Favorite Design-Related Sites of 21 Designers

by Steven Snell

on July 21, 2008

in Interviews

Since DesignM.ag is a new site that aims to meet the needs of the web design community, I thought it would be appropriate to launch with a collection of design-related sites that are visited frequently by other designers. I emailed a bunch of my contacts to ask which sites are their favorites and the responses are included below.

I asked them to either simply list their favorites sites or to include a brief description of what they like about each. You’ll see a great variety in the answers and I think you’ll enjoy reading the opinions of some leading designers and bloggers. (They’re listed in no particular order).

Liam McKay of Function

Outlaw Design Blog
I’m constantly impressed by the usefulness of Danny Outlaw’s posts.

Just Creative Design
A lot of quality content, and a big inspiration.

Smashing Magazine
Huge improvements with this site over the last few months.

Vandelay Design
Well written quality content & great topics.

Elliot Jay Stocks
I’m always interested in Elliot’s work & thoughts.

Blog Design Blog
A great guy and some very useful content on blog design.

Freelance Folder
Undoubtedly some very sound advice on freelancing.

Computer Love
Amazing posts full of great art & design links.

Fuel Your Creativity
A lot of great collections and links, great for inspiration.

Other blogs and websites:
Twitter
, NetVibes, Design Float, Design Reviver, Design Bump, StumbleUpon, KreativUse, Flickr, Darkmotion, CSS Mania, Tutorial9, CSS Tricks, Abduzeedo, Brand New

Gino Orlandi of You the Designer

Design You Trust

PSDTUTS

Smashing Magazine

Michael Martin of Pro Blog Design

A List Apart
Updates every fortnight with very in-depth articles on design and coding. Great insight in the work here.

Noupe
Great resource posts and the stunning design doesn’t hurt either!

David Airey
Graphic design blog. I love his logo case study posts in particular.

Typesites
Reviews the typography of various sites. It’s been the most interesting way of developing my typography knowledge so far.

CSS Mania
Had to have a design inspiration site in here somewhere!

Nick La of Web Designer Wall, N. Design Studio, and Best Web Gallery

TechCrunch

Smashing Magazine

Veerle’s Blog

PSDTUTS

LogoPond

Chris Coyier of CSS Tricks

The “TUTS” family
PSDTUTS has grown quickly into a whole family of design related sites. I think NETTUTS has been exceptionally good with really lengthy in-depth tutorials on modern web design techniques. They also have a vector site and even an audio site now. I think they deserve all the success that they’ve had and I think they are producing the best tutorial content out there right now. Their “Plus” program (which is just for PSDTUTS but will be expanding to the other sites soon I hear) is a home run. It appeals to the entire spectrum of designers as designers crave getting their hands on orginal files to see how things are done all the way to veteran designers who are looking for inspiration and time savers.

TheDieline.com
The folks at TheDieline.com dig up incredible packaging design work. I don’t know how they are able to find so much of it so quickly, but I’m glad they do. I think designers of any type could appreciate this. I’d say 90% of the designs they post I absolutely love.

Seth’s Blog
Seth Godin’s site is nothing special to look like, but almost everything he posts is dripping with pure marketing wisdom. I’m not even a marketer per-say, but all bloggers are to some degree I suppose.

Simon Ward of Pingable

Design Float
social media …you know…

DZone
same as above

StumbleUpon Design Tag
Stumbling design sites is a great way to find cool sites for list related posts.

Spreadshirt Marketplace
Make money selling your vector designs for custom shirts. I am playing around with this idea at the moment.

Henry Jones of Design Reviver

Best Web Gallery
In my opinion, it is the best design gallery out there. It is updated frequently with only the best sites, and occasionally there is a flash site thrown into the mix.

Web Designer Wall
This is probably my favorite design blog. It is beautiful to look at, has excellent content, and passionate readers.

Kirupa
A great place to find Flash/ActionScript help.

Veerle’s Blog
This is the first blog that inspired me to start my own.

Adelle Charles of Fuel Your Creativity

StyleGala
Web Design and Publication I read almost every day. Has great resources, news and galleries.

Function
Liam is always up to something new – great designer and is working hard on his new blog / business, Function. Designed so well I have to check it out every day. The feed doesn’t do it justice!

Freelance Switch or Freelance Folder
It’s a toss up but I always recommend both these sites to people.

CSS Tricks
Recently fell in love with this site!

Vandelay Design
Steven’s site rocks. There is always great articles and his blog covers a wide range of topics. Most of his posts inspire me in two ways. To write a post or to go design something.

