When you’re in the design field, getting creative and doing something different can be difficult sometimes. There’s pressure to come up with things others haven’t thought about, or coming up with ideas that fit your client’s needs and likes. But with your mobile device, it can be a breeze to find ideas through many different apps. Whether you’re looking for somewhere new to photograph or an idea on how to approach a living room remodel, there’s probably an app for that.
Pinterest is the grandparent of inspiration apps. With virtual boards of user’s favorite photos and art, if you find a user whom you share common appeal with, chances are you’ll find some inspiration of your own when it comes to designing. You can be introduced to new and innovative ways to create, borrowing from certain pieces and expanding on others. Simply Google Image search what you’re looking for, then visit the Pinterest page where the media you want is. You’re sure to find that user has many similar pieces, saving you time and the hassle of continually searching for one-off inspiration. Who knows, you could end up inspiring them with your own board.
One of the vets of the design inspiration game is Pttrns. They have over 100+ tags geared specifically towards mobile device design, and not just generic “Here’s my page!” sharing. All elements of the actual app pages, from borders, titles, fonts etc are available for sharing.
Instagram is another sneaky-obvious selection like Pinterest. Your top design mentors and inspirations most likely have accounts and you can count on them updating it with their latest and greatest. You can also find others who are fans of their account, who may be in the same boat you are – looking for new ideas. Thus, you can end up connecting with them and growing your Instagram social network in the process. Check out your favorite designers and pages that highlight the best pieces around the world and you’ll find the next time you’re checking out vacation and food pictures that you may find a new seed planted.
Dribbble is an invite-only app similar to Pinterest, but it is specifically for designers. As such, the search functionality is extensive, allowing you to be detailed when looking about your fellow designer’s work. When submitting your own creations, be sure to add as many accurate tags as you can so others can find your work just as helpful. Be prepared to spend hours on the app as it has thousands of designs added regularly.
Do you have a need to use fonts in different ways? Bending them and placing them in unique positions? With Path On, users get a wide range of fonts and customization options, allowing for a lot of tinkering for things such as titles and superimposed text on your designs. Share away once you find your perfect fit and style.
If you’re into designing things such as crafts or other physical products, Etsy is the place for you. While it may be an obvious choice, there’s no harm in checking out the stores of your fellow creators. If your store is lacking sales and you’re not driving the kind of traffic to it you’d like to, be sure to visit some of the top sellers and see what they’re doing that you’re not. Perhaps they have a style of store or different design methods that you haven’t thought of.
Is creating motivational photos with fancy quotes your thing? Piclabs is a must-have app for you, then. With a few clicks, you can use your own photography or that come with the app, add your quote and export away. You can even add Geofilter-like filters to make your photo and quotes even fancier.
Layers is a small, but powerful, paint program that has Photoshop integration. Along with smudge, paint, erase and colouring features, it offers an array of brushes that can help create your artwork. You have the capability of adding 5 different layers to your piece, and exporting it once finished is done in a few simple clicks.
Another great site to find inspiration is Tumblr. Not Tumbl itself, rather the wide range of blogs that people run on the parent site. You can find endless inspiration just like Pinterest, and it allows you to search for countless tags and topics. You can find fellow designers who have the same taste in aesthetics as you do and build a network of friends to rely on when you need help or a spark of inspiration.
Assembly is vector imaging made easy. Users have the opportunity of accessing almost 200 pre-created images that they can adjust and put together however they deem necessary. It’s fluid and saves users time in finding the right measurements and shape design in creating their perfect creation. You can implant it right onto a background image or one that is blank, meaning it takes just a few minutes from creation to finalization.
If photography is your game and you need beautiful photos, you may want to check out Repix. It’s a unique app in that it lets users paint with filters. This is a great feature as with so many apps, when you apply filters, it happens for the whole piece. So if you have areas of a photo that may look good with on filter but another that would look better with a different on, there’s no more debating which you should use because you can now use both.
What are the best apps for design inspiration?
As independent and lonely as the creative process can be, it doesn’t need to be. You no longer need to lock yourself in an office with no help or socializing in the real world. Your mobile device is a portal that will bring you around the web, seeing what others are creating and putting you in touch with those who are in the exact same position. You can create new social networks, gain valuable insights and experience and even find an easy resolution to that problem of trying to appease certain fussy clients.