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Design: 8 Sites to Help You Find Creative Inspiration Online

Working in design industry requires you to be creative at all times, but sometimes artist’s block is unavoidable. Luckily, we live in a digital age where inspiration is just a click away. Here are a few websites that would get you unstuck and help you gain new ideas.

  1. Awwwards

This site rates websites on their design, usability, creativity and content. You can also search for web design inspiration based on colour palette, tags, web categories, and more.

  1. Pinterest

In Pinterest, you can create moodboards to put interesting images in different categories. Just type in the search box for all kinds of artsy content!

  1. Behance

A portfolio platform for creative professionals, you can both discover new design works and showcase your own.

  1. The Noun Project

This website offers an abundance of icons, helping you understand the way designers communicate their messages through simple illustrations.

  1. Instagram

Go to the explore section and find an abundance of pictures related to your interests (and following lists) to help you ignite some new ideas. Here’s Studio 22’s picks for the best Instagram designers and photographers.

  1. Muzli

The site curates links to high quality design contents all over the Internet. You can also add Muzli as an extension to your browser, so that you can continue browsing without fear of missing out the most interesting creative work at the moment.

  1. Designspiration

The site offers the best design inspirations that are safe for work – no nudity, so you can browse it anywhere. You can also save and organize your favourite works and search by tags and colours.

  1. DeviantArt

The site is one of the longest-running social network for artists, with over 160,000 original art works – ranging from painting and sculpture to digital and pixel art – being uploaded every day.

Digital: Web Design Trends in 2017

2017 is here – what would this year bring in web design trends? Will virtual reality (finally) be the king, and are we heading towards an even brighter colour palette? In this post, Studio 22 brings together a list of web design trend predictions for 2017.

  1. Mobile-first approach

Mobile phones are still the primary devices used to browse the web, and thus the designs, visual and core content will still adhere to the mobile-first model, according to Zazzle’s Jamie Leeson. Because of this, navigations will also be kept to a minimum, so that phone users can focus on the message instead of trying to find their way off a page.

  1. More focus on content

After years of adding items like social media buttons, signup boxes, banner ads and popups, the trend is now heading towards a focus on the heart of the website: content. What remains to be seen, according to Amber Leigh Turner from the Next Web, is “whether that means we remove all of the other distractions we’ve spent years adding, or just making them take up less real estate”.

  1. More animation and video

Animation and video played an important role in digital interfaces in 2016 – and they will continue to do so this year. Websites can capitalise on growing video-watching habits by incorporating more videos for storytelling and marketing purposes. The same goes with animation – they can instantly capture attention and enhance user experience, says Leeson. John Moore Williams of Webflow says, “As designers get more and more visual tools to help them build engaging and smile-sparking animations, we’re sure to see them become both more prominent and more refined.”

  1. Bright, neon colour palette with gradient

Instagram’s logo change seems part of a movement – from Spotify to Asana, these brands moved from safe, grounded colours to bold, richer palette. Leeson believes they want to evoke a modern, techy image, as technological developments in monitors now enable a better reproduction of vibrant colours.

  1. More incorporation of VR in web design

As virtual reality (VR) gadgets are becoming more and more affordable, it is likely that the technology will seep into marketing and content making even further this year. “You’ll need to be ready to design for it. But moreover, you need to be ready to create virtual reality experiences that don’t require a headset,” says Carrie Cousins of Designmodo. “This includes website designs with 360-degree video and other highly interactive experiences with three-dimensional effects.”

Digital: Six Designers To Follow on Instagram

As I mentioned in the previous post, Instagram is not just a place to procrastinate or look at your friends’ breakfast – it is also a place to share one’s works and inspire each other.

With designers, this view seems more befitting than ever. Instagram could be portfolio to some and inspiration moodboard for others. Here are a few Instagram accounts that you should follow for some of the most creative, unique and forward-thinking works on the net.

  1. Lucia Litman

A photo posted by lucy litman (@lucialitman) on

As a photographer and food stylist, Litman’s work shows wit and charm through colourful palette and a spoonful of humour.

  1. Lauren Hom

A photo posted by Lauren Hom (@homsweethom) on


Hom is a designer, illustrator and hand letterer who is currently travelling around the world. She has worked on projects for clients like Starbucks, Youtube, Google and TIME Magazine.

  1. Daniel Aristizabal

A photo posted by Daniel Aristizabal (@darias88) on


Aristizabal is a motion graphics designer and animator. For imaginative 3D illustrations, look no further.

  1. Andrew Kovacs


Kovacs’s penchant for architecture is demonstrated in his account, through photographs of unique structures, floor plan sketches, and more.

  1. The Company You Keep


TCYK is a design-led company based in Melbourne. Specialising in brand identity and strategy, TCYK’s works will get everyone sold.

  1. Dwell Magazine

A photo posted by Dwell (@dwellmagazine) on


Dwell’s Instagram account offers compelling architecture and interior design photographs, from cottages in Baja California, Mexico to farm homes in Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy.

Digital: Five Instagram Photographers To Follow

Instagram is not only a place to procrastinate – it could also be a place to find new inspirations and discover emerging visual artists.

A lot of photographers have featured their works and portfolio on Instagram for you to keep an eye on. Here are a few that you might like…

 

Michael Christopher Brown (@michaelchristopherbrown)

A photo posted by @michaelchristopherbrown on


Brown is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. His latest pictures were taken in Cuba and Congo.

 

Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea)

A photo posted by Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea) on


If you like rustic American scene and dogs, @thiswildidea would be the right account to follow. Humphrey’s pictures often feature his dog, Maddie the Coonhound.

 

Tiffany Nguyen (@tiffpenguin)

A photo posted by tiffany nguyen (@tiffpenguin) on

When she is not working as a dentist, the Los Angeles-based photographer would be trawling outdoors and taking pictures of natural landscapes.

