When the blank sheet syndrome hits, or when your research is at a dead-end, digital resources can come to the rescue and provide inspiration. There are a multitude of sites posting about exciting new designers, trends and works – but which are the ones that can get our creative juices flowing every time?
Sarah Kante spoke to some Central Saint Martins students to get some ideas of their ‘go to’ websites, as well as asking some of her own network of art and design practitioners for the online resources that never disappoint when it comes to inspiration and research. Below is a list of recommendations, with ‘in their own words’ descriptions, to get you started on your own inspired digital wanderings.
From the websites of established magazines such as Dazed Digital or Vogue US, to street style blogs, the following resources are a good place to start when seeking fashion inspiration:
For 20 years, Dazed & Confused Magazine has been at the forefront of youth culture. Defining the times, each issue showcases agenda-setting editorial and pioneering fashion photography. Based in London but created by an international collective of writers, image-makers and stylists, Dazed and its website dazeddigital.com is read in print and online by over 500,000 style leaders. It is quite simply the most influential and successful independent magazine title on the planet.
Hunger is a biannual magazine by Rankin. Hungertv.com was launched simultaneously with the magazine. The video-based website features exclusive in-depth interviews and fashion films with those in the magazine, as well as regular articles on other personalities and events.
The website of Vogue US is arguably the number 1 online fashion resource for everyone from students to designers, or fashion curious. With everything from articles, trends and show coverage, it is the perfect place to start any online research.
NowManifest is a single portal that provides access to the world’s most influential fashion blogs for a loyal following of style-obsessed readers. At one destination, the NowManifest audience can connect with distinct perspectives from renowned personalities including BryanBoy, Anna Dello Russo, FashionToast, Derek Blasberg, FaceHunter, Sea of shoes and Style Bubble. It is a platform for the outrageous, the unfiltered and the totally unique. Now Manifest is where fashion finds its voice.
Susanna Lau, also known as Susie Bubble, is a writer and editor living and working in London. Lau started her blog ‘Style Bubble’ in March 2006. It consists of her widely read thoughts, personal experiences and observations on fashion with a focus on spotlighting young and unknown talent. Lau was editor of Dazed Digital, the website of Dazed & Confused magazine, from 2008-2010. Lau now works full-time on her blog and other freelance projects, including writing for Elle, The Daily Rubbish and Dazed Digital.
Yvan Rodic started Face Hunter in 2006. Widely considered one of the most influential movers and shakers in fashion, his original blog and more recent Visual Diary receive approximately 1 million hits per month. When he began in 2006, street style blogging was still in its infancy: in part it is thanks to his work that it has subsequently become a phenomenon. With the telling tag line: “Eye Candy for the Style Hungry” above portraits of individual characters with arresting styles, Face Hunter instantly developed a reputation for being one of the most satisfying style destinations online.
More than just a street style photographer, Yvan Rodic is a cultural explorer or ‘blog-trotter’—a new breed of traveller on a perpetual mission to scout out the latest global trends, current cultural happenings and fashion. To capture these developments, Yvan has expanded his network to encompass new media while “twittering” the results as he goes. His tantalising Visual Diary offers a more intimate, eclectic record of his own tastes and the places and subjects he encounters, returning to the broader scope of his original passion.
Founder/blogger/photographer Scott Schuman began The Sartorialist with the idea of creating a two-way dialogue about the world of fashion and its relationship to daily life.
In 2009 Penguin published an anthology of his images that has sold well over 100,000 copies to date and been translated into languages from English to Korean. Its limited-run Bespoke Edition sold out in less than three months.
His work resides in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
ILLUSTRATION, GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ADVERTISING
The array of resources for graphic designers, illustrators and design enthusiasts is staggering. The following websites do all the work for you by presenting the best of what’s happening at the moment. Usually including both established and up and coming designers, these agglomerators are a one stop shop for all your design needs.
Founded in 2007, It’s Nice That is a publishing platform that encompasses several different online, print and events offerings as part of its mission of championing creativity across the art and design world.
