50 of the best blogs for graphic design inspiration

Need some graphic design inspiration? Here are some of the best blogs around, for a burst of informed and intelligent ideas.

1. Mirador

Mirador is brought to you by Say What Studio, a graphic design duo based in Paris. They curate the most inspirational works out there and share them through this collection of projects.

2. FormFiftyFive

FormFiftyFive was founded in 2007 by a group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across. Now an established international showcase of creative work, it’s a must-read for any designer wishing to keep up with trends or just get inspired by great design.

3. Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo is a collective of individual writers sharing articles about architecture, design, photography and UX. Founded by Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso in 2006, it’s particularly strong on 3D work, which is something that doesn’t get much attention from most design blogs.

4. Design Week

Founded in 1986, Design Week was the UK’s leading design magazine until 2011, when it became online-only. It continues to bring you high quality, well written news and inspiration across graphics, branding, interiors, digital, product, furniture and more.

5. Format Magazine

Brought to you by the portfolio platform Format, Format Magazine is dedicated to sharing the work and experiences of photographers, designers, illustrators and artists around the world. It explores the creative mind through artist profiles, industry resources and documentary videos.

6. Creative Review

Founded in 1980, Creative Review is the world’s leading monthly magazine for advertising, design and visual culture. And the same high-quality journalism that informs it carries through to its website, which features a range of news, reviews and features from the creative world.

7. The Die Line

For all those packaging design lovers out there, The Die Line has it all wrapped up. Its recently undergone a website refresh, and is crammed full of brand inspiration with satisfyingly large imagery throughout.

8. Dezeen

Dezeen is a popular and influential online magazine covering architecture, design and interiors. Its website includes a recruitment section, opinion articles and inspiring projects from around the world.

9. Eye Magazine

Eye Magazine, the international review of graphic design, is a quarterly print magazine on graphic design and visual culture. It, and its associated blog, features a range of critical, informed writing about design and visual culture.

10. Digital Arts

Digital Arts is a UK-focused online magazine for professional designers, with a focus on techniques, best practices and useful resources.

11. InvisionApp Blog

Invision, one of the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration and workflow platforms, has a rather inspiring blog of its own, sharing thoughts on users, experience and design. Give this a whirl if you need advice on better design processes or you love the odd free icon set.

12. Shillington Design Blog

Shillington is a network of colleges offering an innovative approach to design education based on short, intensive courses and practical, industry focused learning. And it has its own blog, too, featuring a range of inspiring design work and insightful articles.

13. Under Consideration: Brand New

Under Consideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives and content, while taking on a limited amount of client work. Its Brand New blog is well-known for chronicling, and providing opinions on, corporate and brand identity work. It’s edited and written by Armin Vit.

14. Art of the Menu

Another great blog from Under Consideration, Art of the Menu catalogues the underrated creativity of menus from around the world. They welcome and encourage suggestions and submissions, and readers are free to comment on both the menu and the restaurant itself, if they’ve visited it.

15. Print.pm

The brainchild of Parisian art director Martin Joubert, Print.pm provides a daily burst of inspiration for lovers of editorial print design, mainly based around arty-looking books and magazines.

16. For Print Only

One more blog from Under Consideration that’s well worth a mention. For Print Only celebrates the reality that print is not dead, by showcasing the latest and greatest printed projects. Not only is the work superlative, but the writers get deep into the weeds, revealing lots of lovely detail about the design and print production methods.

17. The Dsgn Blog

The Design Blog is all about visual inspiration. Founded, designed and curated by Ena Baćanović, a designer based in Zagreb, Croatia, it features the work of designers and design studios from all over the world, putting the main focus on young designers and students

18. The Book Design Blog

Run by Manchester-based graphic designer Paul Murray, The Book Design Blog aims to find and showcase inspirational publications from around the world. From self-published ‘zines to commercially produced books, and everything in between, anything vaguely book-like is considered for a feature.

19. BP&O

BP&O stands for Branding, Packaging and Opinion, and it delivers on all of these things, with a combination of inspiring imagery and in-depth analysis. It’s the brain child of Richard Baird, a British freelance designer and writer who specialises in brand identities and packaging.

20. Design Clever

Design Clever is a collaboration started by Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker, two aspiring graphic designers with a passion for everything design-related. This blog was created to showcase talented designers all over the world, and they encourage creatives everywhere to submit their work to it.

