Designer’s Block: Your Guide to Design Inspiration Resources

Any artist has felt it at some point or another: that mental block that keeps you staring at your computer screen praying for the muses to guide you. Whether you’ll admit or not, most designers find inspiration in others’ work, building off of something that came before to create something even more eye-catching. Whether you’re designing for t-shirts and bags through companies like or doodling on your computer in hopes of striking gold, check out these five resources for designers who have hit a roadblock.
Designer’s Block: Your Guide to Design Inspiration Resources

  1. deviantART – An online gallery for a wide variety of mediums, deviantART allows users to upload photographs, paintings, graphic design and sketches. Try posting a few of your own pieces to get feedback from the community and browse through your medium of choice for a little inspiration.
  2. muse – Like deviantART, muse is an online gallery that caters to commercial art. It also includes interviews with the artists to find out what their inspiration was when they made their design. If you’re looking for inspiration for a job or project, muse is a great resource to flip through.
  3. Design Seeds – At Design Seeds, colors are your source of inspiration. Each palette is displayed with a photograph and the colors that are found in the photographs, arranging them like paint samples to easily pick up. Copy and paste the palette into your design program and use the eyedropper tool to add the colors to your swatches. Use the photography as inspiration too, as some of the photographs are inspiration themselves.
  4. Unmatched Style – If you’re looking for inspiration, make Unmatched Style your first stop. This online gallery includes podcasts, tutorials, screencasts, articles and a huge selection of examples that will get the creative juices flowing. Even if you’re not looking for inspiration at the moment, sign up to one of their feeds to get constant inspiration sent to your inbox.
  5. I Love Typography – Most of all, who can forget the importance of a good font? Fonts can change the entire feel of a design you’ve been working on or can be the inspiration for something completely new. Even if you decide not to buy or try out a font, use the examples where the fonts are displayed as your muse. Spice up the logo you want to plaster on promotional materials with a font that speaks for itself.

If you’re looking to get away from the Internet for your inspiration needs, head to the bookstore and browse some magazines. Even if you aren’t looking for magazine formats, the colors used in magazines are eye-catching and complementary so they’ll work well when you hit the drawing board. And if inspiration doesn’t seem to be striking, take a step back and don’t try to force it. The best designs come from a fresh mind and when you try to shove the pieces together, you’ll end up with a crummy looking piece of work. If design is your passion, make sure you keep it that way.