Colorado creatives share their favorite bookmarks for creative inspiration
Google can be impersonal, like talking to a robot. Why sift through search results yourself, when word-of-mouth is the best filter? We ask six Colorado creatives to share some of their favorite websites, from time-savers to trend makers. CLICK AND ENJOY.
Pinterest / pinterest.com
While the entire world may all know about this site, (and be subject to the ‘horrified gasp’ if you don’t have an account yet), I think the way that designers are able to search and categorize inspirational images for projects or trends is remarkably easy for clients. I just wish there were more options for private pin-boards since at the end of the day, we don’t want to give away all our great ideas!
Shaw Contract Group / blog.shawcontractgroup.com
This leading commercial carpet company developed their Design Is… blog and it features a variety of commercial projects with great photography. Sure, some of the features include projects where their product was installed, but the level of quality in the architecture and design is always a great resource.
Designwire Daily / designwire.interiordesign.net
Glossy magazines litter our coffee tables as designers, but as some have disappeared from print, I think all are moving to integrate a new online component to get us flipping the pages and then logging online for more. Being so active in the industry keeps me seeking knowledge about all aspects of the design world. Designwire keeps me informed.
Designsponge / designsponge.com
This site is maybe a little more on the decorative side at times, but I enjoy a break from some of the restraint and scale of large commercial projects and enjoy a reminder about the craft that does go into the design effort. A little break from all things design too, Designsponge pulls you in for posts about “spaces” and you find yourself clicking through entertainment and DIY tips an hour later.
Freshome / freshome.com
This blog is frequently updated and offers a number of categories that fulfill a checklist of project types. I especially appreciate their Hotels & Resorts page which A) makes me want to hop on a plane but, B) to remind myself that great design involves looking outside your normal box. So while I can’t travel every week for “research”, I can take a little virtual get-away.
Arch Daily / archdaily.com
There are plenty of design blogs out there, but I find Arc Daily is quick to update, very accessible and easy to navigate. It’s refreshing to just “look around” the built world today.
Arch Talks / archtalks.com
This site has a vast collection of lectures, interviews and documentary videos from those in the design profession. It’s a great way to spend a few minutes of free time, or to have as inspiring background noise during work hours.
Lebbeus Wood’s Blog / lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com
Although deceased, Lebbeus was such a great thinker and theorized about architecture in a very unique way. I love getting lost in the years and years worth of his archived writings and images.
32BNY / 32bny.com
A renewed print magazine that has recently partnered with Spirit of Space (http://spiritofspace.com/) to supply, in their own words “a website dedicated to the potential of cinematic architectural discourse”. The site keeps an updated series of videos and written theory about architecture and design. The archived print issues are great too.
Johnston Mark Lee Architects / johnstonmarklee.com
West coast design firm who is doing some great work. I love the simple graphic navigation of this site. Their architecture is as refined and clear as the website.
Open Culture / openculture.com
Open Culture is a relevant website that never disappoints! It is a dumping ground for a wealth of cultural and educational media (all free). Absolutely one of those sites that you find yourself spending hours digging, searching, saving and sharing. My last visit to the site: I watched ‘Ten of the Greatest Silent Films of All Time’ – then scrolled down and seconds later, watched Lorne Michaels introduce Saturday Night Live’s first cast for the very first time (1975). Have a few hours to kill at a coffee shop? Do it.
Kuler / kuler.adobe.com
Color inspiration. Kuler is an online color swatch site that allows the user to customize color schemes/combinations. It provides inspiration for client presentations, design color palettes, as well as confidence to wear fuchsia with mustard yellow. Hint: find the right color combo and download the swatches directly into any Adobe program! You can thank me later.
1924 / 1924.us
Looking for a new desktop background or some new kicks?
1924 is an online shoe company – at least I think it is. Their website gathers/shares online photography and gifs (from other blogs, websites, etc.) to help represent their product. It adds a level of artistic context in the midst of what they are selling, which makes online shopping more of a digital experiential journey…A collection of art, natural textures and hip fashion.
DESIGNBOOM / designboom.com
It is not uncommon to come to work and hear my co-workers say, “did you see what was on Design Boom yesterday?” There are tons of design websites out there, but this is amongst the best and most versatile. As a designer, I have an obligation to stay current and educated on what’s being created in our industry and around the world. This captures a great summary as well as provide the motivation to keep our clients with fresh concepts and one of a kind environments/experiences!
The Sartorialist / thesartorialist.com
Straight up fashion. Scott Schuman is a well known fashion photographer that captures fashion in the context of daily life. His subjects are everyday people on the streets, subways, coffee shops, etc. Whenever I want to take my wardrobe “up a notch” I go to The Satorialist first. Such a great site to gear up your creative fashion sense as well as your appreciation for style. Enjoy!