21. Grain Edit

Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s to the 1970s, as well as contemporary designers who draw inspiration from that era. It features interviews, articles, designers’ libraries, rare design annuals, type specimens, Ephemera, posters and vintage kids books. Based in California, it’s run by Dave Cuzner, Ethan Davis and Grace Danico.

22. Fonts In Use Blog

Fonts In Use is a public archive of typography indexed by typeface, format, and industry. An independent project led by Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman, it documents and examines graphic design with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation.

23. Readdd

Readdd is a reading list for designers, updated daily with informative pieces relating to design, curated by Australian designer Julian Hutton. If you like, you can subscribe to the “weekly readdding list” to get the links by newsletter.

24. AisleOne

AilsleOne is an inspirational resource focused on design, typography, minimalism and modernism. It’s the work of Antonio Carusone, director of product design at MakeSpace.

25. GoodDesignMakesMeHappy

Good Design Makes Me Happy began life in 2009 as an inspiration journal for graphic designer Hannah Dollery. As the name suggests, it’s a blog that’s full of passion for its subject, and the carefully curated work is always of high quality.

26. Yellowtrace

Set up by Dana Tomic Hughes, Yellowtrace is an online design publication that offers “design inspiration and resource for creative and curious minds”. Launched in 2010 as her passion project (much like Creative Boom) the site is updated daily and offers carefully curated content on interior design, architecture, art, photography, travel, and – yep, you guessed it, design.

27. Van Schneider Blog

This is the blog you’ll visit again and again. Brought to you by German award-winning designer Tobias van Schneider. Expect to discover his inspirations, his secrets to success and various career tips, along with plenty of industry insights.

28. Gurafiku

Gurafiku is a blog dedicated to the history of graphic design in Japan. Brought to you by designer, Ryan Hageman, it seeks to “lift the barrier of language, and present the graphic design of Japan to an international audience”.

29. Design Made In Japan

Whilst we’re on the subject of the Land of the Rising Sun, you simply must add Design Made In Japan to your list of essential blogs. You will never grow tired of the wealth of editorial, product and packaging design to be featured. There’s even a design jobs board for those wanting to work in Japan.

30. Mindsparkle

Mindsparkle magazine promotes the “most beautiful and inspiring projects” in the fields of graphic design, web design and video. With a clean and satisfying design of its own, it’ll become a daily inspiration, and you can rely on the founders to only share the very best.

31. Designcloud

Designcloud shares the best art, design and innovation from around the globe. With a graphic design category, content is organised in a nice grid format, so you can quickly browse and save anything that catches your eye.

32. It’s Nice That

Beautifully designed, industry-led and one of the best resources for keeping abreast of graphic design everywhere, It’s Nice That continues to be one of our favourite publications.

33. The Fox is Black

With a recent refresh under its belt, The Fox is Black is a “place for design, art, lifestyle, and inspiration”, courtesy of Bobby Solomon.

34. Typeroom

Typeroom calls itself “an online platform for the Typophile Generation”. Showcasing outstanding typographic works, featuring inspiring stories about the letterforms that matter and interviewing type designers from around the globe.

35. Httpster

Just want to browse delicious web design? Httpster is exactly what you need. It’s an inspiration resource showcasing “totally rocking websites” made by designers everywhere.

36. The Design Files

The Design Files, named as one of the world’s top design blogs by The Times, covers Australian design in all its forms – from architecture and interiors to gardens, food, fine art and craft. And graphic design too, naturally.

37. Lovely Stationery

Lovely Stationery shares the very best stationery design, and follows a similar format to its sister blog, Lovely Package.

38. The Inspiration Grid

Launched in 2011, The Inspiration Grid is an online magazine celebrating creative talent from around the world, providing a daily fix of art, illustration, typography, photography and… of course, graphic design. It has a clean, appealing design and everything is easy to find. One of our favourites.

39. Visuelle

David Bennett curates inspiring projects from graphic designers worldwide. Add this to your bookmarks for reliable content daily.

40. Creative Bloq

Creative Bloq is a blog launched by the makers of print magazines Computer Arts, net magazine and ImagineFX, and features a mixture of repurposed magazine articles and original content. It aims to bring the very best creative work to its audience, as well as keeping them up to date with trends and news.

41. AIGA: Eye on Design

The AIGA, otherwise known as The Professional Association for Design, has a wonderful blog called Eye on Design which is bursting with design inspiration. With contributors from around the world, you’ll never be bored with its varied content.

42. David Airey

Renowned graphic designer David Airey has his own blog where he shares a wealth of design inspiration, recommended resources and industry advice. An essential to follow.

