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Sources of Visual Influences

I recommend some websites for visual influences.

Today, I would like to write about the net as a source of endless influences. In the last weeks I've stumbled over some sites that I would recommend as high quality aggregators for visual stimuli. Recently I read a german blog post of a design professor, who criticized these aggregators. Sadly I lost the link. He believes this type of sites is a driving force for design copy-cats and kills true creativity. Sounds plausible, and after thinking a while about it, I changed the title of the post from the word inspirations to influences. In my humble opinion inspiration is a moment of true creativity to solve a problem. You might find influences of other works in your solution, but inspiration connects the dots. Nevertheless, visual influences might be useful for a lot of things: User experience in software, decorating your home, etc. One further warning: Some of them are highly addictive, because of infinity scrolls, also known as scrolls of procrastination. So if you're working, I give you the advice to visit the sites in your spare time. Okay, still there? I tried to balance neutral, female and male sites.

I start with a classic: Vi.sualize.us is a well-known visual bookmarking site, and very gender neutral. Not my favourite, but aggregates high-quality stuff. For the girls, WeHeartIt. WeHeartIt's layout is very similiar to Vis.ualize.us. Another way of organizing and representing visual stimuli is Pinterest. An alternative is Indulgy. By now both are sources of influence for female surfers. So if you're male, check out Tapiture. It's based on the same principles, but satisfies male needs. Okay, next up: the Tumblr folks. For those of you who haven't heard of it yet, it's a pretty easy and hip way to set up blogs. Just search for tags, e.g. #design, #art, #photography and some trending images show up. The previous sites are open communities, feel free to join. The following sites are aggregators of design agencies or freelancers, therefore closed communities. I start with Ffffound, very minimalistic, the quality is varying. The sites Behance and Dribbble are places where designers meet, discuss and present their work. The content on these sites is very inspiring and if you belong to the craftsmanship of design or similiar you should definitely catch a glimpse. Last but not least, Designspiration as a general source of product influences and BlessThisStuff, a magazine for guys, which aggregates innovative products. And for those of you, who are just searching for a good wallpaper: Wallbase.cc is a must-visit. I bet there a lot of other cool pages out there, but I guess these sites are great for starters. Happy exploring!

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