Marc Newson/ marc-newson.com
Marc Newson is the consummate designer; he has designed everything from glassware to furniture to architectural interiors to bicycles. He likes to stretch the limits of materials and try new technologies in places where they’ve never been used before. One of my favorite designs is the Biomega MN bicycle in which the aluminum frame of the bike was formed using aircraft industry fabrication methods. The result is a bike that is ultra-lightweight, supremely strong, and an incredibly unique shape.
Karim Rashid / karimrashid.com
The man designs anything and everything. Yet he takes the same approach to every project; merging pure design with the economies and limitations inherent in the manufacturing business. The end result is an impressively robust body of beautiful design from products to spaces to fashion. You can navigate to pretty much any page on his website and find something unique, thoughtful, and inspiring.
Tom Dixon / tomdixon.net
This website is a constant on my inspirational rounds on the internet. Tom Dixon’s aesthetic is a new brand of minimalism that uses equal portions of clean forms and overtly natural materials (like raw bronze and copper) to create stunningly simple products and furnishings. The entire breadth of work exemplifies one of the axiomatic truths of design; it is incredibly difficult to make something look easy.
BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group / big.dk
The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (of the eponymous firm Bjarke Ingels Group, aka BIG) has emerged in the past half dozen years as a leading designer on the global architecture scene. But the main reason I keep going back to his website is because of the digital/analog design aesthetic of the home page. Each project comes with a clever, single color icon that then links to more detail on the building. If you’re looking for something specific, then click the organizational buttons at the bottom of the screen and watch as all the icons reorganize themselves into meaningful groups.
REX – Architecture PC / rex-ny.com
The 44 year-old Joshua Prince-Ramus is the American Rem Koolhaas. He spent years working at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture before founding REX in 2006. Since then he has done nothing but reinvigorate the American architectural scene. His work, most of it actually being built, is always driven by the idea behind the design, not what is fashionable at the moment. Yet, his buildings are always new, fresh, and timeless.
Ed Ruscha / edruscha.com
Ed Ruscha is one of the great Pop Art painters, and his website is filled with samples of his work. I love how he has been interpreting popular culture for over 50 years with his graphically powerful, often funny, and always interesting work. His most recent work is some of his most refined and accomplished while his work from the heyday of the Pop Art movement in the early 1960s is iconic. He captured a simple idea at the beginning of his career and has developed it with a singular focus ever since.
Houzz / houzz.com
This site has thousands of images for inspiration. It’s easy to browse by rooms and styles for interior ideas and eye candy.
Lonely Planet / lonelyplanet.com
I was born with a bad case of Wunderlust, so this is my favorite site to learn about future travel destinations.
Thrillist: Denver / thrillist.com/denver
I’m a Denver transplant and this site is full of restaurant and entertainment recommendations with a witty (and sometimes politically incorrect) twist.
Why / hermanmiller.com/why.html
I think designers are always searching for more depth; for a reason why. Herman Miller has a rich heritage of design and this site highlights the stories of designers like George Nelson, the Eames’, and Don Chadwick.
Life Without Pants / lifewithoutpants.com
This blogger “empowers visionaries and hustlers to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live.” I’m a firm believer that you should be passionate about your work, so I find his insight incredibly motivating and relevant to the modern worker.
The dieline / thedieline.com
The Dieline is my favorite website since it not only displays amazing packaging design but also has interesting articles about the designers/studios behind the design. You can’t go to this site and not be inspired. I especially enjoy the before and after posts which display how powerful package design can be for a product’s rebranding.
Ads of the World / adsoftheworld.com
My previous career was in advertising so I’ve always enjoyed viewing ad campaigns from around the world. I never know what these ads might trigger in my head to provide inspiration but they always seem to help whether it is a certain look and feel, a composition of elements or an interesting style they are using.
Design Taxi / designtaxi.com
I receive a daily email newsletter from Design Taxi and it provides a snapshot of all the latest design, architecture, photography, and technology stories which helps keep me informed with what is going on in the world of design.
UnderConsideration: For Print Only / underconsideration.com/fpo
Print is my favorite medium due to its permanence and tactile properties versus interactive design. This website proves how print isn’t dead! I’ve always pushed the limits by using unique print/production methods such as letterpress, specialty inks, foiling, embossing, die-cutting, etc. This site conveniently categorizes these production methods to make it easy to search a specific production method. Don’t miss the “Ask the Experts” section which is an informative Q&A section of designers asking and offering great advice on print production methods.
Smashing Magazine / smashingmagazine.com
Smashing Magazine usually has some great blog posts about the best web design practices as well as other design-centric posts.
Creattica / creattica.com
There is a vast amount of inspirational images for almost any category you can think of at Creattica. There is a unique section that features infographics that sometimes provide some inspirational ideas for layouts.