43. Women of Graphic Design

Women of Graphic Design literally celebrates and champions women in graphic design. Focusing on posters and editorial designs, it’s curated by Tori Hinn and Kathleen Sleboda, along with a team of contributors.

44. Ambalaj

Founded by Swedish designer Kristina de Verdier in 2008, Ambalaj is predominantly a packaging design blog, but it also tends to share the latest design innovations.

45. 8Faces

The official blog of 8 Faces magazine, this blog features inspirational typography, beautiful lettering, reviews, interviews with leading designers and much more. Curated by Jamie Clarke and Elliot Jay Stocks.

46. Swissmiss

Swissmiss is the work of Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss designer in New York who also founded and runs Tattly, CreativeMornings and TeuxDeux. It’s packed with visual inspiration, some of which can be quite offbeat, but never boring.

47. Wrap magazine

Primarily a print magazine, Wrap is published bi-annually and champions contemporary illustration. It also happens to have an excellent blog on tumblr where it shares colourful and quirky work from illustrators and graphic designers everywhere.

48. n v s b l t y

n v s b l t y is an inspiring blog by UK graphic designer Ross Berens that curates some of the latest design projects worldwide. One to bookmark.

49. Lovely Package

Lovely Package curates the very best in packaging design. Organised into handy categories such as alcohol, books and electronics, this has been an essential resource for designers since its launch in 2008.

50. TypeToken

Expect a perfectly organised blog with categorised sections and plenty of inspirational typography to wet your design appetite. Brought to you by designers Mike Sullivan, Marc Millic and David Cole.

How to read people instantly by asking just one simple question

You’re in the break room with a new coworker you don’t know very well, and that person strikes up a conversation. You’re a little guarded, and on top of that, you’re an introvert. Is this someone you can trust enough to want to build a connection? How can you tell?

As it turns out, science has got your back. You can find out plenty about a person with one magic question with the power of a Vulcan mind meld. But before I give it to you, here’s some quick background on the research.

“Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality. Seeing others positively reveals our own positive traits,” says Dr. Wood, lead author of the study.

The study also found that how positively you see other people shows how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much you are liked by others. Now I’m itching to give you the magic question for that new coworker in the break room you’re not sure about, but bear with me.

On the flip side, if someone’s tendency is to speak and describe others in negative terms (even if the person being described does have negative traits), it’s a bigger tip off that the person you’re speaking with will have higher levels of narcissism and antisocial behaviour.

The magic question?

It is all very simple: Asking that new coworker in the break room you’re not sure about what he or she thinks about someone else…  reveals much about his or her own personality. The reason? People tend to see more of their own qualities in others.

Now that you’ve got your secret weapon, lets get back to the break room scene with that new coworker. Your question should sound something like this: “So tell me, how are you liking it here so far?” Followed by, “How do you like working with [coworker/boss name]?”

 


You’ll find the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2010. Article by Marcel Schwantes @ inc.com

10 steps to starting a business

Here are 10 steps you need to take to get your business idea up and running– from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

1. Start-up business plan essentials: Testing your business idea

Field research is a key part of analysing your market and will help you build a successful business plan and brand. Seriously: a bit of good research (not just something that will make you feel good) is invaluable. You may gain an insight that might give your start-up an edge over existing competitors.

2. Choosing the right business structure

Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? Check out at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up. (Might be good to look at point 4 at the same time).

3. How to choose an accountant

Whoa, I hear you say. I can’t afford an accountant! Well, that is where you would be wrong: getting a good accountant on board early on will pay for itself. Seriously. They can advice on good ways of structuring your business, expenditure etc that could say you thousands at the end of the financial year.

Tips from Startups on how to pick the number cruncher that’s right for your small business. Me, I followed a word by mouth recommendation by a friend to pick my accountant.

4. Red tape checklist: What your small business needs to know

Well, they call it red tape. It is about business basics really. Be aware of your responsibilities when it comes to:

  • Tax law – See point 3
  • Intellectual property law – See point 2
  • Employment regs (if you have staff) – See point 2
  • Digital (or data) regs – See point 2
  • Insurance – See point 3

5. How to choose the perfect name for your business

Choosing the right start-up name is extremely important. But it is also challenging. A lot of businesses launch – only to find that they are infringing on the legal rights of another company. There is nothing worse than having to back track and fall back on plan B.

6. How to create a brand that properly represents your business

These days there are bots that can whip up a logo for you. Or some freelancer in India will do it for $5. It is up to you.