 

Vicky Navarro (@lavicvic)

A photo posted by VickyNavarro (@lavicvic) on


For sharp urban photography with dark palette, check out this account.

 

Scott Schuman (@thesartorialist)

Schuman’s works show that fashion is not just about people on the runway.

Digital: Four Most Promising Design Jobs of the Future

There have been concerns that graphic and web design is a dying field – however, Job Outlook’s study suggests that designer’s job security will remain strong, with “strong growth” in employment growth in the next five years and “above average” level of job openings.  Furthermore, experts predict that some design jobs will be highly wanted in the future. Here are the four most promising design jobs in the future:

Virtual Interaction Designers

With the strong growth of virtual and augmented reality, virtual interaction designers will be in high demand to create immersive, interactive environment for users.

Algorithmic/AI Designers

Algorithms are becoming more important to enhance the capability of automated systems to serve users in the best way possible. Furthermore, companies’ increasing reliance on data makes algorithm much more important, as it applies data to its working process. According to Upscored, algorithm design job is one of the most lucrative IT jobs and the most difficult jobs for employers to hire.

“Fueled by data, analytics, and AI, algorithmic business will continue to grow and disrupt your business,” said Steve Prentice, vice president at Gartner Inc. “This growth is unabated as algorithms are feasting on the wealth of data that grows inexorably.”

Post-Industrial Designers

Postindustrial designers are responsible for end-to-end experience – that is, connecting physical objects with digital worlds (for example, fitness bracelets, smartwatches, tap-and-go wallets). While industrial design – that is, making objects – is still important, current trends demand that they should also support “digital thinking and connectivity across many fields”, according to Fastcodesign’s Gadi Amit.

Freelance Designers

Due’s John Rampton said freelance designers’ future is still strong with 13 per cent jobs growth between 2010 and 2020. Those working in a digital segment will benefit even more, as the field is set to grow 61 per cent. Furthermore, according to Teague, the growth of AI and “global creative marketplace” will also empower individual freelance designers because firms are no longer as bounded within large teams.

Digital: How To Grow In The Graphic Design Industry

So you’ve graduated uni/college with a degree or qualification in design. You are one step closer to living your dream as a designer. But what do you do next? How do you get from a to b? And is it that simple to transition from a design graduate to a working paid designer?

HowDesign interviews successful designers and how they approached their design careers and how they started out working in the field that they wanted: http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/how-november-2012/how-real-world-designers-plan-to-grow-their-design-careers/

Brad Tucker: Director/Creative Director, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“I’m a senior-level talent who makes a lot of money in a faltering economy. I think the biggest thing going for me is that I know my industry well. I’ve seen lots of changes, and I’m not oblivious to what’s going on. I’ve also seen the way many people get treated, and I know what I won’t tolerate.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“I recently got laid off. I’m now looking for a studio that has all the qualities I couldn’t find at my previous place of employment, while also exploring other avenues of employment within the industry. My options are go freelance/consult, become a live action director, or look for another creative direction position, perhaps in network television. And I’m sure there are even more options out there. I need to have an open mind and explore all options.”

Amelia Stier: Designer, Sid Lee, Montréal

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Definitely more hours behind the computer and in the conference room. Of course, absorbing as much as possible from those with more experience than me will also help immensely at my young and impressionable stage.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“Time. Lots and lots of time. In my particular situation, working at a predominantly French-speaking firm in Montréal, learning the language is a major hurdle between me and the next level of office responsibility. I am lucky to work somewhere that people are able to move up the ladder very quickly. So beyond that silly language barrier, it’s mostly about drive, initiative and gaining experience.”

Satsuki Shibuya-ThoengDesigner/Creator/Curious Explorer, Los Angeles

What tools or knowledge will help you get to the next phase in your career?
“Being exposed and connected to amazing, inspiring individuals doing things that I would love to explore.”

What will it take to move you to the next phase in your career?
“More experience and more learning.”

Digital: The Rise Of UX Design

As the Internet increasingly penetrates every aspect of human life, demands for user-friendly technologies continue to rise. That’s where UX comes in.

First of all, what even is UX design?

UX stands for User Experience. UX designers are those who deal with usability, accessibility, and enjoyability of the interfaces that users use to interact with an app or a website. In other words, they are responsible for making your time online easier and ensuring that you can actually find the feature you’re looking for on a website without having to click on thousands of links. UX design is made based on user’s perspective rather than the business’ objective. Martin Belam, former Lead User Experience Architect at the Guardian says UX design “recognises that a good digital service isn’t just about functionality. It is about how people feel as they use a digital service, and about the way it does things, not just what it does.”

In order to do these things, not only do the UX designers perform code and design, but they are also responsible for researching consumers’ thought processes, often using scenario-based experimentation as well as “sophisticated research tools such as eye-tracking and behavioural analysis to help companies understand intricate details of modern consumer behaviour”.

Demand for UX designers has never been higher. Commonwealth Bank, for example, employs 75 designers to work on its websites, management tools and Netbank service. Indeed’s analysis this year found that UX designers are in the top five jobs in demand based on its search engine traffic.

UX designers are also paid pretty well – according to UX Designer Salaries (http://uxdesignersalaries.com/#global), Australian UX designers have an average annual salary of $72,099 in 2015.

To be a UX designer, a formal tertiary education on UX would best serve the purpose, although it is not the only way to get there. You can jump into the field through other related degrees, such as psychology, graphic design, visual design, UI design, and interaction design.

Sources: 
https://macleay.edu.au/the-rise-of-ux-and-its-invisible-future/

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/commbank-has-a-whopping-75-ux-specialists-working-on-its-tech-products-2015-7

https://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2010/feb/02/what-is-information-architecture

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