5 Great Websites for Design Inspiration

Some people are born chock-full of creativity, while others don’t seem to have a creative bone in their bodies.  For those of us who are a bit lacking when it comes to the muse-like powers of imagination, there are plenty of options for help thanks to the worldwide web.  So whether you’re looking for ideas for web design, you want to send personalized e-cards, or you’d like to create some custom graphics for your living room walls; here are a few websites that can not only give you a hand, but offer inspiration for your design aesthetic.

Designflavr.  If you’re looking for a collective of some of the best artwork and graphic design that the web has to offer, then you’ve come to the right place.  Designflavr does the dirty work for you by scouring “the darkest corners of the internet for new and refreshing artistic talent.”  All you have to do is show up and take a look.  Of course, this is not open-source content; the website doesn’t even claim rights to it.  Each piece is the sole property of its creator, so this is not a bargain basement art house where you can download and use graphics indiscriminately.  It’s just a great place to get an idea of the best that’s out there in terms of graphics, and hopefully get your creative juices flowing.

Elements of Design.  A spinoff of Smiley Cat Web Design, this site showcases some of the best in web design, but not like you’d imagine.  Instead of featuring fantastic all-around websites, it targets specific aspects of sites and highlights them for viewers.  For example, you might want to look at really cool buttons or frames, get some ideas for designing a functional but stylish drop-down menu, or even figure out what needs to be included in the layout for your shopping cart page.  You can find each element in spades (with some of the best examples from around the web) on Elements of Design.

Blue Mountain.  If you’re not quite ready to design a website, or you simply want to try out your creative potential, why not start small by getting your layout-and-design on?  Blue Mountain not only has a wide range of still and motion graphics for e-cards, they also allow you to create your own designs (which you can either print or send via email).  It’s not only a fun way to impress your friends and family, it’s also a great way to get on the design wagon and see if you’re ready for bigger things.  Get started with personalized birthday, anniversary, and personalised graduation cards and see where it goes from there.

Blik.  This website is an interesting amalgamation of computerized and old-school art that results in physical stickers for your wall, your car, or virtually any surface you can manage to adhere them too.  Not only can you search through a wide variety of designs, from geometric prints to artistic renderings (and even some designs from partner Threadless, a hip t-shirt company), but you can also custom-make your very own wall graphics.

Best Web Gallery.  Not only does this site display some of the best overall examples of design on the internet, using a formula that posits “visual + technical + creativity = quality design”, but they also encourage visitors to submit their own websites (or others that they think will fit the bill) for consideration.  In short, they aim to impart the best the web has to offer in terms of total design.  So if you want to get a peek at what the whole package looks like, you’ll find it here.