessant stimulation, your website or blog must look sharp and function flawlessly if you are going to keep people coming back.
I’m a collector, and I tend to overdo things. My list of bookmarked sites runs somewhere in the thousands, and they’ll need a reorganization soon. But for now, from the collection, here are my top, best websites for designers to gain education and inspiration. The list is by no means comprehensive, so I’ll post some follow up articles to continue adding to the collection. And if I’ve missed a great design site, which I inevitably will, please post it in the comments section.
Without more ado, here is:
The Beginner’s Guide to the Best Places on the Web for Designers
Smashing Magazine is a sometimes strange compendium of graphic and web design/development articles. It started in 2006 and has more than 4 million visitors a month.
All I can say is… wow.
I wanna be them.
I visit PSDtuts regularly to get inspiration and see what’s going on in the community. I especially like their artist interviews.
The Envato network is the parent of PSDtuts. From here, you can visit their Vectortuts site as well as blogs devoted to Flash, audio, and illustration.
I Love Typography has a great collection of awesome fonts and typography-related news.
Freelance Switch is another great industry blog for freelancers and others making their own way as graphic and web designers and developers.
Logo Design Love is a great place to start when working on a new logo design project.
Elliot Jay Stocks just got a redesign! I love his work. He’s got some good tutorials too. And anyone who designs for Massive Attack just has to be the coolest person ever.
Not to be confused with the singer, Mark Boulton has a super simple, well laid out site that deals with primarily web design. His grid system is gorgeous and well implemented.
Colour Lovers. A great place to get inspiration and experiment with color palettes before starting on a project.
Go Media Zine. I’ve become hooked. They’re not your average geeks. They’re dark, grungy, retro, cool.
Hongkiat is an up-and-coming blog that’s packed full of great design and development stuff.
Layers Magazine. Your one-stop-shop for all things Adobe. And they’ve got lots of videos too!
AIGA is your resource for everything industry related.
Outlaw Design Blog is just plain fun. It’s gotten a face lift recently (not that it ever looked bad) and it looks great. Although if it were me, I would utilize the space above the fold a bit more.
Web Page Design for Designers isn’t the prettiest site you’ll see, and it’s not updated all too regularly, but it does have some interesting and informative articles.
Dev Lounge is geared toward developers, but it’s also got its share of articles on icon sets, twitter, and more.
I’ve had Design Reviver bookmarked for a post on typography that they put out a while back. I like that the site has a magazine layout, and it contains good articles on both web design and development.