CSS galleries seem to be gaining popularity among the web design community for obvious reasons. They can be a great source of inspiration when designing certain elements of a website. Although these sites are great (and sometimes overused), it’s always a good idea to take a break and step back from the computer screen. As designers, we have all been stuck in a rut where ideas just aren’t flowing. I’m the type of designer that will actively seek inspiration when I’m presented with a project. Usually, ideas don’t pop into my head instantly. Inspiration is more about discovering it naturally, rather than forcing it.
There is an abundance of culture, lifestyle and art to be discovered when you travel. The discoveries you encounter may not always be available to you where you live and can help you escape the rut of everyday work. These types of discoveries can be awe-inspiring in a way that is mentally stimulating. Don’t forget to take pictures of your journey to reflect upon later.
Nature is the prefect way to recharge your soul and ease your mind, allowing you a fresh perspective on design. An important part of getting inspiration from nature is not to just view it. Look at the textures and colours of the leaves, grass and water. Paying more attention to the environment around you can help you incorporate new elements into your designs. Getting inspiration from nature is also a good way of making sure you avoid taking too much inspiration from other sources. Below are two examples of awesome websites inspired by the beauty of nature.
Study Different Design Mediums
Fashion is very much artwork in itself. The colours, structure and textures used in fashion can be applied the same way in web design. Specific styles and eras of fashion design can resonate with your personal style, making it easier to discover a new found source of inspiration. The Free People website is a perfect example of a design that reflects the style of the clothes they sell – flowy, natural and girly.
How many times do we mindless pass by architecture in large cities? Studying the line, shape and form of these beautiful buildings is a great way to stir up ideas. The shapes and patterns in modern architecture share the same principles as design elements on the web. There’s a awe-factor in the creativity of structural design that encompasses personality, variety and colour that is sure to inspire. The Material Group and Cappen websites both use beautiful circular structural elements to create a sense of depth and shape.
Photography is one of the best ways to capture human emotions and feelings. As a web designer, this is one of the most important aspects of creating and designing an effective website – we must appeal to our visitors and create an emotional reaction. Photography often allows our minds to wander through various emotions and personal memories creating a new realm of inspiration.
Discover Your Neighbourhood
Visit an art gallery, record store, coffe shop, vintage clothing store or wander through a park. Go to a foreign grocery store and study the packaging designs. These designs aren’t restricted by factors like HTML and CSS and can remind us how to think outside the box when it comes to webpage layout. View architecture and street art – nothing can be more stimulating than discovering your own city, especially areas you have never visited before. Many of these places have a wealth of undiscovered artwork that can be used as inspiration.