Design Resources for Combating Creative Block

October 1, 2016

If you consider yourself a creative person,  you're probably well acquainted with the irritating blocks all artistic types are prone to experiencing. Personally, I have a few specific areas in which I occasionally encounter these frustrating blanks - mainly, I struggle to get out of my comfort zone in terms of typeface and colour palette. Out of necessity, I've collected a few handy resources that help me work through these troubled times. 


Fonts In Use


Few things compare to the satisfaction that well-paired fonts or a bit of clever typography can provide. But picking the right font can be a struggle. Fonts In Use is my go-to cheat sheet for time-tested executions and pairings that have proven to be effective. As an added bonus, I get a kick out of seeing how classic typefaces have been used in retro and iconic works. 


Colour Palettes 


I love colour! I have a pesky tendency to gravitate toward my personal favourite shades (hello, muted pastels!), but that's not always ideal for the project at hand. This blog post featuring 100 Brilliant Colour Combinations is one I return to again and again when I feel stuck in a colour rut.



Pictaculous is a genius little tool that generates a custom colour palette to complement any photo you choose. From there, you can use the provided colour codes to incorporate the hues into your design or you can download the palette directly into Adobe products by grabbing the Adobe Swatch File.


Stock Photos


MorgueFile is the largest searchable catalog of totally free images I've yet to find online. Not all the content it hosts is great quality, but it's well worth sifting through.


Unsplash has a small but excellently curated assortment of 100% free stock photos. Equally awesome is their Made With Unsplash gallery. It's an absolute goldmine of inspiration, and features a variety of different design styles.


Pexels is another useful source of impactful imagery, with a nifty feature that allows you to search its archives by colour.


All three of these sites offer photos that are free for personal and even commercial use, with no attribution required.




Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period. If you're as fascinated with mid-century aesthetic as I am, this one's for you. 



The Design Blog showcases high quality, handpicked design from around the world. The selected pieces are extremely eclectic, and span many aspects of design, both digital and otherwise. The site's clean, image-heavy layout make it perfect for casually scrolling through over your next coffee break.



Spoon Graphics hosts an arsenal of freebies, tutorials and inspiration. It also features premium content for paying members, but the free stuff is amazing in itself. Truly one of the most useful design resources I have come across.


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Design Resources for Combating Creative Block

October 1, 2016

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