PSDTUTS or Tutorial 9
What can I say? One of the best 2 PSD sites around – I love checking it out every day for new things to learn.

Twitter
Wasn’t really fan of twitter until I finally “got it”. Took me a while to see the uses and now it’s become my favorite networking tool. I’ve met a lot of people through twitter and there is a lot of knowledge when following the people that have the same interests as you. This post got me to see the possibilities.

Del.icio.us
Love this social bookmarking site. I have so many sites tagged and organized twice just in case I don’t find it the first time through. It’s great because you can also explore what’s hot and what other people in your field are looking at.

Vi.sualize.us
Just got into this one. I’m loving it so far! I currently use it to prepare my posts on my blog. Helps save all the images I want to go back to when it comes time to write.

Evernote
Great productivity tool for a designer!

Darren Hoyt

Digital Web
DW is among the oldest online magazines around and still publishes great stuff from the biggest personalities on the web. The content avoids the usual “tips and tricks”, focusing instead on provocative, bigger-picture concepts.

Design Observer
Design Observer’s blog is as much a cultural review as it is strictly a design journal, but it manages to sneak abstract design theories into seemingly unrelated topics like politics and economics. For self-taught web designers, it’s nice to get an education from DO’s writing staff, most of whom have an academic background in visual design or a professional background in advertising.

Custom Yahoo Pipes Feed
For checking out trends in web design, I built a custom feed with Yahoo Pipes which combines screenshots from CSS Mania, Best Web Gallery, Style Gala, Web Creme.

Fubiz, Art Skills and Design You Trust
These three blogs are great for getting away from web design trends and exploring other innovations in photography, industrial design, furniture, video, packaging. Warning: some content not safe for work.

Viget: Advance, Inspire, Extend, Engage
Viget’s staff is extremely talented and all four of their blogs are excellent. I enjoy reading about how projects are handled by a large team and seeing the results of their collaboration and brainstorming.

Jon Phillips of Freelance Folder and Spyre Studios

VandelayDesign
I find it’s a very good resource and it’s also really well-written. Love the design inspiration posts and lists of resources, and I enjoy the articles about freelancing and business even more!

Noupe
Without a doubt a great blog with lots of awesome resources. I really like the ‘news’ section too, both for finding new stuff and for promoting my own articles.

SmashingMagazine
Needs no introduction I guess.

Function
Quickly making its way to the top of my RSS list, great resources and kick-ass WordPress themes

DesignFloat
Always interesting articles and posts on the frontpage (perfect replacement to the Design section of Digg). Great site to discover new blogs and tutorial sites.

CSSMania
There’s probably only 3 or 4 CSS galleries that I visit regularly, CSSMania is the very first one on my list.

NetTuts/PSDTuts
Loving the tutorials!

CSSGlobe
Not a ton of posts, but they are good ones. Love the community links thing.

Others:
DesignReviver, VecTips, VectorTuts, FuelYourCreativity, Behance (great portolios!), Tutorial9.

Matthew Jurmann of Chromatic Sites (with some insight from his team members)

Web Creme
Great CSS gallery with an attractive minimalist design.

A List Apart
A plethora of web design and web development resources.

Smashing Magazine
A great resource for web designers.

Design Reviver
Solid web design blog with freebies, inspiration, and tutorials.

Thomas Beal of CSS Leak

Sites I Visit Daily:

Inspiration:
CSS Mania

CSS Based
I visit them because they are updated daily and lots of design are accepted (5-10 per day).

Best Web Gallery
For the quality.

News:
CSS Globe

Design Float

French Blog (I’m French):
Fubiz
Inspiration, design and motion graphics

RootsArts
News about French Graphic Art Communities

Fran6Art
French Blog about WordPress and Web Design

emob.fr
The blog of a young web start up

Presse-Citron.net
One of the biggest French Blog about New technology

WebRankInfo.com
Forum: The biggest French community about SEO

Sites that I visit few times in week :

Inspiration:
Design Flavr

Design Feedr

anjo.dekiteharu.jp
For Japanese Inspiration

ikesai.com
For Japanese Inspiration

Resources/Blog:
WebAppers

Vandelay Design
For the posts about Social Media Websites

Noupe

Smashing Magazine

Design Reviver

Outlaw Design Blog

E-learning (Photoshop/Webdesign) :
Abduzeedo

NETTUTS

PSDTUTS

French :
Art Skills
Design and inspiration

Simple Entrepreneur
Blog of a french entrepreneur

www.wks.fr
French Photoshop Tutorials

John Campbell of Design Bump

Web Designer Wall

Woork

PSDTUTS

A List Apart

Spoongraphics Blog

Simon North of Help-Developer

CrazyLeaf Design Blog

NETTuts (infact all of the tuts: PSDTuts, VectorTuts)