The website – which is updated daily with at least nine new articles – attracts a loyal, international readership of around 350,000 unique users a month.
First Broadcast is our audio visual site for hosting original content, Company of Parrots is our shop where we sell specially-commissioned products and This At There is a dedicated arts and design exhibition listings guide to London. The Jobsboard connects employers and jobseekers in the creative industries.
Launched in 2010, Colossal is a Webby-nominated blog that explores art and other aspects of visual culture. Colossal won the Utne Media Award for Arts Coverage in 2013 and is ranked by Technorati as one of the top 50 blogs on the web. Each week you’ll find 15-25 posts on photography, design, animation, painting, installation art, architecture, drawing, and street art. Colossal is also a great place to learn about the intersection of art and science as well as the beauty of the natural world. There are frequently posts about things far out in left field, but generally Colossal is a reminder that in this digital age there are still countless people making incredible work with their bare hands.
We and the Color is a blog about creative inspiration in art, graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, fashion, product, interior, video and motion design.
Launched in 1980, Creative Review inspires, informs and stimulates debate across the fields of advertising, design and visual culture worldwide.
We aim to produce thought-provoking content covering graphic design, advertising, digital media, illustration, photography, typography and essentially, any other form of visual communication.
Abduzeedo is a collection of design visual inspiration and useful tutorials.
One of the goals of Abduzeedo is to be an open channel to the design community, encouraging feedback. The Daily Inspiration is a proof of that, everybody can send images that inspired them so we can share with the community.
Founded in December 2006 by Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso and his business partner and friend at Zee, Fabiano Meneghetti, Abduzeedo follows Sasso’s own experimentations and records his abduction by the world of design, which set the theme for the blog.
Founded in 2005 by an ever growing group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across, FormFiftyFive soon became an international showcase of creative work.
We scour the world’s best creative talent to keep FormFiftyFive a foremost collection of current design from both the young upstarts and well known masters.
The site lists the best quality and freshest illustrations and logos from designers from around the world to serve as a source of inspiration for those who are looking for one. The categories featured in the site include logo designs, website showcase, patterns download, business cards design, typography inspiration, illustration art and creative photo.
Ads of the World (AotW) is an advertising archive and community owned by WebMediaBrands.
On the front page advertisements from around the world are posted daily for your inspiration and enjoyment. You are encouraged to comment and rate them. You can also favorite them to keep them in your personal favorite collection.
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
More design, more websites. For the architecture students, those who are in need of inspiration to redecorate their small London studio flats, or simply to keep a finger on the pulse of what is new and exciting in the area of architecture, interior or industrial design, these websites are a good start.
Founded in 1999, designboom is the world’s first and most popular digital architecture and design magazine.
Designboom aims to bring together professional and young creatives from a diverse range of backgrounds. By publishing the latest news and key issues in the fields of architecture, design, technology and art, our mission over the past 13 years has remained the same: unearthing the best projects and curating a selection of the most interesting aspects of contemporary culture…before you can find it anywhere else.
Today designboom is the most comprehensive source with over 33,000 articles worth of useful information and insightful interviews, studio visits, documentation of new products, reviews of exhibitions and books, and historical surveys.
Since 1995 Core77.com has served a devoted global audience of industrial designers ranging from students through seasoned professionals. Core77 publishes articles, discussion forums, an extensive event calendar, hosts portfolios, job listings, a database of design firms, schools, vendors and services. Core77 provides a gathering point for designers and enthusiasts alike by producing design competitions, lecture series, parties, and exhibits.
Our mission is simple: to bring you a carefully edited selection of the best architecture, design and interiors projects from around the world.
Dezeen was launched at the end of November 2006 and has grown rapidly to become one of the most popular and influential architecture and design blogs on the Internet.
Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Inhabitat was started by NYC designer Jill Fehrenbacher as a forum for investigating emerging trends in product, interior, and architectural design.
