Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 10th, 2015

Professional Fresh blogs and websites in 2015

You’ve clearly enjoyed our popular 70 of the best blogs for creative inspiration.

Is it time to offer you some further essential reading with the 100 fresh blogs for creative professionals to follow in 2015?

That’s whether you’re looking for insights and inspiration in the world of graphic design, illustration, photography, art, user experience design, web design, interior design or architecture – we’ve painstakingly crawled the web to dig out the latest must-read blogs.

100 fresh blogs and websites for creative professionals to follow in 2015

So rather than wasting time trying to find recommended online resources, simply bookmark this page and share with your friends and associates.

We’ve even included some recommended sites for learning, plus there’s a top 10 list of fun, time-wasting websites that you can browse when you’re not feeling particularly productive.

If we’ve missed anything, feel free to tweet us and make your own suggestions via @Creative_Boom and we’ll consider adding them to the list. Enjoy!

Graphic Design

1. Good Design Makes Me Happy: Good Design Makes Me Happy started in 2009 as an inspiration journal for graphic designer Hannah Dollery. The blog now has a growing readership and has become a daily read for many people. Make sure you add to your daily reading list.
2. Identity Designed: Curated by designer and author David Airey, Identity Designed is a brilliant showcase of all things related to brand identity and has a definite slant towards contemporary, cutting edge design.
3. The Fox is Black: The personal yet wonderful blog of American designer Bobby Solomon, featuring art, design, brand identity… even music, food, culture, illustration and photography.
4. ManyStuff: Paris-based Charlotte Cheetham is the person behind Manystuff. It’s a random feed of beautiful, cutting-edge design inspiration and a must for any designer looking to break boundaries and challenge the conventional norm.
5. Brand New: Brand New is a division of UnderConsideration. Its sole purpose is to chronicle and provide opinions on corporate and brand identity work. We cover redesigns and new designs of well-known products, companies, and organizations. Brand New is edited and 99% written by Armin Vit.
6. LogoEd: Logoed offers logo inspiration for graphic designers. It’s a place where you’ll discover great logo designs, which will hopefully inspire you to create even better designs.
7. We and The Colour: A blog about creative inspiration in art, graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, fashion, product, interior, video and motion design. But designers will love this as it’s mainly aimed at them.
8. Design Clever: A collaboration started by Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker, two aspiring graphic designers with a passion for everything design related.
9. Design Everywhere: Design Everywhere is an online design blog that showcases carefully selected graphic design works and beyond around the world. As the name suggest, we featured works beyond still stationery shots. Daily dose of visual inspirations collected by Preston Tham.
10. The Inspiration Grid: Inspiration Grid is a daily-updated blog celebrating creative talent from around the world. Your daily fix of design, illustration and typography.

Illustration

1. Illustrators Lounge: A simple little blog that shares inspirational work by illustrators across the globe.
2. No Barcode: No Barcode is a blog about vintage modern design & illustration plus other design related things curated by Javier García — a graphic designer & illustrator working in the San Francisco Bay area.
3. Inspiration Hut: Another great online magazine that shares inspirational work from all creative fields, including a great illustration section.
4. Directory of Illustration: Directory of Illustration is a great resource for finding the work of highly regarded illustrators. It’s also an amazing community of illustrators sharing their work to offer inspiration to others.
5. I Love Illustration: Starting out as a fashion illustration blog, this site has since grown to cover all areas of the creative discipline. Carefully curated and containing some of the best and brightest illustrators out there.
6. Illustration Served: A curated Bechance site, Illustration Served is a solid place to discover the latest work from illustrations all over the world.
7. From Up North: From up North is a design blog focusing on promoting and inspiring creatives all over the world. Delivering inspiration within graphic design, advertising, photography and – you guessed it – illustration. Founded by Daniel Nelson in September 2009.
8. Signature: Known as the world’s finest illustration and art place, Signature offers some seriously good illustration inspiration. And there’s a nice growing community on Facebook too.
9. Scamp: Known as the Irish Illustration Blog, this is a site that not only brings together Ireland’s illustrator community but also offers some decent inspiration for those looking to seek ideas from others.
10. Tiny Showcase: Developed in 2004, this site is devoted to putting small illustrators in the spotlight.

