If you work in the creative industry, whether as a marketing manager or starting out as a designer, you’ll want to bookmark these five websites right now. As a creative, I use these websites every week, if not every day, whether I’m creating a new brand, looking for design inspiration or wanting to search for something a little different.
My first go-to website is based around colours. Being able to generate a beautiful palette that I can quickly access and easily see on screen, is an absolute game-changer when starting a new project.
As you’ll see when you click on the link above, you’re instantly presented with a random colour combination that instantly creates a complimenting colour pallet. I love this website for its simplicity, by just pressing the space bar it will randomly jump to another palette, giving endless inspiration.
It has great features built in subtly in the UI of the colour blocks, such as locking a colour in if you want to skip through other palettes while essentially ‘hanging on’ to a favourite. You can also manually enter a colour code and then find other colours that will sit nicely alongside it. Another great feature on this site is that you can quickly see tints of colour in a single click or scroll through different colours references from HEX to RGB effortlessly.
A similar project but for gradient inspiration can be found here: uigradients.com
Created by Alex Clapperton, this powerful tool, allows you to quickly and easily check the contrasts on your brand colours to ensure your website is accessible to all.
Early on in my website design career, my primary target was to make sure that the website looked awesome! While that is still the case these days, my internal checklist now includes that it is simple to use and that it works for everyone.
Considerations need to be made for users that are visibly impaired or colour blind.
By using this easy to use and clever tool, on one page you can ensure your colour contrast meets accessibility requirements and that your type sizes meet accessibility standards. Although your client may not be too focused on this aspect of design, for others it could be top of their list so make sure you bookmark this website for when that occasion occurs.
This may be a personal preference of mine, but a bonus with this tool is that you can add it as a Chrome browser plugin meaning you can check the accessibility of a website without having to leave it.
If you want to check multiple colours I’d also recommend Accessible Brand Colors abc.useallfive.com.
Not the best-kept secret within the creative community, but that’s because it works! Unsplash has over 2 million hi-resolution and royalty-free images you can use in your project without fear of copyright infringement.
Creators around the world regular upload their beautifully shot images for us to use meaning there is always a new pool of pictures to choose from. Not only is Unsplash a far better alternative to using outdated and overused stock imagery but you won’t spend a penny on downloading them. This does give you a moral dilemma, especially if you’re using three or four shots in a series from the same creator so it’s worth crediting the creator if you’re project allows and Unsplash itself does give you a little nudge to do so once you’ve downloaded it.
If you’re after free to use creative video clips also check out Pexels.
The role of this website sums it up perfectly in its URL – it’s a checklist for designers. Whether you’re working on a website design or branding project, this website should be open in your browser during your project.
With its simple to use interface this is a great tool for marketers or designers dipping their toes into new projects. If we look at branding as an example, the checklist covers the obvious like logo and colours while making you consider elements like tone of voice and how your brand project will reflect on social media. I like this because you can go above and beyond when presenting your brand concept to your client showing them you’ve covered things they may not have thought about such as social media username or the responsiveness of the logo when scaled down.
Not only does this give you a physical checklist, but it also gives you insight into the inspiration for your project and regularly updates with more features coming soon.
Another alternative to this is designsystemchecklist.com.
This is a website I visit maybe 20 times per day. Muzli gives you a wide range of inspirations updated daily tailored to you. I’ve installed Muzi as a Chrome browser plugin, because I love a packed plugin bar, meaning whenever I open a new tab I’m instantly presented with handpicked inspiration.
Muzli has developed over recent years to not only show you content in your industry but also provide ideas for colour, collections and easy to use search functionality. The great thing about Muzli is that you can pick and choose what type of content you’d like to see, meaning if you’re a website designer who also wants to learn more about animation or branding you can select to see content surrounding these principles.
Again, this isn’t the best-kept secret in the creative industry but if you’re a graduate or looking for alternatives in design inspiration this is the plugin for you!