When founders Adi and Alon remodeled their home, they started the way these projects often do: with a tall stack of magazines and referrals for home professionals from people they knew. But after those piles of torn out pages failed to make their dream a reality, they felt stuck. There had to be a better way.
So they built Houzz. A place to browse and save beautiful home photos. A place to find the right design and construction professionals. A place to connect with others who have been there too. Houzz started as a side project but has become a community of more than 20 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals—across the country and around the world.
With our carefully considered showcase of over 160.000 premium design products and materials, Architonic is the number-one online community for architects, designers, home-owners and design enthusiasts.
We live in a world where furnishings, fittings and materials proliferate. It’s become a full-time job, keeping track of what’s out there. That’s where Architonic comes in. With our international network of architecture and design professionals, all keeping an expert eye on what’s new and, more importantly, what’s good, we’ve hand-picked the finest designs the market has to offer. Only manufacturers and brands that meet Architonic founders Nils Becker and Tobias Lutz’s selection criteria are given the possibility of presenting their products on Architonic. In short, we do all the research, so you don’t have to.
An online magazine dedicated to modern design, Design Milk offers what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology.
Design Milk is a 2013 winner of the A’ Design Award.
AND HERE’S SOME MORE…
The following websites are slightly different from the ones already mentioned, by being inspirational with a twist. From the videos of Nowness to the personal spaces of those designers we admire at The Selby, these are resources that can not only help with your research, but also be a ‘productive’ way of procrastinating.
NOWNESS is a global culture platform for digital storytelling, premiering exclusive daily content. We are a curated destination for the culturally curious, a point of reference for leaders in media and style, and a creative community committed to discovering, crafting and showcasing exceptional work, in collaboration with exceptional artists.
Across nine content channels, from fashion and music to gastronomy, art and design, our original video commissions, innovative series and novel partnerships with luxury brands have taken us inside the minds of the industry’s brightest young talent and most influential heroes. We’ve taken a 90s nostalgia trip with Chloë Sevigny, strapped LED lights onto a snow boarder, wrangled reindeer in the Arctic, sipped champagne with David Lynch, gone home with Marc Newson and danced in the Ocean with Florence and the Machine.
Todd Selby is a photographer, director, author and illustrator. His project, The Selby, offers an insider’s view of creative individuals in their personal spaces with an artist’s eye for detail. The Selby began in June 2008 as a website where Todd posted photo shoots he did of his friends in their homes. Requests quickly began coming in daily from viewers all over the world who wanted their homes to be featured on the site.
My Modern Met is where art enthusiasts and trendspotters connect over creative ideas.
We started My Modern Met back in May 2008 because we wanted to create one big city where we could celebrate creative ideas. Today, we get on average 5 million visitors coming to our blog each month looking for amazing art, clever design and incredible photography.
We’re most proud of the fact that, we’re not just exposing new people to incredible artwork, but that we’re helping artists’ careers along the way. Nothing brings us greater joy than hearing about how an artist’s life has somehow changed after being featured on My Modern Met.
In this article, I looked at some of the best online resources to check out for inspiration and research. Whilst they are all great in their own right, no student or art and design practitioner should ever undervalue the power of his or her own network when it comes to inspiration. For this reason, my last recommendation of a good resource to find inspiration is quite simply your personal social networks. We all have friends who cannot help sharing every article they read online on Facebook, and whilst this may take over your feed, you might also find some amazing things there. For those Twitter fans, following people you admire is a good way to keep in-the-loop of what professionals in your discipline are looking at – and bookmarking whatever takes your fancy.
The digital realm is an amazing place for research and inspiration. A Google search can open up a wealth of possibilities, but it can also be overwhelming. This list of resources is in no way exhaustive, but it can be a good place to start when you do not really know what you are looking for, when you are in need of general inspiration, or simply when you want to keep abreast of what’s happening in the wider realm of your practice.
QUICK LIST AND LINKS
It’s Nice That
We and the Color
The Design Inspiration
Ads of the World
My Modern Met