“All men are islands. And what’s more, this is the time to be one. This is an island age.” – Hugh Grant, About a Boy
Some people can afford to be islands. Personally, I prefer the island lifestyle in certain areas of my life. Shopping, for example, tops this list. If you can’t get it online, you don’t need it. That’s my motto. But there are a few areas of my life where living an isolated, island lifestyle would be suicide. Graphic design and innovation are two of them. So where do I go for inspiration, resources and creative community? Check out the following list for my top ten favorite blogs and websites that keep me up to date in the world of design and media (some even offer some really stellar freebies!):
1. Lost and Taken: Free Hi-Res textures? Yes please. Not only does this site inspire, it empowers. Oprah would love it.
2. Coudal Partners: A forum for creativity and experimentation. They also do this awesome jam session where they pair two designers into fight-to-the-death duels in tournament style carnage. You’d be a fool not to check this one out.
3. David Airey: This guys a brand identity designer and consultant from Northern Ireland. His stuff is great AND he’s really cool about pointing people in the direction of other design innovators.
4. Andrew Kramer and Video Copilot: This guy is terrific. Some of the greatest free (and for pay) After Effects tutorials on the web that stay on the cutting edge of the software’s capabilities. If you have a few extra bucks laying around, I also highly recommend his resource collections. I now return you from this paid commercial back to our regularly scheduled blog post.
5. Steve Ferris and Stevey Baby Design: This isn’t a blog persay, but it’s still a great site to check out. It’s the design studio of a close friend of mine who’s work never ceases to amaze me. His stuff rocks, and you’ll rock too if you check it out.
6. ideasonideas: Sometimes this stuff is over my head. Other times it hits me directly between the eyes. Often times controversial, forward thinking blogger Eric Karjaluoto lets the reader in on his process behind communication design and brand strategy.
7. Corey Barker and Planet Photoshop: Photoshop trends and tutorials. ‘Nuff said.
8. Photoshop Disasters: The complete opposite of Corey Barker’s blog. Here we learn what NOT to do. And we never stop laughing in the process.
9. A.V. Club: This site is my #1 go-to for pop-culture reviews and biting commentary on every type of media trend imaginable. If it pertains to TV, Film, Music, Print or Web you can be sure they are aware of it, and have already figured out how to make fun of it. This is where you go to be told what is cool. Wish I had this in high school.
10. Creative Cow: The ULTIMATE resource. Community forums and training for every imaginable method of media creation. I couldn’t possibly say enough good things about this site, so I won’t even try. Check it out.
So now I toss the ball into your court. What sites do you, dear reader, go to for inspiration in your field? I’ll compile your suggestions and my thoughts on them into a future blog article if we get enough responses! So fire away!