Photography, Film & Animation

1. Daily Overview: Love aerial photography? You’ll love this wonderful blog, sharing regular shots from above. As Plato said: “Man must rise above the Earth – to the top of the atmosphere and beyond – for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”
2. 70 Degrees West: Love nature and travel photography? Follow this gorgeous blog for daily inspiration.
3. Conscientious Photo Magazine: Conscientious Photography Magazine is a website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography. It offers profiles of photographers, in-depth interviews, photo book reviews, and general articles about photography and related issues.
4. Vimeo Staff Picks: The cool gang at Vimeo share their favourite uploaded films, music videos and animations via this ever popular channel.
5. Trend Land: This online magazine, which is beautifully designed by the way, shares inspiration art, design and visual communication. Its photography section is especially wonderful.
6. The Inspiration Room: The Inspiration Room™ is a creative archive and community site first established in 2006. It’s a collaborative effort, providing you with the latest and classic creative inspirations from television, print, ambient and interactive advertising, music videos, photography and design.
7. On Animation: Inspiring animators everywhere, this lovely blog is aimed at those who are seeking inspiration for their own animation projects.
8. Indie Wire: The leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, Indiewire originally launched on July 15, 1996 and today, it’s still going strong.
9. Still Searching: Smart, intelligent blog that aims to be a continually developing, growing and decidedly interactive Internet discourse on the medium of photography that features a multitude of participants; it is conceived as an online debate on forms of photographic production, techniques, applications, distribution strategies, contexts, theoretical foundations, ontology and perspectives on the medium. It explores photography’s role as a seminal visual medium of our time—as art, as a communication and information tool in the context of social media or photojournalism, and as a form of scientific or legal evidence.
10. Wandering Bears: Wandering Bears is a community of emerging creatives. A centre for new work, ideas and collaborative projects – its main focus is on photography. Check it out!

Art

1. Art Log: Literally keep on top of everything that’s happening in the art world, thanks to this regularly updated blog.
2. Frieze Blog: Still a major player in the art world, Frieze brings you quirky updates within your favourite creative field.
3. The Fine Art Nude: It does exactly what it says on the tin – fine art focusing on nudity.
4. Aesthetica: A leading international art and culture magazine founded in 2002 and explores the best in contemporary art, design, photography, film, music and performance.
5. Creative Roots: Representing nations through art and design, Creative Roots is an ever growing art and design blog based on countries of the world, with each post being influenced by its countries, culture and history. With 160,000 page views each month, CR is inspiring readers from all around the world.
6. Voicer: Voicer is an online magazine covering the aesthetics of everyday Life. Founded in 2007 and curated by its team in Shanghai, China.
7. criticismism: criticismism is a journal of art and ideas inspired by work in Brighton, UK, and beyond. It is by Mark Sheerin, a regular contributor to Culture24, Hyperallergic, and Bad at Sports.
8. ARTnews: ARTnews is the oldest and most widely-circulated art magazine in the world. It is read by collectors, dealers, historians, artists, museum directors and curators everywhere.
9. Art Review: ArtReview is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines. Founded in 1949, it is dedicated to expanding contemporary art’s audience and reach.
10. Digital Arts Online: Inspiration for digital creatives, Digital Arts offers comprehensive coverage of the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design.

UX Design

1. A List Apart: Insightful articles exploring web design, development, most cutting-edge techniques, and technologies with a special emphasis on web standards and best practices.
2. Smashing Magazine: Check out the much-loved and respected Smashing Magazine for its UX Design section, featuring articles on usability, information architecture, interaction design and other user experience related topics.
3. UXmatters: Founded by Pabini Gabriel-Petit in 2005, UXmatters provides insights and inspiration to both professionals working in all aspects of user experience (UX)—at every stage in their career—and students who are just beginning their journey in user experience.
4. UXPin: From the people who bring you some seriously nice prototyping software, UXPin also has a decent blog, featuring articles related to documentation, UX, product management and design. They even produce and publish their own free e-books.
5. UX Booth: The UX Booth is a publication by and for the user experience community. Its readership consists mostly of beginning-to-intermediate user experience and interaction designers, but anyone interested in making the web a better place to be is welcome.
6. UX Myths: UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take their word for it, they’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.
7. Boxes and Arrows: Boxes and Arrows is devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design; including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture and the design of business. Since 2001, it’s been a peer-written journal promoting contributors who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.
8. UX Magazine: UX Magazine is a free community resource exploring all facets of experience design.
9. Information Architects: Follow this international agency’s ‘know-how’ blog to get intelligent insights, advice and tips from the world of information architecture.
10. eCommerce UX Design: Get useful pointers on eCommerce user experience, tablet interfaces, mobile UX, responsive design, holiday banners, email design and more.

