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Nathan Midgley
January 18, 2016

5 great sites for visual inspiration

Got a looming design project? Head to these sites to get your creative juices flowing

One of the great misconceptions of buying in creative work is that you can leave it all to the contractor. Sure, you can – but if you go into the relationship with a clear idea of what you want, you’ll get a more fruitful partnership and a better final product. Briefs matter, and the best briefers have, if not a strain of creativity themselves, an active curiosity about visual arts. Whether you’re commissioning a whole new website or an original image for a blog post, a little inspiration at your end will go a long way.

These five go-to sites range from undergraduate illustrations to global multi-disciplinary projects, so there’s sure to be something that piques your interest. You might even come across a creative you want to commission…

The edgy one: Juxtapoz

For art and design with a countercultural bent, you need Juxtapoz. It’s West Coast US in spirit, with all the underground goodness that entails – think LA punks, classic psychedelia, skate culture, tattoo artistry and graffiti. If your visual creativity feels like it’s going a bit safe, give it a blast of this.

Twitter: @juxtapozmag

The cross-discipline one: The Creators Project

Founded by the Vice media empire in 2009 with the backing of Intel, The Creators Project is a global sandbox for multi-disciplinary creative projects. Contributors have included musicians, artists and directors. The CP site and social feeds deliver daily doses of high-level inspiration.

Twitter: @creatorsproject

The lucky dip one: It’s Nice That

Everything about It’s Nice That works: the cute title, the simple design and the wide-ranging content. It’s all about visual arts here, so expect a grab-bag of interesting typography, animation, graphic design, photography, music videos and more.

Twitter: @itsnicethat

The up-and-coming talent one: Middlesex Illustration

Looking for emerging artistic talent? Middlesex University’s highly respected illustration course is a hothouse for up-and-coming artists and graphic novelists. The faculty showcases graduates and current students on Twitter and a WordPress blog.

Twitter: @mdxillustration

The authoritative one: Creative Review

Hey, don’t overthink it. The UK’s creative industry bible – which recently had a redesign of its own – is still an essential read. As well as showcasing industry-leading work on websites, logos and brand identities, it carries some meaty features on current trends and high-profile projects.

Twitter: @creativereview

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