Noupe

WebAppers

Design Float

Dejan Cancarevic of Stylized Web

Photoshopstar

Six Revisions

Specky Boy

Vandelay Design

CSS Globe

Smashing Magazine

Deziner Folio

David Airey

I’d class Google Reader as my design-related site of choice. The majority of my RSS subscriptions are to design blogs, and it’s so much easier to collect them in one place, as opposed to visiting different sources. For some of the feeds I subscribe to, check out these top 50 graphic design blogs.

Lately I’ve been finding myself using Facebook more than I used to, although that’s less to do with design and more to do with all the old friends I’ve connected with.

Andrew Egenes of Design Float

Design Reviver
One of my favorite blogs recently. Henry regularly posts well written and well researched entries.

Design You Trust
Another one of my daily visits. I love that I can count on multiple inspiring posts per day so I regularly take breaks to check out the latest DYT entries.

Office Snapshots
This is usually the first site I visit in the morning. I’m obsessed with checking out the offices of some of the web and design industries top companies. The Home Office Snapshots section is also a blast to browse through.

NowPublic
One of my favorite community driven news sites with a beautiful design and active community.

The Eden Sites
(PSDTuts, Freelance Switch, VectorTuts, NetTuts) – I know there’s always going to be some great knew posts every day at the Eden sites.

Shanna Cote of Site Squared

CSS Globe
I love this site for many reasons. There is a wealth of info on this site, and the rss feed alone keeps me busy while I drink my 1st cup of coffee in the morns. When I first stumbled onto this site, I just sub’d to the rss feed and called it a day. Little did I know that I only sub’d to the community news feed. I was missing out on so many great articles all along.

Smashing Magazine
I drop by here mainly for inspiration. I never get tired of looking at their design showcase posts.

Scott Kelby’s blog
He’s a Photoshop superstar, but his blog is mostly about photography. (I recommend any and all of his books) For me, since I design a lot of ecommerce sites, photography just as important as the actual design. Seriously, who wants to buy a shirt that is laying on a stained carpet with someone’s toe hanging out in the corner of the picture?

Design Melt Down
This site is the ultimate when it comes to showcasing! Just check out the table of contents. Looking for specific design ideas or trends… you are sure to find them here.

Vandelay Design
The inspirational gallery posts are amazing. And I swear, every time I am in need of a little Photoshop schooling, the Photoshop tutorial posts are there to save the day.

Noupe
This is another one of my favs, I love their ‘Best-Of’ posts. I could spend hours and hours on this site just reading through the tutorials, checking out the showcases, graphics, etc. Sigh.. if only there were more time in the day. ;)

Collis Ta’eed of FlashDen, Freelance Switch, PSDTUTS, NETTUTS & more (and probably something new by the time you’re reading this).

SmashingMagazine
I love Smashing partly because they put together a lot of good content for web designers, and partly because as a blogger I’m always interested in their ideas for posts and blogging.

DesignFloat
Because there are so many awesome sites around, DesignFloat has become a really good resource for me to see the best of them all. It also helps me find new sites to keep an eye on.

Ben Harper of Templamatic

CSS Remix

Freelance Switch

Vitamin

iStockphoto

Mubashar Iqbal of Most Inspired, Design by Grid, and more

Design Float

CSS Globe

K10K.net

qbn.com

Noupe

Digg Design Category

And my own favorites

PSDTUTS
I wish I had enough time to go through every tutorial published.

Smashing Magazine
The amount of time that has to go into their posts is amazing.

DZone and Design Float
For finding new design-related content.

CSS Globe
The articles are great and the community news section is the best of its kind.

Del.icio.us
Not really a design-related site, but the front page usually has something focused on design/development and it’s an excellent organizational tool for bookmarks.

Best Web Gallery
I agree, it is the best.

I also subscribe to a number of blogs, many are represented by their owners in this post:
Noupe
, Six Revisions, You the Designer, Stylized Web, Just Creative Design, Fuel Your Creativity, Design Reviver, Most Inspired, Freelance Switch, Freelance Folder, and the list could go on for a while.

How About You?

What are your favorite design-related websites and blogs?

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design. Connect with Stephen on google+