5 Essential Inspiration Tools

Shutterstock Lightbox
Adobe Kuler

Inspiration is like highway driving. Sometimes you cruise, arriving at your destination quickly. Other times, worries and distractions can have a rubbernecking effect, slowing your progress, while rush hour traffic can halt your advancement to a grueling crawl. How is it different when you’re working?

Feeling uninspired, like rush hour traffic, can bring your momentum to a grinding halt. For when distractions are too tempting overlook or choking mind traffic reduces your progress to an excruciating crawl, these five tools could be the mental reset you need.

Adobe Kuler Visit website»

When you need color-palette inspiration, Adobe Kuler is one of the most flawless apps of its kind out there. Kuler is an extraordinarily versatile desktop and mobile tool that allows you to create and import color theme palettes. Have an inspiring photo with just the right mix of hues? Kuler allows you to import that image and will extract the color palette. You then have the option of adjusting the shades using finger-controlled markers. You can also use color wheels and sliders to create new themes. You have the option of storing your color palettes by theme, date and color and can view palettes created by other users, sorting through them by tag or rating.


Designspiration Visit website»

Designspiration is a simple online portfolio of design work. The website was founded for the purpose of discovering and sharing the best creations from around the world. Trending themes range from the seemingly simple (business cards) to larger than life architecture. You can also view logos, packaging designs, typography, book projects, fashion and a dazzling variety of illustration work. And the best part, you can search by color or by keyword. Simply start typing when you visit the homepage or select the color option in the header.

For a quick jolt of inspiration, try your luck at the Designspiration’s FaceBook or Twitter page where founder, Shelby White, posts new designs as he finds them. Discover an image that ignites your inspiration? There are several types of collections you can create (including shared and personal). And White is constantly tweaking and updating the site’s UX.


Shutterstock Photo Lightbox Visit website»

Shutterstock Lightbox is software that gives users access to a massive library of digital images. Find an image that sparks your creativity? Create your own lightboxes for storing favorite files without taking up space on your hard drive. You can search for images using keywords, theme, topic and similar images. Once you create your own lightboxes, you can share them with coworkers and clients via email and social networking sites. Shutterstock Lightbox is a multiplatform tool, available on your PC and mobile devices.



Logopond Visit website»

LogoPond is a great site to frequent when looking for scheme, color, logo and graphic inspiration. Extraordinarily popular with graphic designers around the world, LogoPond, offers a featured gallery as well as a gallery of recently added images and files that users are “following.” Images range from contemporary to abstract to corporate. LogoPond also has some social networking characteristics. In the community forums, you can find freelance work, debate copyright issues, image piracy or get feedback on your work.



AwwwardsVisit website»

Awwwards describes itself as a forum where web professionals come to find inspiration. The site is divided into four areas: blog, jobs, shop and directory. On the Awwwards blog, users can read about digital news and culture, web resources and tools. A comprehensive job board lists positions around the world for individuals who specialize in software engineering, UX and UI experts, interactive designers and others. Interested in getting your name out there in the design world? Post your bio in the member directory along with samples of your work. And for a dose of inspiration, check out websites and designs that are nominated for the site of the day, site of the month or an honorable mention.



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About the author

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Luke Clum is a graphic designer and developer from Seattle who is crazy about UI design, alpine climbing and earl grey ice cream. You can follow him on Twitter @lukeclum

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