When it comes to a shortage of ideas, no designers are immune. It can be tough to dip into your creative well every week in order to produce breath-taking whimsy. Once in awhile it’s totally normal to come up short, which is why it’s always good to have a design arsenal of inspiration on standby that you can call upon when you’re feeling frustrated. Here are some of the ones I recommend:

DESIGNSPIRATION

This one is a classic. I like to use designspiration when I’m not looking for a specific project, but rather various points of visual interest I might want to save for later. The website design is very reminiscent of Pinterest, in that the page scrolls through different images, each one showcasing a different badass project. The page is curated by popularity, and you can see everything from photography to UI/UX design to branding in one scroll. You can also search the database by multiple colors if you’re looking for projects with specific schemes, which I think is a rad and extremely useful feature. | http://designspiration.net

AIGA EYE ON DESIGN

This is one of my favorites. When you have time to kill, Eye On Design is a great website to peruse and read about up and coming designers and trends. The website is part of AIGA, the professional association for design, and is definitely on the trendier side of design. The site showcases different emerging designers, while scouring the Internet to find the most interesting things happening in each category of design (i.e. packaging, illustration, typography, etc.). It’s almost like a news site for graphic designers where you can find out about design events, and keep a finger on the pulse of various creative currents. One fun thing they do every Friday is “Happy Hour”, which is a packaging spotlight for a couple different brands of booze, where they celebrate the design choices and talk about the designers. | http://eyeondesign.aiga.org

LOGOBOOK

When you’re designing logos, it can sometimes be difficult to discern how best to represent the brand you’re designing for in the simplest and clearest terms. Logobook is an incredible database of black-and-white logos featured from all around the world. The website is divided into the categories: letters and numbers, shapes, objects, nature, and business. They then break down even further, for example, allowing you to search for only logos that specifically contained the letter T, had hands as part of the design, or were farming-based, etc. It’s pretty comprehensive, and is a great quick way to see how others may interpret challenges similar to the ones you are facing.  | http://www.logobook.com

DRIBBLE AND BEHANCE

Most designers are familiar with Dribble and Behance, but for those that aren’t it’s a great way for designers to get their work out there and get noticed. On the flipside, they can also be the perfect place to get some creative motivation for a project. Behance allows you to appreciate other artist’s projects, see what tools they used, and see high quality finished images from each stage of the project. Dribble is very similar, but one of the points that sets Dribble apart, is that they encourage designers to post their work while they’re still working on it to give others a look into their design process. This can be really useful if you want to get insight on how to mix up/enhance your techniques.   https://www.behance.net  | https://dribbble.com

PINTEREST

One of the best ways to glean overall inspiration is to make a mood/vibe board for a project before beginning the design portion. Pinterest isn’t exactly an orthodox place to get design ideas because it features so many different things, but it actually is a great place to collect your thoughts because of the board feature. You can organize all the images you find that match your end goal onto one board. This way, you’ll be able to go back through them whenever you need to realign your thoughts and recall where your initial thought path began. I also enjoy having boards dedicated to different things like typography, infographics, etc. in case I come across something that I want to save and possibly use as inspiration down the road. | www.pinterest.com

I hope these prove to be useful suggestions, and the next time you find yourself in a design rut perhaps you’ll think of this post and try one of these tricks for yourself. Chances are, something will spark your creativity before long and you’ll be right back in it.