Web Design

1. Designmodo: Designmodo is a great resource of informative material for designers and web developers. There are several categories you can browse through, depending on your interests like Web Design and Web Development, Tips and Tutorials, WordPress, Inspiration and much more.
2. Web Design Ledger: The Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of this site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in-between.
3. Designerfix: Designerfix is a blog dedicated to graphic and web design. With primary topics including inspiration, tutorials, freebies, and resources. Nice.
4. Creative Overflow: As old as Creative Boom, Creative Overflow has been going since 2009. Sharing their design experience through delivering professionally written articles, tutorials, resources.
5. Patrick McNeil: Patrick is a UX designer, professor and creator of Design Meltdown, plus the author of six web design books. Definitely one to follow to keep your finger on the web design pulse.
6. The Next Web Design/Dev Channel: The Next Web is a huge blog that covers an immense amount of topics, and it even has its own Design & Dev Channel – dedicated to sharing everything from the world of web design. It’s definitely one to follow.
7. Site Inspire: siteInspire is a showcase of the finest web and interactive design. It’s somewhere you can submit your own web designs for consideration. Great for inspiration and when you’ve hit a brick wall.
8. Web Design Depot: Web Designer Depot was founded in 2010 by Canadian-based web designer Walter Apai. Since then, the blog has gained a large and loyal audience and it now covers a wide range of topics surrounding web design, including inspiration, CSS, HTML5, jQuery, Web Dev, Design Tutorials, news, and so much more.
9. Web Design Tuts+: If you need to brush up on your web design skills, then Web Design Tuts+ is the online resource for you. Covering HTML and CSS, Photoshop, Workflow and site elements. A superb resource.
10. Jason Santa Maria: Jason is a graphic designer from Brooklyn. Design director at Vox Media, author of On Web Typography, co-founder of A Book Apart and founder of Typedia – his blog should absolutely be on your reading list.

Architecture & Interior Design

1. Dezeen: Started in 2006 by the former founding editor of icon magazine, Marcus Fairs, Dezeen is one of the most popular and influential architecture and interior design blogs on the internet, with over two million visits a month.
2. Yatzer: Yatzer is your global online destination for fine and applied arts. An explosion of exclusive and unique contemporary resources for those searching for inspiration. Its Interiors and Architecture sections are particularly wonderful.
3. Confessions of a Design Geek: Confessions of a Design Geek is an award-winning blog established in 2010 by Katie Treggiden to support new designers. It has been named as a top design blog by Dwell US, Elle Decor Italia and The Sunday Times. Katie also writes for Dezeen, Design Milk, Telegraph and Ideal Home.
4. Design Milk: An online magazine dedicated to modern design, Design Milk offers what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology. Always fresh + never sour, Design Milk fills your thirsty cup to the brim with design finds from around the world. Drink up!
5. Freshmen: Micle Mihai-Cristian only founded Freshome in 2007 but now has over 5 million pages viewed every month – it’s pretty much the best source for home design and interiors out there.
6. MoCo Loco: Canadian blog MoCo Loco is another great design blog with a focus on residential design, product design and architecture.
7. Pop-Up City: A blog that explores the latest designs, trends and ideas that shape the city of the future. They strongly focus on new concepts, strategies and methods for a dynamic and flexible interpretation of contemporary urban life. The Pop-Up City was founded by Amsterdam-based space marketing agency Golfstromen in April, 2008.
8. Wallpaper: The magazine that showcases the ‘stuff that refines you’. It’s a well respected and established publication with a deliciously designed website and lots of beautiful inspiring content.
9. A Daily Dose of Architecture: Well, it’s almost a daily architectural dose of musings and imagery from New York City.
10. I Like Architecture: I Like Architecture is the architecture blog that showcases unique contemporary designs, projects and concepts to those searching for architecture and design inspiration.

