21 great websites for web design inspiration

By Kelly Carter

Everyone needs a little inspiration sometimes, right? When we feel in a creative rut, we all have our favorite websites that we visit to get our right brain synapses popping. Below are just a few of the sites we think are great resources for when you need a little help through your dry patches.

General Design

A mashup of all kinds of design from all kinds of designers, all spilling over with delightful and inspiring creations.

1. Cargo Collective – This is the ultimate portfolio website builder for creatives. It’s also a great way to peruse what other designers are creating.

Cargo Collective

Cargo Collective.

2. Inspiration Grid – A blog that is updated daily and celebrates the work of creative talent from the world.

The Inspiration Grid

The Inspiration Grid.

3. From Up North – This fantastic design blog focuses on promoting and inspiring creatives. It’s a perfect site for inspiration within graphic design, advertising, photography, illustration, web design, motion graphics, and print and packaging.

From Up North

From Up North.

4. Designcollector – This site explores the digital culture and reveals the hand picked projects from photography, design, fashion, illustration and art industries.

Design Collector

Design Collector.

5. Dribbble – Dribbble is an online community for showcasing user-made artwork. It functions as a self-promotion and networking platform for graphic design, web design, illustration, photography, and other creative areas.

Dribble

Dribble.

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Book design

As huge fans of book and other publication cover design, we think these are awesome sites that provide lots of web design inspiration. 

6. Book Cover Archive – This highly-visual site was created for the appreciation and categorization of excellence in book cover design. 

Book Cover Archive

Book Cover Archive.

7. The Casual Optimist – Here’s a fascinating blog that showcases awesome book covers, design inspiration, comics, literature, publishing, and pop culture.

The Casual Optimist

The Casual Optimist.

8. Book Design Blog – BDB sets out to find and showcase inspirational publications from around the world. From self-published ‘zines to commercially produced books, and everything in between, anything vaguely book-like is considered for a feature.

Book Design Blog

Book Design Blog.

9. Coverjunkie – Good news for those addicted to awesome book cover design. Coverjunkie is a self-prescribed addiction to magazine covers. A celebration of creative covers & their ace designers.

coverjunkie

coverjunkie.

10. The Society of Publication Designers – (SPD) is dedicated to promoting and encouraging excellence in editorial design with a Annual Design Competition and a Publication Design Annual that is a great source of inspiration.

The Society of Publication Designers' (SPD)

The Society of Publication Designers (SPD).

Typography

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. Here are some of our favorite typography sites that help inspire us to create beautiful web design.

11. I Love Typography – This clever blog celebrates the passion for fonts and typography, covering everything from new fonts to the history of certain typefaces that have been around for hundreds of years.

I Love Typography

I Love Typography.

12. House Industries – House Industries is a type foundry and design studio based in Delaware, that has carried their talent over to artwork and product design. We find their work, especially amazing!

House Industries

House Industries.

13. Typographica – Spiffy online review site that analyzes typefaces and typography books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design.

Typographica

Typographica.

14. Drew Melton – yourjustlucky.com is the site of graphic designer Drew Melton and his ongoing love affair with lettering & typography.

Drew Melton

Drew Melton.

Product and Packaging Design

Are these simply new and interesting ways to sell the same ol’ stuff? Or is this true art? Either way, have a look for some true web design inspiration. 

15. Sweety & Co. – This is the site of Isabela Rodrigues, a Brazilian based design studio, who excels at bright, colorful and fun packaging design.

Sweety & Co.

Sweety & Co..

16. The Dieline – The Dieline is the design industry’s source for daily package design & branding inspiration, resources, news, conferences, events, and awards. Definitely some neat stuff here!

The Dieline

The Dieline.

Style and Interior Design

If you’re a designer, you probably feel that everything in the universe needs to be beautiful. Well, you would be right! Continue on for some web design inspiration that delivers.

17. Honestly WTF – This blog is awesomely named and is a daily dose of fashion discoveries and inspirations, contributed by a stylist and a designer who both see the world through rose-colored shades.

Honestly WTF

Honestly WTF.

18. Design * Sponge – This site is one of the most popular online resources for all things design and home decor.

Design * Sponge

Design * Sponge.

19. Design Milk – Design Milk is a super stylish blog featuring what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology.

General Fun in Design

Two more sources of inspiration for your web design projects …

20. Cardon Copy – The guy who created this is a genius! Cardon Copy is a brilliant project in which designer Cardon Webb takes poorly designed flyers from off the street and redesigns and replaces them with his creatively appealing versions.

Cardon Copy

Cardon Copy.

21. Doppelgänger Design – This last blog hasn’t been updated in several years, but it is still amusing to revisit. We wish they’d do more posts. Doppelgänger Design takes a look at the similarity in designs and illustrations for magazines and raises the issue of just how far you can go before you are copying another’s design.

Doppelgänger Design

Doppelgänger Design .