10 Must-Have Tools for Design Inspiration ~ Guest Post

10 Must-Have Tools for Design Inspiration ~ Guest Post


This guest post was written by Elizabeth Phillips. She is a former web designer who is currently freelance writing. She enjoys reading and writing articles that have anything and everything to do with design. She can be found typing away on her laptop in Philadelphia, PA.

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Web design is constantly changing as technology grows. Developments like fiber optics have dramatically improved Internet speeds - and faster speeds have opened up the possibility for high-tech innovations like parallax and 3D animation.

No matter how tech-savvy web design gets, some things never change. Even the most advanced designs still need to wow with the basics - colors, fonts and images. Here are a few tools that will help you balance high-tech with aesthetic and keep your design inspiration fresh.

Color Hunter

Have a photograph you want to turn into a color palette - or just need to browse for some creative inspiration? Color Hunter can help you do both. Upload images to create custom color palettes, or search existing palettes by shade and theme. Save the ones you like to your Favorites.

FontStruct

There are tons of font databases that allow you to search for fonts and even find the closest match to an unknown style. But FontStruct allows you to create your own fonts - for free. Use geometrically shaped “bricks” to build your own font in a grid interface. Once you’re done, share your font in the gallery, where you can also see and download others’ creations.

Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler is a free web tool that allows you to create your own palettes using a vibrant color wheel. Choose up to five shades on the wheel, and adjust hues on a slider. You can also explore existing color themes, including the most popular and most used. Even cooler? You can use the Adobe Kuler app and your iPhone camera to extract color palettes from your surroundings on the go.

StyleVault

If you have designer’s block and need to check out some finished products to get inspired, try StyleVault. The site showcases web designs from a variety of sources. You can search mobile, commercial, animated and CSS designs. You can also follow the portfolios of individual designers.

 

SwatchSpot

SwatchSpot is another great site for color inspiration. It has an incredibly simple interface - all you do is hit “Shuffle Colors” to come up with random palettes of six hues. You can lock in the shades you like and shuffle again until you find the perfect combination. Save your favorite palettes, download them to your computer or grab the color codes.

Web Creme

Like StyleVault, Web Creme features hundreds of pages of web design ideas. The only difference? Web Creme’s examples are organized by upload date, and there’s no real way to search through them. To make the most of this site, you have to be willing to sift through tons of examples to find your inspiration.

LogoPond

LogoPond is the mecca for designers looking for logo ideas. The site contains thousands of logos for a wide variety of brands and themes. You can browse featured, popular and recent logos. Filter results by designer, status and date of upload. LogoPond also features a forum for design discussion, questions and critiques.

Shutterstock Spectrum

Shutterstock is every designer’s best friend, with more than 30 million stock photos, illustrations and videos. But the site got even better in early 2013 when it released Shutterstock Spectrum. The tool allows designers to search stock imagery by color. Just choose your shade on a gradient scale, and refine by theme - like “forest” or “home.”

Designspiration

Designspiration is my favorite site to visit when I need a little creative stimulation. The site houses thousands of images, searchable by tags, categories and colors. Browse images of art, books, fashion, illustration, typography and more. Choose up to 5 colors and find images that incorporate them all. Save your favorites into collections.

TinEye Labs Multicolr Search

TinEye Labs Multicolr Search extracts color from more than 10 million Creative Commons images on Flickr, allowing you to search images by shade.  Select up to 5 colors, and then adjust the hues using a color wheel. Easily change the color composition of your search by clicking and dragging.

What are your favorite online tools for design inspiration?

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Elizabeth welcomes your feedback at [email protected].

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Colorful Grunge Art

Colorful Grunge Art


Lately everything Grunge seems to be trending. Everywhere I search online I find Grunge Photoshop Brushes or Grunge Textures. Check out the best of Grunge Art from the Internet:

 

 

 

Create Gorgeous Grunge Art with Creative Market, Pick Up These Awesome Items and Get Creative ASAP:

*Featured Image Source

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Spectacular Text Effects

Spectacular Text Effects


There are so many interesting things you can do with text. Here is a collection of tutorials to create amazing text effects in programs like Photoshop. Once you have mastered these colorful and creative text effects, use them to create beautiful typographical art pieces.

Tutorial #1: Earth Design - Grass Text

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Paper Texture Backgrounds                                        Bold Typeface

Tutorial #2: Embossed Text with Metallic Glow

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Cursive Font                                             Bulbous Font

Tutorial #3: Spray Paint Text

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Splatter Photoshop Brushes                                             Retro Font

Tutorial #4: Grunge Floral Text Effect

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Flower Vectors                                      Grunge Textures

Make sure to share or link to the colorful creations you make using these tutorials, can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Colorful Turn of the Century Japanese Designs

Colorful Turn of the Century Japanese Designs


I know what you're probably wondering...turn of what century? Well these particular designs come from a magazine published in 1901 and 1902 called Shin-bijutsukai.

