I get stumped a lot when designing. It’s so easy to. In programming and development, a problem I can’t seem to solve is usually just some deep thought or a google away. With design its so much harder to work through a block. To come up with something original and aesthetically pleasing is difficult. Include the necessity of good user interface and you add another level. Then try to do it on the spot or in a deadline and its damn near impossible.
Thank god for the endless source of visual content that is the world-wide-web. When designing for the Web its pretty easy to find examples of good and sexy CSS designs. CSS Beauty, for example. Also the original CSS Gallery, The Zen Garden. Often these sites just make me doubt my own designs more than anything else. Some of them are so good. And moreover, when I spend any amount of time looking at them, I find myself subconsciously putting their ideas in my own sketches – which is never good for originality.
So instead of turning examples of the end product, I start a little further back. One step backwards, is one of my favorite blogs, Swissmiss. Tina Roth Eisenberg blogs about all things cool design, including furniture, photography, and classic design. Its also my daily source of things I wish I could afford.
A step back from that, is my online obsession, photo-blogs. The first stop on the photo train is flickr. Flickr is great for just plain surfing. Start here – and wind up here I also can get enough of the swedes 40h and ulvelius. Browsing beautiful photos is great way to get the creative engine chugging. What I find most attractive in photos is colors and contrast. Often I’ll find a photo whose palate is exactly what I’m looking for. (If you’re on a Mac, you can copy and paste a photo in to the color chooser tool in any application and use it as your palette.)
A while ago I bought COLOR IMAGE SCALE on the recommendation of Treehouse Magazine. It is a really interesting study of the way colors and color combinations are associated with emotions and adjectives.
Start with color and work your way up.
Photo Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/smartfat/201884840/