But consider this: will the bot or the freelancer in Bangalore (nice place, by the way) think like your potential customers do? You see, a brand is not just a logo: it also encapsulates your business idea, ethos, aspirations – and needs to reach out to your customers, and inspire them into action.

7. Applying for a Start Up Loan: What to expect

Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today…

8. Need office space?

As with most small startups, I chose to work from home. Because I could. It obviously saves you a fortune in initial overheads. Bu tif you want to expand or your line of work needs to house equipment etc, eventually there will be a time, that you need to look at other options. So, what exactly do you need to consider when looking for the perfect premises?

9. How to save money on business software when starting out

Now I don’t know what kind of business you are planning on setting up, and there are an awful lot of apps out there. So specific advice, well, you probably know bets what specialist apps you need. But for core apps, I would really recommend setting up a google business platform, which not only gives you all the office apps you need, but synchs you with cloud space, and any other collaborators/team members in a virtual office environment, Wherever you are. And then there is data storage. Myself, I use Dropbox. It is invaluable in backing up all my files, allowing me to work anywhere with instant access to them and allows me to share and collaborate with selected teams.

10. Going to market

So, you’ve got your start-up all ready to go? Your market research (you did do some, didn’t you?) has told you who your customers are. You have a brand tailored at that market – so now you just need to talk to them. But what is your key message, h how do you reach them and how much will it all cost?  Oh, and before anything else, you need that website up and running as soon as.

Where to start?

Well, obviously here. Do drop me a line, and I can give you some no-obligation advice on getting your inspiring marketing communications started.

 

 

Why do graphic design and copywriting jobs never turn up on charity job boards?

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t me grumbling. I’m keeping pretty busy work-wise, thanks.

I am just a little curious, that’s all.

By telling you that I am keeping busy I have, in some way, already answered my own question. But.. it is still a question that it’d like to put out there:

Why do graphic design and copywriting jobs never turn up on charity job boards?

Is it that  people generally think any creative can come up with great ideas that ‘sell’ a charity’s cause? Is selling financial products one day, and asking for donations to help fund some unforgiving illness another day really the same thing?

Having spent years and years crafting fundraising journeys, both in print and online, donation forms and petitions, I know that many communication professionals are not aware of the pitfalls involved in charity sector marketing. Ever since Olive Cooke, a 92-year-old poppy seller, took her own life feeling “distressed and overwhelmed” by the huge number of requests for donations she received from charities, the press and government regulations have been keeping a very sharp eye on what charities get up to.

Creating a form or doing data capture activities a much more challenging project these days. There are many pitfalls to be avoided – which you only learn about by working on projects, wherever in the charity sector.

What I have learnt from this is that each organisation tries to solve the same problem in a different way. As a freelancer, by working for a wide variety of organisations, I’m one of those few people who has many opportunities to learn yet more ways of doing things, and can transfer ideas and practices that can be applied to other organisations too.

But it isn’t just the legal communication challenges that a creative needs to take into account. All that experience means that, as an example, while I was working on a recent project on preventing child abuse by NGO participants, my team (me and and a copywriter) were not just ‘hired guns’ strictly following the client’s brief, but could make informed recommendations on what tone and voice to use, how to address that particular audience and above all, protect the dignity of the children in the process.

So, no matter what you tell me, after a day selling the latest trend in cereals this is not natural territory for commercial designers or writers to switch over to. Which is why, I really think that this industry should be actively looking to recruit creatives that are experienced in charity communications, that understand that there are many stakeholders involved in each project, that each project needs to cut through a crowded media field-  bypassing a sometimes cynical public – to reach those that want to be engaged and help the causes we are promoting.

Saying that, next time you are thinking of doing a comms project, why not consider hiring someone with experience? Or, if you can’t hire, find freelancers (no plug, honestly) which offer the experience that could add more ROI to your project than you might have thought possible?


Me, I’m Christian Guthier. Do look me up on Linkedin. or get in touch today.

When Governments destroy data…

This is an invaluable historic resource: The Internet Archive. Especially when you become aware that the Trump administration has been ‘disappearing‘ so many web pages. From Civil Rights, Climate Change to LGBT Rights’. Mind you, if you start looking around, you may note that many other governments do the same.

Long before the 2016 Presidential election cycle librarians have understood this often-overlooked fact: vast amounts of government data and digital information are at risk of vanishing when a presidential term ends and administrations change.  For example, 83% of .gov pdf’s disappeared between 2008 and 2012. 