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This magazine was a monthly publication featuring "various designs by the famous artists of to-day," and as you can see, the pages are filled with wonderful colors and trippy patterns. I don't know about you, but after looking at all of the nature elements in these designs, I feel like going for a jaunt in the park.

  

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Festive & Fun Holiday Patterns

Festive & Fun Holiday Patterns


As we ease into the holiday weekend, it's starting to feel more festive than ever. Around this time, some people like to drive around and look at Christmas decorations. Internet nerds like myself like to browse around and see what awesome things people are creating online.

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When it comes to holiday patterns, there's lots of goodies to be found. Patterns are especially fun because you can use them as wallpapers or backgrounds or, heck, even as your own gift wrap. Some of these are just great inspiration, others are great foundations for your own designs, and all are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

Agente Xmas Pattern by Vladimir Gorz & Xmas Pattern by Greg Christman

 

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Creative Trends to Match Colors to Lighting in Your Kitchen

Creative Trends to Match Colors to Lighting in Your Kitchen


This guest post is written by Jay Harris. Jay is a Home Depot sales associate and a regular contributor to Home Depot’s blog. His interests include home lighting, home automation, and solar panels.

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The kitchen is one of the most active and important rooms within your house—one that gets quite a bit of attention when it comes to home makeovers. You’re in and out of the kitchen constantly. Between preparing meals each day or just grabbing a quick snack, it seems like you end up in the kitchen more than any other room. With this much foot traffic, it needs to be a room that looks decent and represents your home properly.

Lighting can play a big role in helping this come to fruition. Lighting also plays a big role in how your color scheme will set the mood for the room. Kitchens are meant to be inviting rooms—they entice the appetite and help you to relax and unwind from your day.

Let’s illustrate how light can play a role in making kitchens stand out.

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Print Inspiration from Around the Web

Print Inspiration from Around the Web


Print design speaks to us. Posters, flyers, invitations, business cards -- they're tangible, nostalgic, and because we can actual touch the designs, extremely personal. So much creativity and ingenuity can be packed into an 11x17" poster, or a 2x3.5" business card, it's no wonder I can get lost for hours and hours looking at amazing designs.

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For your viewing pleasure, here is a selection of great print inspiration from around the web.

Jessica Genest Identity by Nicolas Ménard

 

Orita Sinclair Prospectus by Bravo Company

 

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The Colorful & Otherworldly Landscapes of Utah

The Colorful & Otherworldly Landscapes of Utah


I have to say, when I've thought of Utah in the past, color was not a word that I would have associated with the hot, arid, and rocky terrain pictured in my mind's eye. That is until my introduction to the landscape photography of Jeremy Davies. Jeremy is one of the many fantastic photographers that work with us here at myPhotopipe, and his work brings depth and visual artistry to a landscape just as vibrant as his approach and technique. Jeremy has a way of interpreting what he sees and feels in the world around him into a tangible manifestation the rest of us can admire from  a distance that's oftentimes otherworldly, yet connect with personally.

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Introducing you to the array of chroma Utah's eclectic landscapes has to offer seems like a natural progression in this budding love affair of colorful photography we're sharing. Allowing yourself to get lost in the escapism Jeremy's sensible, yet discerning eye offers will open you up to a plethora of possible color combinations when examining the color palettes of his photography.

Source: Jeremy Davies

SaltySorbetSunset

A sunset photo of the Great Salt Lake. The posts pictured were once used as support for Saltar Resort, back in the late 1800's.

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4 Ways to Color Your Yard with Light

4 Ways to Color Your Yard with Light


This guest post is written by Annie Josey. Annie is a blogger for Pegasus Lighting, a specialty lighting retailer committed to helping everyone have a positive learning experience in lighting. Annie is also a fellow color enthusiast, and has made it her goal to use lighting to brighten up the lives (and living spaces) of everyone she meets.

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Color-loving homeowners can have some of the most attractive abodes around. Their houses have vibrant front doors and their yards gush with lively flowerbeds. Perhaps they have colorful bird feeders hung from porches or trees, or bold mosaic tiles around swimming pools and along walkways. They outfit their decks with bright chairs and whimsical umbrellas to shade them from the sun, but what happens when the sun goes down, and all that lovely color falls into shadow?

If you’re one of these homeowners, losing out on all your favorite shades the minute the sun sinks down might seem tragic. But, with the right outdoor lights, you can keep your favorite colors looking vibrant AND compliment your décor with even more color.

Here are 4 ways to add to and enhance your yard’s hues with light:

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An Atlas of the World's Colors

An Atlas of the World's Colors


What would it be like to be able to browse all of the world's colors with your fingertips? Artist Tauba Auerbach has helped answer that question in a really creative way.

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Auerbach, in collaboration with Daniel E. Kelm, has taken every color there is and placed them in three amazing 8 x 8 x 8-inch case bound books called the RGB Colorspace Atlas. Each volume contains a different color scheme and they were created with digital offset print on paper, while the cloth covers and page edges were airbrushed.

Feast your eyes on their colorful, cubic creations.

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