As a designer I'm always looking for new resources and inspiration, and I think it's important to share it when I do find it. Whether you are a designer, an artist, a writer, etc. I think a lot of these resources can be helpful to making sure you're digital space or print materials are beautiful. Check out this list - and if you have some favorites on your own, comment below - I'd love to hear about them!
Ever since Unsplash came out I've been a huge fan. Beautiful images, for absolutely free. The contributors are top notch, and they just recently came out with a new version where you can save & organize photos into collections. Unsplash has a variety of photos and is a great place to direct people who need image content.
DEATH TO STOCK PHOTO
Death to Stock Photo is another wonderful stock photo resource. It's probably my favorite of them all. With a free version you are sent 12-15 photos a month and the collections they send are curated so well. With the premium version you have access to every collection they've ever taken and you can login to easily download any of those photos. What I love most of DTSP is their dedication to building a community of artists, photographers, and designers. You can email them and get a personal response, and to me it's the coolest.
Pixeden is a great resource for a number of different things, but I love Pixeden for all of their mockups. Oftentimes mockups can be sloppy and when pulling them into Photoshop they are a mess. Pixeden offers high quality mockups that are easy to use & customize. They have a number of free resources, but the premium version of Pixeden is super inexpensive for all the assets you are able to download in return.
So Creative Market is THE go to for any of your design needs. They have tons of options when it comes to fonts, mockups, and illustrations. Personally I use it most often for vectored illustrations. Sometimes as designers we aren't allotted 8 hours to create kick-ass icons, or beautiful illustrations for our clients - but sometimes that is what they need. Creative Market is totally the go to for that. They have hundreds of vectors for use, and it's the best when I need a lot of options and quickly. Creative Market should definitely be in your repertoire of design resources.
I don't think I get as excited about many things as I do about Design Cuts coming out with their monthly design bundle. That may be sad, but I do not care. While Design Cut's has a great every day marketplace, their design bundle deals are a freaking STEAL. The font bundles I've received are wonderful; not only do you get a number of font files, but most of them have a ton of extras / bonus features, like vectored illustrations, textures, ornaments, etc. On top of great font bundles, the mockup bundles they have are phenomenal as well. High quality mockups that are FULL of different options. Design Cuts is basically the coolest. Definitely keep an eye out for their monthly packages.
I was recently shown Art Spire by a coworker and man oh man it's great! It showcases work from artists, designers, and photographers all throughout the world. There are a ton of posts to shift through but I definitely love their web design section. So many other sites are great for web inspiration, but Art Spire has innovative sites that are also user friendly and beautiful. This is definitely a new go to for web inspiration.
NEW OLD STOCK
New Old Stock is on this list because it is cool as shit. The end. All of these photos are for free, but more than that, these collections of photos are so cool. I've found everything from pictures of MLK to the Apollo launch, like what, this is free? Seriously? Even if you don't need any photos, browsing through the collection is so worth it. Definitely a site that is perfect for vintage photography, and again it's completely free. I'm all about the free.
FONTS IN USE
If you know me well, you know how much I love typography. It's my fav. Fonts in Use is a great resource for seeing fonts in use before using them yourself. Sometimes I get stuck using the fonts I know look good together because it's easiest, but seeing fonts in context makes me more prone to going out and using different ones. Having a place to see typefaces on book covers, as a part of a brand, or on packaging, is great. The filtration system on their site makes it easy to find what your looking for.
Awwwards is a great site for finding extremely innovative web designs. Awwwards is the place for finding new functionalities for your own web designs and keeping up to date with web trends. I also love the random posts and listicals Awwwards will put out throughout the year. They put out an annual best fonts of the year post and I revisit it on a daily basis. Keeping an eye out for those random posts, in addition to their web inspiration makes Awwwards a solid inspirational resource.
Man, Graphic Burger is just like a good pal, it's always there when you need it. As many other websites in this list, it has a number of fonts, text effects, mockups, and more. It's an easy to place to find something that is high quality and find it quickly. Most of their resources are free as well, making it a quick and easy place to get what you need.
LOST & TAKEN
I've been using Lost & Taken ever since my freshman year of college. Lost & Taken has a huge collection of textures that are high quality and easy to use and download. I use the grunge textures super often to add subtle dimension to my graphics or illustrations. If you are looking for a high resolution texture, Lost & Taken is the spot to go to.
Color palettes are an important part of a business's brand, website, and aesthetic. Picking unique color schemes can be easy, but also hard in certain situations. I love Colour Lovers for looking at a bunch of palette's quickly. While some are less helpful than others, you can find unique color palette's to use in your designs.
Codrops is a web design and development blog with a ton of inspiration, tutorials, and resources. Whenever we are building a website in the office we hop over to the Codrops playground to look for different hover states, plugins, button functionalities, and more. For a web designer, Codrops is a more than great resource. While a lot of sites have website inspiration, Codrops has not only that, but specific functionalities that you can view and get the CSS for, and that's great for designers to pass on to their developers.
Last but not least Invision! Invision is the freaking best. Definitely the best prototyping tool I have seen so far. We use this often in the office, whether it is for web designs or email marketing designs, it's so nice to be able to show our clients some of the functionalities of the website we are creating for them. It's easy for our clients to comment on our designs, navigate their site, and see a more working version of their site rather than a jpeg. Invision is constantly updating and making the workflow easier for people to use, and their blog is full of amazing articles for designers.