That is why the Internet Archive, along with partners from the Library of Congress, University of North Texas, George Washington University, Stanford University, California Digital Library, and other public and private libraries, are hard at work on the End of Term Web Archive, a wide-ranging effort to preserve the entirety of the federal government web presence, especially the .gov and .mil domains, along with federal websites on other domains and official government social media accounts.

While not the only project the Internet Archive is doing to preserve government websites, ftp sites, and databases at this time, the End of Term Web Archive is a far reaching one.

The Internet Archive is collecting webpages from over 6,000 government domains, over 200,000 hosts, and feeds from around 10,000 official federal social media accounts. The effort is likely to preserve hundreds of millions of individual government webpages and data and could end up totaling well over 100 terabytes of data of archived materials. Over its full history of web archiving, the Internet Archive has preserved over 3.5 billion URLs from the .gov domain including over 45 million PDFs.

This end-of-term collection builds on similar initiatives in 2008 and 2012 by original partners Internet Archive, Library of Congress, University of North Texas, and California Digital Library to document the “gov web,” which has no mandated, domain-wide single custodian. For instance, here is the National Institute of Literacy (NIFL) website in 2008. The domain went offline in 2011. Similarly, the Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI) site was later taken down. Other websites, such as invasivespecies.gov were later folded into larger agency domains. Every web page archived is accessible through the Wayback Machine and past and current End of Term specific collections are full-text searchable through the main End of Term portal. We have also worked with additional partners to provide access to the full data for use in data-mining research and projects.

The project has received considerable press attention this year, with related stories in The New York Times, Politico, The Washington Post, Library Journal, Motherboard, and others.

“No single government entity is responsible for archiving the entire federal government’s web presence,” explained Jefferson Bailey, the Internet Archive’s Director of Web Archiving.  “Web data is already highly ephemeral and websites without a mandated custodian are even more imperiled. These sites include significant amounts of publicly-funded federal research, data, projects, and reporting that may only exist or be published on the web. This is tremendously important historical information. It also creates an amazing opportunity for libraries and archives to join forces and resources and collaborate to archive and provide permanent access to this material.”

This year has also seen a significant increase in citizen and librarian driven “hackathons” and “nomination-a-thons” where subject experts and concerned information professionals crowdsource lists of high-value or endangered websites for the End of Term archiving partners to crawl. Librarian groups in New York City are holding nomination events to make sure important sites are preserved. And universities such as  The University of Toronto are holding events for “guerrilla archiving” focused specifically on preserving climate related data.

We need your help too! You can use the End of Term Nomination Tool to nominate any .gov or government website or social media site and it will be archived by the project team.   If you have other ideas, please comment here or send ideas to info@archive.org.   And you can also help by donating to the Internet Archive to help our continued mission to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

See: https://blog.archive.org/2016/12/15/preserving-u-s-government-websites-and-data-as-the-obama-term-ends/

Get the latest UK fundraising consent and data guidance

The Fundraising Regulator has today released it’s guidance titled Personal Information and Fundraising: Consent, Purpose and Transparency, aimed at helping charities better understand their responsibilities in relation to donor consent, data protection and legitimate interests.

The guidance has been published alongside six case studies, showing examples of charities at different stages in the process of achieving full data compliance who have reconsidered their approach to donor consent over the past 12 months.

An actions checklist and self-assessment toolkit has also been published to accompany the guidance, and help charities with the practical issues surrounding consent and personal data processing.

The Data Protection Act and its associated regulations apply to organisations across the UK. The purpose of this guidance is to:

  • help charities and fundraisers better understand their responsibilities in relation to data protection, donor consent and legitimate interests
  • reflect on their current practices and
  • feel confident in developing a direct marketing approach that takes full account of the rights and wishes of the individual

You can download the pdf of this guide, case studies and action check list + find out more details on their website.

Colour codes for some of the world’s biggest brands

This is a great colour resource for designers: I bet there have been times when you were ready to pull your hair out because you needed to know the colour code for one global brand or another. Or you simply wanted to get some inspiration as to colour sets used by these world-famous brands. After all, you don’t want to clash with some of the greats, do you.

Even if none of the above applies to you, one day you’ll be glad to know that there is no need to worry, as there’s a pretty useful site out there, giving you all the answers…

 Missouri, US-based designer and developer Galen Gidman has rounded up the official colour codes of some of the biggest brands in the world on his website, BrandColors.

The collection to date features a multi-industry spread of brands that include prominent MNCs like Samsung and Pfizer as well as thriving startups like Lyft and Houzz, enabling users to explore and download their favoured collections for their personal use.