A blog sharing resources and inspiration for designers

  • Jul 01 / 2013
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hungry

Stay Hungry

Inspiration

hungry

I’ve just arrived back in Sydney after a weekend trip away to QLD, one of my work-mates was competing in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition and I went along to support and see what it’s all about. It was great to get out of Sydney and get away from the recurring schedule that life turns into, but most importantly I took away from this trip the drive to commit and improve at certain aspects of life.

 

All the BJJ (brazilian jiu jitsu) crew that I was introduced to were incredibly committed and focused on their art, but still realised the importance of having a work/life balance and enjoying themselves. There is an underlying drive in all of them which is to be the best at what they enjoy, which in this case is BJJ, and which in turn makes them incredibly happy.

 

I found it similar to how I feel about design, I love doing it and want to become as good as I can at it. As a designer you like to try and improve, or at least you like to think you do, so seeing the determination and passion that all these guys/girls in BJJ have has made me hungrier than ever to be better, the best, and to enjoy it a hell of a lot more.

 

The moral of the story…STAY HUNGRY!

 

And a massive well done to my mate Miter for winning two gold medals, and Kit for his massive stash of them too. Ossssssss.

  • Jun 17 / 2013
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inspiration

Where to find inspiration

Inspiration, Resources

brains

In my previous article I talked about creating an image library of references that can help your design process, this post will share some of my favourite places to find these images.

I find my inspiration online, in real life, and through apps like instagram. Sometimes you can find inspiration from the most random places and in today’s world there’s no excuse not to capture those moments. Most of the population have camera enabled smart phones which can upload within seconds, so it’s getting easier and easier to collect.

There are a few go to sites which I regularly check to get inspired, here are my favourites ones:

Behance
behance

This online community of artists is an awesome way to get inspired and collect example of well-crafted artwork across a variety of disciplines. Most of the portfolios on Behance are of a very high quality and are by the top designers and agencies from around the world.

The Behance network also host some ‘served‘ sites which focus on the best work in specific areas such as Web Design, Typography, Branding and even collections curated by top digital agencies like R/GA called Digital Age Served.

Behance is a great way to gain exposure as a designer, I suggest signing up for free and posting some work to get noticed.

 

Dribbble
Dribbble

If you’re not familiar with Dribbble, it’s a social network that lets designers, illustrators and digital artists post detailed screenshots of whatever they are working on. It’s especially useful for finding reference of pixel perfect interface elements, a search for something like ‘buttons‘ will give you a collection of very highly crafted button styles, which can influence your designs.

Dribbble is strictly invite only, which makes sure that all the work posted is of a high standard. It’s also very community driven and let’s other designer provide feedback on your posts and give suggestions.

 

Designspiration
Designspiration

Designspiration is a way to discover and share your design, architecture, photography and fashion inspiration. The site also has a handy search function, which lets you filter by colours to help you find what you’re looking for.

 

fffound
FFFFOUND

ffffound isn’t just great fun to say, it’s an awesome collection of designs, photography and artwork which is submitted by the community. The more you use this site the more it learns about you and caters what you see to your tastes.

 

Awwwards
Awwwards - Website Awards - Best Web Design Trends

Awwwards is a showcase of the best of the best. It exists to award the best developers, designers and web agencies from around the world. Submissions are reviewed for design, creativity, usability and content which makes sure the sites don’t just look nice, but work well.

 

Site Inspire
siteInspire

Site Inspire is another site which showcases great web design. There are lots of great examples of minimal, clean, and responsive websites.

 

Here are a bunch of others which are also worth checking out:

DeviantART

Smashing Magazine

The Cool Hunter

Pattern Tap

I Love Typography

TheFWA

One Page Love

Pinterest

Stumble Upon

There are so many other sites out there which showcase great work, the above links are just some of my favourites which I regularly browse. I suggest subscribing to their RSS feeds so you can see all the new work in one place.

 

 

 

 

  • Jun 14 / 2013
  • 2
library

Designer Tip – Create an image library

Designer Tips

library

This is my first tip for anyone who is a designer or works in the creative field, make an image library.

As you develop your design process you’ll come to realise how important the initial research/mood-boarding stage is. You’ll spend hours and sometimes days searching the net for references that could help influence your final design or even just help the client understand where you picture the design going. Instead of heading to google, dribbble, designspiration or wherever you look for reference, why don’t you start off on your local computer. If you have a library of inspirational images/photo/videos/typography/whatever it will save you a heap of time and let you spend more time crafting the work.

I have broken my library down into categories to make finding what I’m looking for even easier, here is my structure:

folder structure

 

I use adobe bridge to browse through my images, I like how you can customise the background colour and change the thumbnail sizes etc. This is my personal preference so feel free to use any other image browser out there which may suit your better.

Adobe Bridge

Having my own image library has been a vital part in improving my design skills, the more reference you can find the better. So if you find something that you like, SAVE IT!

I’ll be posting an article about where you can find nice designs soon, this should help you build up your library in the future.

 

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