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Design blogs for inspiration and information

11:46 on Thu, 15 Oct 2009 | Design | 0 Comments

As we are a caring and sharing bunch in the design team at Further, we thought we would take this opportunity to serve up a taste of our favourite blogs and online resources for your delectation.

Whether as a means of finding inspiration, food for thought or for assisting directly with the design process, we hope you will find the following list useful.


1. Food for thought

Design Observer www.designobserver.com

Design Observer

A recent (and somewhat perplexing) re-design of this much-loved design blog has not altered its position at the forefront of writing for design on the web. Several Webby nominations and awards testify to the quality of the content provided here. Design Observer is a effectively a hub for all things design (no matter how niche or obscure) and will often champion projects that use design in socially responsible/positive way.


Boxes and arrows www.boxesandarrows.com

Boxes and Arrows

A peer-written journal broadly based on the subject of information architecture. Although sometimes a little dry in content and presentation, there is some really intelligent and thought provoking writing on this site. A good place for challenging our own conventions in user interface and design process. Boxes and arrows reminds us that innovation and debate are the principle drivers for design (rather than an over reliance on AB testing – Google look away now).


Noisy decent graphics www.noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com

Noisy Decent Graphics

The blog of Ben Terret (of the Really Interesting Group). Always interesting, often very funny – and quite often controversial. This blog is opinionated, but not in the Jeremy Clarkson sense of that word, if you know what we mean.


Business guys on business trips businessguysonbusinesstrips.com

Business guys on business trips

More of a lunch-break distraction than any deep food for thought, but all the more entertaining for that. You'll laugh like a drain.

2. Inspiration/creative block breakers

At Further, we're not really a huge fan of those CSS galleries as a means of inspiration. They have their place but we find that they tend to have an over reliance on fancy photoshop header illustrations and '2.0' styling.

The following represent a taster of where we like to head for creative re-fuelling

Behance Network www.behance.net

Behance Network

Not a great deal of web-design on offer, but that's no bad thing when it comes to sourcing inspiration. Some really high quality work here.


Ffffound! ffffound.com


Random images of loveliness and weirdness.


Design Sponge www.designspongeonline.com

Design Sponge

Some beautiful interior design here (hence Annette spends a lot of time on this site!). Great for colour palettes and some lovely vintage graphic design.


It's Nice That itsnicethat.com

Its Nice That

A collection of images and inspiration, gathered from all creative disciplines. Simply presented and great for a quick delve.

3. Tools and resources

Grid designer grid.mindplay.dk

Before we happened upon this tool, designing grids for the web was often a laborious task involving a calculator and much swearing.

What the font? new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont

Genius. Simple as that. Upload a screengrab of a font and this tool will (more often than not) tell you what it is. The better the quality of the image uploaded, the better the chance that MyFonts will guess right.

Adobe® BrowserLab

Simple, quick, cross-platform, cross-browser testing – need we say more?

Typetester www.typetester.org

Compare type styles for projects with this simple tool which even gives you the CSS for each style as a bonus gift.

iPlotz iplotz.com

A really useful tool for creating and sharing 'clickable' prototypes for web projects. A bit clunky in the online version, worth investing in the desktop version to reduce lag.


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