Sometimes all you need to break into your own sense of creativity is a little bit of inspiration from the outside. So if you’ve been working for hours, fruitlessly trying to come up with a good graphic design for a website you’re working on, take a break, reset your mind, and go looking for some fresh thoughts.
And those thoughts, free for the taking, may come from sources like sign galleries, award-winning websites, design magazines, designer portfolios, and even specific image searches. These are all totally free resources and can be browsed through on your computer, desktop, smartphone, or tablet, and they can be just the nudge that you need to get back to your own work!
Sometimes the best place to look for inspiration for graphics will come from the real world. And what better way to model your potential theme from than by checking out real-life sign galleries? For as much effort as people can put into fonts and digital representations of signage, an equal amount of work goes into real-world versions, and because the limitations and medium are different, they can often inspire each other from across the creative spectrum. There are stores that specialize in sign construction that you can poke through, and then there are companies that specialize in sign design, so both are good resources for finding that next perfect idea for your online site.
The next place to look for graphic inspiration is going to be any award-winning websites out there that you can quickly find. There are many different reasons for sites to win awards, from being practical, to being popular, to being groundbreaking, but one thing that you’ll notice about all of them is that they have fantastic presentation, and they have fantastic graphical implementation. So when you head to these sites, you’re not looking so much for content, but rather seeing how the nuts and bolts of the graphic design move the theme and idea of the content forward. That’s the trick to gathering that particular kind of inspiration.
Reading online design magazines is another way to pick up some graphical ideas. Once again, you don’t necessarily have to worry about the content itself, but rather look to see how graphic elements are used to add to the stories that are contained in the articles.
Graphic designers often have portfolios available online as well. Remember though, you aren’t trying to copy anyone specifically – you’re looking for elements that allow you to share your own version of graphical possibility, within the constructs of the needs of your site and the needs of your clients.
Specific Image Searches
And finally, when searching for graphical inspiration, if you directly search images in Google, you’ll be treated to literally millions of results. The more specific your search is, the more results you’ll find that match your needs, and then from there it’s simply a matter of translating those results into your own version for your own needs.