Top Ten Friday: Creative Inspiration

Everyone tends to get their creative inspiration from some place different. Some get inspiration from the Internet, others by simply reading a book, and some even find inspiration from walking around his/her city. Here is a list of places some of us z2ers find our creative inspiration.

10. Mr. Cup: This blog offers up a plethora of inspiration for contemporary design, packaging, web design, type and more. One of the best parts of the blog is the large list of links to other great sites devoted to similar subjects.

9. Talking with other creatives: Sometimes this is the best way to drum up ideas and inspiration. When you get so focused on an idea, it really makes it difficult for you to see it as a whole with a clear mind. Getting other perspectives allows you to back up and refocus your thoughts and energy.

8. Designspiration: This is a great place to discover and share great design. There are a variety of images to find, but one of the coolest things you can do is have the ability to search by color. See logos, typography, graphics, etc., with a certain color background.

7. Smashing Magazine: SM is an online magazine for web designers that has topics ranging from coding, mobile, UX, WordPress and more. It offers helpful techniques and tutorials, best practices and valuable insights that might give you the kind of creative inspiration you’ve been hoping for.

6. Vimeo: Vimeo is a more small, niche community of film buffs. The community is highly engaged and has a serious love for all things film, video, cinematography and more. There is less fluff and more “on-topic” videos where people are more likely to offer constructive criticism. Follow channels and engage with other users. Check out the “staff picks” for some of the best videos out there.

5. Dribbble: Dribbble is a community of designers, web and graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creative types share small screenshots (shots) that show their work, process, and current projects. It’s a place to show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design and is also a great place to find design inspiration. Think of it as like a social network for designers.

4. The Best Designs: A slick website that finds some of the most creative and innovative sites out there, and puts them in one place. On top of that, its design is pretty awesome.

3. Creative Bloq: This site was actually created specifically to inspire your creative side. It provides daily inspiration on graphic design, typography, tutorials, web design and so much more.

2. Pinterest: It seems like everyone and their mother is pinning these days. But that’s not a bad thing because it has seemingly brought out the creative side in everyone. People can find inspiration in recipes, weddings, party planning and many more ideas all on Pinterest. It has practically become its own search engine.

1. Make Magazine: From 3-D printing to robotics to DIY projects and so much more. This site brings inspiration to the engineering minds in ways you didn’t know were possible. Videos, stories, images and tutorials give you a whole new perspective when looking to build or create something new.

Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Check out our last “Top Ten Friday” post, which was our team photo challenge. Let us know which was your favorite!

July 19, 2013 · Posted by in design, TTF  

The Sketchnote Typeface

Mike Rohde is a designer and friend of mine. The first time I met Mike he asked me about the Moleskin notebook I was using… that should have been the tip-off that he was into sketching.

Mike pretty much pioneered the idea of Sketchnotes, and over the years he’s been perfecting it and building an army of others who practice the craft. (He even wrote a book!)

But his latest Sketchnotes project is a typeface based on his sketching style. Here’s an excerpt from the blog post:

The texture of Sketchnote is the result of actual ink-spread on paper, captured in scans of the written letterforms and left intact during production to preserve that feeling. Under the hood, the texture was carefully edited by hand, eliminating outline errors and keeping the point count low for optimal performance. These fonts are crafted to the highest industry standards.

And finally, here’s a video I shot of Mike a few years ago talking through the process of Sketchnoting.

June 25, 2013 · Posted by in art, design  

Graphic designers are not created equal. The term itself is a generic one that includes many specialties . Most designers have a specialty, whether it’s print, web, illustration, or multiple sub-categories beyond those. Jessica Hische is well known in the design industry as a letterer, type designer and illustrator. She is someone that immediately comes to mind when I think of a graphic designer who excels in one of these categories.

This talented designer can take a letter, word or phrase and transform it into an elaborate piece of art with ease. In 2009, Hische wanted to challenge herself to stay motivated and inspired, so she created Daily Drop Cap. By creating an initial cap letter per day that individuals could employ for personal use within their own blog posts, she would later be branded as the “Drop Cap Girl.” She’s been making big strides in her work and was recently named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Art and Design. She’s grown a large variety of clients that include The New York Times, Target, Leo Burnett, Penguin Books, Tiffany & Co. and many more.

If you check out Hische’s website, you’ll find a long list of resources and compatriots that you can peruse for hours for inspiration or to help get you out of your design block. However, as Hische reiterates in her blog, you should be drawing upon several inspirations, such as people’s work, ads and more. Always look for new experiences, check out concerts of a different genre than you’re used to or even search for old designs and ads for a new perspective on your design goals. The resources are immeasurable and will ultimately help you create something that is fresh and uniquely yours.

May 22, 2013 · Posted by in design  

The History of Typography

Co.Design has a great post about a graphic design student who couldn’t find any educational videos about type that he liked, so he made his own.

If you’re a fan of type, but light on the history of it, check out Ben Barrett-Forrest’s video, The History of Typography.

May 20, 2013 · Posted by in design  

Trustworthy… fonts?

Comments Off


OK, it’s a given that no one is going to trust Comic Sans. (At least no one who has any taste) but it’s interesting to see the results of a study on what fonts are most believable.

While at least one designer at Z2 is a fan of Hobo and Cooper* I’m still not sure those typefaces would be seen as trustworthy by most.

*I’m 73% sure the designer at Z2 who claims to be a fan of Hobo and Cooper is kidding.

August 20, 2012 · Posted by in design  

Next Page »