“Good design is good business.”
-Thomas J. Watson, former CEO of IBM
...And bad design is bad business. Whether you’re a designer or a programmer, whether it’s your outdated personal website or business card or the fact that you think Comic Sans is pretty, it’s crucial that you have an elementary perception of “what looks good” when you run your own business.
Developing an eye for design isn’t easy. But we would argue that even browsing through some great design inspiration galleries and blogs can slowly develop at least a little bit of awareness of good and bad design. Plus, just looking at good design can make you happier and stimulates your brain to come up with creative solutions.
(In other words, follow these blogs because they're pretty!)
We polled our designer friends and pulled together the 10 best design blogs every freelancer should follow. We hope this is only the beginning of the list: please add your favorites in the comment section below. Thanks!
We love this Chicago freelancer's fresh and colorful design. About the company's name: "Union is really about the relationship with the client. In a sense, it's like a labor union, with a no bullshit work ethic and the craft and artistry that goes into making things." High five, union buddy! Margot also has great stuff on Instagram and Pinterest.
This independent web magazine features (live) creative people, not just creative work. The bookworm in us loves the mag's emphasis on book cover design and its natural cousin... rock concert posters.
Minimalist? Modernist? Then this is the design blog for you. Just look at this site makes our heads feel cleaner.
7. Mr. Cup Blog
Fabien Barral is a freelance graphic designer who lives in France in this office. Sigh. Despite the fact that we sort of hate you (kidding!), we love his collection of great interior design, fonts, logos, and large, beautiful photographs of beautiful things.
Buamai is an "online repository" of found images and claims to be "where inspiration starts." We love the no-frills, no-text approach of this blog. You're hit with a solid wall of fascinating, unique, funny, and just plain weird gifs and photos.
This blog, a product of New York-based husband-and-wife design team Seamless Creative, features creative and whimsical product, print, and font design.
This blog isn't just a great library of images; it allows you to curate and save your own collection, sort of like an online inspiration scrapbook. It also has design jobs. It was founded by Shelby White, and entrepreneur, creator of macspoilers.com, and all around Apple enthusiast.
Design*sponge is an especially good resource for interior design ideas. (Redesigning the home office, anyone?) It's also full of great DIY projects to make your favorite designs a reality.
2. Creative Mug
Creative Mug calls itself a "collected visual inspiration for a lovely break time," and it is indeed lovely. The project of London-based design duo Apple&Pear, it frequently features the work of other great freelance designers, which gives it a big thumbs up from us.
A collaboration of an international team of design curators, this site features the best and spunkiest creative work. Quite aside from the fact that this website is awesome, you will spend your happiest 30 seconds today just playing with the header on this website. No, seriously.
What are your favorites?