Nearly all graphic and web designers have their favorite haunts to read design news and catch trends. Here’s what I personally read to stay current on design trends:
Colorado designer Jeremiah Shoaf (@typewolf) runs this popular website for typography inspiration. It features websites of the day, font lists, and font alternatives. Most importantly, Typewolf showcases how type is used “in the wild’ so you can see how fonts are used in context.
A great source of news and inspiration for UX/UI Design is Medium’s Design category. From case studies to creative philosophy to designer best practices, Medium offers a lot of interesting reads. Users can read up to four (4) articles for free a month; paid members can access more.
Another great place to stay current on design trends in the web development world is Smashing Magazine. Loaded with tutorials and fresh perspectives on challenges and products, Smashing Magazine caters to the hands-on web designer who isn’t afraid to code.
The articles at Nielson Norman Group (NN/g) inform designers about the latest trends and news in user interface and user experience design. My favorite thing about NN/g is that all its articles are supported with quantitative user research data. Indeed, I frequently cite research and statistics from here when building my own cases for design projects.
The blog at HubSpot stays up to date with the latest marketing, sales, customer service, and industry news. I frequently visit HubSpot to stay current on social media and email design trends. Also, HubSpot is great to learn more about the marketing strategy that backs your designs.
Pinterest is the only social media platform I use. It has such an active graphic designer community. Users post and share visual artworks all the time, and browsing is a breeze. Additionally, Pinterest is a popular brainstorming and mood board building tool since it’s so quick and easy to collect images.
Nearly every Photoshop text effect tutorial I use comes from Envato Tuts+. Envato tutorials are easy to follow with plenty of pictures for the visual learner like me. Additionally, Envato offers a wide range of tutorial subjects to pique any designer’s interest: Photoshop, Illustrator, animation, WordPress, design theory, freelance, and more.
More Industry News:
Creative Bloq, the makers of Computer Arts magazine, also share a free online blog. Read more on the latest design, marketing, and tech news. Besides tutorials and freebies, Creative Bloq frequently reviews computer/tablets/devices, advises on competitive portfolios, and more.
It’s no surprise Pantone sits at the forefront for the latest in color trends. The Pantone website announces the annual Color of the Year. The Color of the Year is the official, informed prediction of what color(s) will the be the most popular and mood-setting in the design industry. Additionally, Pantone also shares “Color Trend Alerts” to identify each season’s hottest color trends.
From the makers of HOW Design magazine comes HOW Design University. This online learning platform shares educational courses on branding, graphic design, SEO, UI/UX, and more. The courses are often quick, self-paced, and reasonably priced. I’ll enroll in a HOW Design University course to stay current on design trends, too.
Of course, there’s a ton of other interesting sources to stay current on design trends, and this is just my small sampling. Most importantly, stay curious. Our industry is fast-moving and constantly changing. Yet, it’s also why we enjoy it so much!