Learn something new

1. Creative Live: Log on to this online beauty to take part in live creative classes from the world’s top experts. Learn and be inspired without leaving your desk. Highly recommended.
2. DIY: Learn anything and be anyone. DIY is the best place to level up your skills, meet friends, find an audience, and just be awesome.
3. Curious: It’s all about lifelong learning at Curious. Sign up to take advantage of all kinds of online tutorials and creative lessons. Topics range from crafts and DIY to tech and business.
4. Instructables: A wonderful online resource that shares loads of tips and tricks to help you make all kinds of quirky homemade things. Plus it has its own creative community.
5. Know More: Know More (a Wonkblog joint) is a site for people who like learning stuff. Not sitting-in-front-of-a-textbook-for-hours learning, but getting-sucked-into-a-Wikipedia-hole-for-hours learning. The kind where you just can’t stop tunneling deeper and deeper until you know the name of every Brigadier General in the Union army and what campaigns they participated in, or can list every item in Grace Jones’s discography, or exactly who was going to get what job in the cabinet of a hypothetical Reagan-Ford co-presidency.
6. Tuts+: Learn creative skills and shape your future. That’s the message from the people behind Tuts+, which has over five million users and shares lessons about code, illustration, photography, web design, and more.
7. Skillfeed: With over 67,000 video tutorials and more than 8,000 hours of learning, Skillfeed is fast becoming one of the world’s largest online learning websites. They even offer a free trial.
8. udemy: A place to learn real world skills online. Courses include everything from yoga and guitar to web development and design.
9. Treehouse: One for the aspiring web designers and developers, Treehouse allows you to learn HTML, CSS, iPhone app development and much more.
10. Lynda.com: One of the best known online tutorial websites, but still one of the best – Lynda.com has recently enjoyed a refresh and covers a huge range of topics, including web, design, development, animation, video, audio, photography, business and even education.

Just for a laugh

1. The Oatmeal: The Oatmeal’s real name is Matthew and he lives in Seattle, Washington. He subsists on a steady diet of crickets and whiskey. He enjoys long walks on the beach, gravity, and breathing heavily through his mouth. His dislikes include scurvy, typhoons, and tapeworm medication. Probably one of the best and most loved comical blogs on the web.
2. Clients from Hell: Oh, we’ve all had them. Those crazy clients who come out with the weirdest things. This blog will satisfy a need to feel as though you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with your own strange customers.
3. Geek & Poke: Web designers and developers will ‘get’ this fun blog. Sharing lots of simple yet elegantly funny cartoons that only those who work in this field will truly understand.
4. Sanger: Put simply, it’s a pug licking your computer screen. That’s it. Happy days.
5. Attack of the Cute: On compiling this particular list and to choose the very best, all we had to do was test them out on our Assistant Editor Laura Collinson. Her reaction to this ‘cute’ blog of very cute animals was enough to add it!
6. Honest Slogans: What people really think of brands with refreshed and ‘honest’ slogans. Beautifully comical.
7. Savage Chickens: Love cartoons? Love chickens? Love sticky notes? These are cartoons of chickens on sticky notes. ‘Nuff said.
8. Not Always Right: We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “The customer is always right,” but is it true? Can the customer always be right? Not Always Right is a website that tells the other side of the story by collecting memorable and often hilarious tales from employees that prove, “The customer is not always right.”
9. Indexed: Very simple yet funny graphs of complete and utter random nonsense. Amusing and will definitely put a smile on your face.
10. Passive Aggressive Notes: Focusing on the crazy little notes people leave each other, Passive Aggressive Notes includes gems from work and home alike. Worth a chuckle.

Some cool lifestyle sites

1. The Burning House: If your home was on fire, what items would you rescue? A wonderful little blog sharing what others would save if they faced the ultimate dilemma.
2. Coffitivity: Recreate some lovely ambient sounds of a coffee shop to boost your creativity and help you work better. Choose from a morning murmur to get your day started, or opt for a Parisian, energising buzz. Definitely weird, but you’ll be hooked.
3. Kinfolk: With jaw-dropping and mouth watering photography, Kinfolk is a popular choice for many creatives worldwide. Its website features content that’s available to everyone (new web stories, City Guides, Galleries and films) but they also offer access to content from their back-issue archive to full subscribers. Join the cool club to get everything Kinfolk has to offer.
4. Poppy Loves: A fresh and very appealing London lifestyle blog that covers the city’s events, cafes, restaurants, fashion, music, art and design. With lush photography to boot.
5. Zergnet: A constantly updated collection of viral content from all over the web. See what’s trending at any given time.
6. Everyday Carry: Peek inside the pockets and lives of interesting creative people. Very simple idea but so fascinating.
7. The Selby: Take a peek at interesting creative people in their own studios, homes or workplaces. With funky little interviews and great photography, this is a must-read for creatives everywhere.
8. Adventure Journal: An online magazine for adventure loves and outdoor types. Which pretty much sums up most creative people I know.
9. The Daily What: Another ‘trending’ website where you can easily discover popular content from around the world. Expect things like ’10 Dogs That Think They Can Speak English’ and you’ll happily waste many hours browsing through the site.
10. The Big Roundtable: The Big Roundtable is a home, both online and offline, for writers with true stories they need to tell and readers looking for compelling tales. Submit your own story and get involved.

