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Top 25 Sites for Graphic Design Ideas

Let’s start by drawing a mental picture of the moment we are all too familiar with. You have a great idea for a project, you know every piece of a project except for one thing, the design. The most amazing and frustrating part of a project, you are tasked with is creating the UI / UX. It must be something simple, memorable and most of all intuitive, or as most clients would put it, make it like Apple. Sometimes you need a little inspiration to design up something that fits in all of those criteria. This is my top 25 list ( in no specific order ) of sites I browse when looking for graphic design ideas.

Unheap

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.16.53 PM

Sometimes when I am looking for ideas I will like to see examples. Unheap does a good job of supplying code ( since I am primarily a developer ). This site alone has almost everything you would need ( form inputs, animations, media, etc… ) for all of your graphic designing needs. It also is nice to be able to send developers links on how certain elements should behave ( always a struggle when trying to describe how your design should work to a developer )

PatternTap

PatternTap

The always helpful pattern tap is great for full site design ideas. You can never go wrong when in need of design inspiration.

Subtle Patterns

SubtlePatterns

Subtle patterns is a great resource that I use on almost every project. It gives you a library of seamless background images perfect for any occasion. It gives you the ability to browse and even preview the images as the sites own background to give you a good idea of what it will look like. Subtle patterns will also give you a normal and retina (@2x ) image.

Behance

behance

Behance is another one of those great sites that give you ideas on almost every element needed in a site. A fairly new site in my list but always comes to the rescue when I need some ideas.

Theme Forest

themeforest

ThemeForest, the mecca of all sites for CMS related projects, ThemeForest is a site designed to distribute themes for difference CMS platforms as well as design work. The sister sites of ThemeForest are good for all other digital services ( music, video editing tools, restaurant menu design, and the list goes on… ) . Even if you are not looking to buy a theme they usually have excellent demos and unique ways to present a design concept which can also be handy in the future.

99Designs

99designs
99Designs is also a new  site to my list but from my experience so far has been great. You can check out what designers are creating as contest entries for any platform ( web / mobile ) . Check out a few contests, maybe sign up and watch some contests to be kept up to speed

Dribble

dribble

Dribble, the Pintrest of the design world, great for just seeing what trends are going on in the design world.

Dynamic Drive

dynamicdrive

DynamicDrive, Although the site itself looks like it has not been updated, it contains designs mostly for the elements of the page such as buttons, inputs and slick animations.

Css Drive

cssdrive

This site is a good one to watch trends and see how certain styles and designs are being rated.  This is a site where people think outside the box and can create some very interesting ways to portray information, after all it is the main focus of a design.

Code Pen

codepen

I feel as though CodePen might be one that specifically relates to me because I’m primarily a developer. Seeing sleek animations and being able to manipulate the code to get new effects it is one that I am sure to go to when I am in need of a big inspiration boost.

Give-n-Go

give-n-go

Give-n-Go a great source for inspiration. You never know what you will get with the site, sometimes you will get buttons other times you can get slick animations. Always a good one to check frequently!

Shutter Stock

shutterstock

I would have never thought that you can get inspiration from ShutterStock. I thought it was all cheesy stock images of people eating cupcakes or being awkward in a business setting. However there is a great section that has all of your design needs. Great for illustrations and promotional material.

Design Mag

designmag

Design Mag is a blog, sometimes having some interesting things, they do post a lot of freebies with templates and references. You may have to dig a little bit but many great ideas has spawned from this site.

Design Beep

designbeep

Design Beep is a site that is simple and to the point, they even have a link in the navigation dedicated to inspirations.

Reddit UserExperience

redditUserExperience

Reddit, one of the last places I would have ever thought to look for design inspiration. It’s amazing at what a community like reddit can do, turning my thought on reddit being just text and conversations about cats into a legit source for design inspiration and not to mention feedback! Check it out, you may have to dig a little bit but there is always amazing content waiting to be stumbled upon.

Reddit WebDesign

redditWebDesign

As mentioned above reddit was not the place that I thought you could get good design resources, however it always proves me wrong! The following design resource is pretty much the same just with a different spelling.

Reddit Web_Design

redditWeb_Design

Pretty much the same resource as above, just different spelling. Reddit has some rooms split like this and at times can be confusing but I just check both of them!

Reddit Css

redditCss

This may be another case of where me being a developer first may play a big role in the fact that I can find inspiration by looking at css code and basic examples. As stated above, reddit would not be a place I would have thought to go but has turned out to be a key site to go to when you need a little something more.

UX Archive

uxarchive

A unique site dedicated to iOS user flow, designing an app is one thing but being able to see the user flow give it a whole different level of inspiration. A must use when dealing with mobile designing.

Media Queries 

mediaqueries

Media Queries offers great ideas on how to manipulate the design when having to make a design responsive.

Hongkiat

hongkiat

This is a site that I did not expect to find inspiration from, seems to be a business blog but there are tons of great examples of great UX ideas.

Pixel Bin

pixelbin

I stumbled upon this site by accident, but quickly became my favorite, not only are there great designs to get ideas from but they offer the PSD’s along with them. Amazing way to quickly manipulate the example to fit your needs and allow you to draft up a design.

4 Designer

4designer

A horrible name and a horrible site design, it is surprising that this site actually has some decent content. Dig past a few of the “outdated” designs and you can find some great resources!

1st Web Designer

1stwebdesigner

An almost equally as horrible name yet better design on its own site. 1stWebDesigner also has a link in the navigation labeled “Inspiration”, what more could you want!?

Aw Core

awcore

Luckily the insanely cluttered homepage of this site is not a foresight into the quality of the content, once you manage to find the news section there are quite a few gems of design inspiration. All you have to do is dig!

There you have it, that is my personal list of the top 25 sites for design inspiration. I hope that you found at least one site that was an inspiration to you. After all there is never one resource for every piece of inspiration, you need a variety to inspire your graphic design ideas. If you know of any that I did not list that is helpful to you please share it, I would like to create a bigger list. You can never have too many options to go to for inspiration.

An inventive, entrepreneurial and positively unsatisfied mind that constantly pushes the tech boundaries to create new solutions and devices that change people’s lives.

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