Inspiration is everywhere around us. But sometimes it’s valuable to stumble upon the unexpected and explore day-to-day challenges from an unusual perspective. It could be a vintage book you find in a local bookstore, a vinyl cover from the 70s, or street lettering in remote places you just happen to visit.
In this newsletter, we explore design inspiration in its different shapes. From Indian street lettering and Canadian typography archives to visual eye candy, hover states, and pricing plans. We hope that there is some value for everyone in there!
We also hope to inspire you at our upcoming SmashingConf Design & UX in Antwerp, Belgium 🍫 (Oct 9–11, in-person and online). Our shiny new conference is all around design systems, usability, and complex UX challenges. It’s just a matter of weeks now — and only a few tickets are left, so don’t wait too long!
And in the meantime, let’s dive into the wonderful, magnificent, and unexplored world of inspiration!
1. Canadian Typography Archives
Everyone loves some good typography inspiration, right? A small but fine collection of curated typography goodies is Canadian Typography Archives. Dedicated to documenting and preserving typographic history, the archives showcase artifacts from every corner and community across Canada.
In the collection, you’ll find typographic examples covering everything from advertising and signage to books, newspapers, magazines, and artifacts from private presses and letters. The focus currently lies between the first printing press arriving in Halifax in 1751 and the beginning of the digital era circa 1985. The collection is constantly growing, with plans to add French and indigenous content and expand the timeline to include work through about 2000 next year. (cm)
2. Rebrand Gallery
Now here comes a very special goodie, one that celebrates the magic and creativity of design to its fullest: Rebrand Gallery. The visual identity inspiration gallery lets you explore the best new design systems, visual identity introductions, and rebrand videos.
Rebrand Gallery was created by the folks at the creative studio Sahkyo Studio to share their fascination with the art of transformation in design. The featured videos capture the essence of brands evolving, the intricate design systems that redefine visual communication, and the stories behind each creative leap.
For some bite-sized design inspiration, the site also features a “brand bento inspiration gallery,” where design systems are showcased in animated, bento-style grids. Inspiration is guaranteed! (cm)
3. The Index
Are you up for a journey to discover the best of the best in design? Then The Index is for you. Curated by designers Joakim Jansson and Johan Mårtensson, the online gallery showcases the best design studios, designers, type foundries, and other creatives worldwide.
The Index ranks 70 household names from graphic design, type design, branding, digital design, and other related disciplines. And, of course, their projects are just waiting to be discovered, too. Whether it’s posters, web design, editorial design, art direction, 3D imagery, motion design, or spatial design, the showcase is a treasure chest filled with stellar pieces. New submissions are added every week. (cm)
4. SaaS Pricing Explorer
What does it take to make a pricing page a great pricing page? The Saas Pricing Explorer showcases and analyzes more than 1,000 pricing pages to get you inspired and help you gain valuable insights to create pricing pages that convert.
From the more than 1,000 pages featured in the collection, they also cherry-picked the absolute best to curate a pricing page hall of fame. The selected designs try to make complex pricing models crystal clear. You might recognize some of them instantly, while others may be a pleasant surprise, yet all represent unique approaches to SaaS pricing. (cm)
5. Upcoming Workshops and Conferences
Here we go again! We run online workshops on frontend and design, be it accessibility, performance, or design patterns. In fact, we have a couple of workshops coming up soon, and we thought that, you know, you might want to join in as well.
As always, here’s a quick overview:
- Design Management Masterclass UX
with Slava Shestopalov. Oct 5–13
- Typography Masterclass UX
with Elliot Jay Stocks. Oct 16–30
- Customer-Centric Product Strategy Workshop UX
with Debbie Levitt. Oct 18–26
- Design KPIs Masterclass UX
with Vitaly Friedman. Oct 31 – Nov 8
- Accessibility for Designers UX
with Stéphanie Walter. Nov 6–15
- Building Modern HTML Emails Dev
with Rémi Parmentier. Nov 9–17
- Smart Interface Design Patterns Video Course UX
9h-video + Live UX Training with Vitaly Friedman
- Jump to all workshops →
6. Alternative Design, Code, And Content
If you’re looking for extraordinary designs that experiment with interactivity and content in new and interesting ways, Hoverstat.es never ceases to inspire. The site describes itself as “the home of alternative design, code and content on the world wide web.”
In the collection, you’ll find browser split experiences where the user explores the site between two separate but connected interfaces, nostalgic cinematic screen wipes, off-kilter typography, rotating navigation, video timelines with draggable clips, and much more. As unique as the featured websites are, they all have one thing in common: they think outside the box and aren’t afraid of experiments. Refreshing to see in times in which a lot of sites look the same. (cm)
7. Visual Techniques Library
Time for some eye candy! And that can be taken quite literally in this case. Eyecandy is a visual technique library for visual technique lovers. Curated by Jacobi Mehringer, it features over 5,000 GIFs representing the very best techniques in the world of filmmaking.
The main page gives you an overview of nearly every visual technique, covering everything from Arc Movement to Fisheye, Dutch Angle, Super Zoom, and other known (and rather unknown) techniques. When you click on one of them, you’ll discover film sequences that employ the technique — but be warned, the rabbit hole is deep!
Jacobi Mehringer started the project to do something against gatekeeping and give creatives a better way to source creativity and inspiration for their ideas. A wonderful initiative not only for filmmaking professionals but everyone who loves some visual inspiration. (cm)
8. India Street Lettering
Most sites dedicated to typography inspiration focus on the Latin writing system. So how about a look outside the Latin bubble for a change? On the site India Street Lettering, Pooja Saxena takes you on a journey through the busy streets of India and all the inspiring pieces of lettering that are waiting to be discovered at every corner.
You can browse the collection by city, script, technique, and type of embellishment. From hand-painted signage to mosaics, neon, and wood signs, from signs for advocate offices to wholesale shops, the site is a potpourri of lettering inspiration from all walks of life. Happy browsing! (cm)
9. Smashing Books 📚
Promoting best practices and providing you with practical tips to master your daily coding and design challenges has always been at the core of everything we do at Smashing.
In the past few years, we were very lucky to have worked together with some talented, caring people from the web community to publish their wealth of experience as printed books. Have you checked them out already?
- Understanding Privacy by Heather Burns
- Touch Design for Mobile Interfaces by Steven Hoober
- Image Optimization by Addy Osmani
- Jump to all Smashing Books →
That’s All, Folks!
Thank you so much for reading and for your support in helping us keep the web dev and design community strong with our newsletter. See you next time!
This newsletter issue was written and edited by Geoff Graham (gg), Cosima Mielke (cm), Vitaly Friedman (vf), and Iris Lješnjanin (il).
- Design Systems
- Lovely Little Websites
- UX Guides, Templates and Career Ladders
- Useful Front-End Tools
- Design Systems
- Data Visualization And Dashboards
- Designing For Mobile
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