 

Are We Designing Nutrition Labels All Wrong?

One recent study says yes—and offers a better way forward.

Nutrition labels have the best of intentions—to keep us healthy—but they sure don’t have the clearest of formats. Four in 10 North Americans admit to no better than a “partial” understanding of them, according to a recent Nielsen survey.

Serving sizes, percentages, grams, daily values—parsing out what it all means requires more math, time, and vitamin analysis than most of us care to apply on an empty stomach in a crowded aisle.

Eric Jaffe published this Feb. 5, 2015

With all due respect to riboflavin, there may be a better way.

Psychologists Peter Helfer and Thomas Shultz of McGill University in Montreal recently found that the standard U.S. food package label measure inferior to several alternatives when it came to conveying nutrition information in a timely and effective manner.

In a recent issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, they argue that a simple one-number label called NuVal might be a better way to go.

“We find that the Nutrition Facts label, currently required in the United States, Canada, and a few other countries, is relatively ineffective in guiding participants toward nutritious choices, whereas some alternative schemes that present nutrition information in a more condensed form perform significantly better,” write the authors.

For the study, Helfer and Shultz compared 4 different nutrition labeling schemes (below).

1. One was the standard “Nutrition Facts” label we know so well, which shows how much of a particular nutrient can be found in a serving of food.

2. The others included a “Traffic Light” label, which gives red, yellow, or green indicators on several nutrition metrics;

3. a simple 1-to-100 nutrition score called a NuVal label; and

4. a Heart label, present on healthy food packages but missing on others.

From left to right, Nutrition Facts, Traffic Light, NuVal, and Heart labels.Via Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

The label experiment was conducted online with 192 test participants in the United States and Canada. Participants saw a screen with 4 food items (cereal or yogurt), each accompanied by one of the nutrition label designs, as well as a taste score.

After considering the information—some had 20 seconds per screen, others unlimited time—participants indicated which item they were most likely to buy. They repeated the task through 10 different food item scenarios.

Screenshot via archived experiment page

When Helfer and Shultz tallied the results, they found the NuVal design to be the “most usable labeling scheme” on both time and nutrition impact: participants who saw it made the quickest and healthiest choices.

Traffic Light labels took more time to process and also yielded significantly lower nutrition choices. Heart labels were fastest to use—though no quicker than NuVal, statistically speaking—but produced nutrition choices significantly lower than both NuVal or Traffic styles.

And then there was the standard Nutrition Facts labels. Not only did these take the most time for participants to consider, but they also led to the least nutritious choices.

These findings held true across all the survey variations, including when participants had unlimited time to make a decision.

NuVal led to significantly higher nutrition choices (top) but also required little time to process (bottom)via Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

The researchers were “somewhat” surprised to find that imposing the time limit on food decisions didn’t make much difference in the outcome.

On average, participants facing the 20-second clock made their choice in about 8 seconds. But those who took the untimed survey only needed about 14 seconds to pick an item. Together these data get to the core of the real-life shopping experience: sure, we’d like to make a healthy choice, but we also want to make a fast one and get on with our day.

Hence the NuVal advantage.

Compared to NuVal, the other three labels create what Helfer and Shultz call “decisional conflicts” that require too much time and thought. The complicated Nutrition Facts matrix, and to a lesser extent the Traffic Light label, require people to weigh a good many variables: go with an item high in salt and low in sugar, for instance, or choose one high in both and low fat?

On the other hand, the Heart label creates a decision conflict by not providing enough information.

“In contrast,” conclude the researchers, “a single-attribute scheme like NuVal resolves such nutrition conflicts, rather than highlighting them, thus providing more guidance for decision making.”

Nutrition isn’t the only factor in a grocery aisle.

Price obviously matters, as does taste, shelf placement, and brand attachment. (The researchers indeed found evidence of “consumer inertia“: test participants who saw actual brands, instead of generic food items, made less nutritious choices, no doubt from habit.) And Helfer and Shultz stop short of endorsing NuVal as the end-all, be-all nutrition label; all their test shows is that it was the best of this bunch.

But the larger point remains true: better label design could make life easier for consumers conscious of both their health and their time. It’s not you, riboflavin. It’s us.


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February 2015
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