Looking for inspiration?

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If you’re into design, look for inspiration on the web from designers. But try to find items they’ve posted themselves, rather than just doing a Google search.

NPD (Newspagedesigner) is a place where designers put their work, portfolios, review work, and blog.

For instance, from Srinivasa Rao Redravuthu, lead designer at the Times of Oman:screenshot1

screenshot2You can view his portfolio and see even more interesting work.

Look for international work to see what the rest of the world is doing. Even if you don’t understand the language you can make sense of the design. Remember – just this month SND named five newspapers as “world’s best designed.” The newspapers hailed from Canada, Mexico, Germany and Denmark.

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The Day of Design Project

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Students of newspaper design might want to take a look at the “Day of Design” project. Howard Finberg and four other members of the Society of Newspaper Design collected front pages of more than150 newspapers in 1993. They are now in the process of collecting fronts of the same papers 20 years later. Here’s a list of those still to be collected for 2013.

The 1993 gallery includes a map showing where all the papers are located and jpgs of the fronts.

For instance: The St. Louis Post-DispatchImage

In addition, the site offers collections of front pages from specific events such as the 1991 invasion of Iraq, the 1979 crash of American Airlines Flight 191 and the 1983 downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007.

Royalty-free, free art and photos

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Students in my publication design courses are often looking for art or photos to incorporate into class projects. There are many sites that offer free and royalty-free items for use.

Students should be aware that some sites offer both “free” and “for purchase” items. Some have trade criteria where you earn credits for uploading art or photos and then use those credits to “purchase” other art and photos.

Some advice: whatever you use – keep track of where it came from. I urge my students to keep a folder for each site and download into that so they can keep track of what photos came from what site. It helps when you want to double check criteria if that project just happens to have life beyond the classroom.

One favorite site is the Stock.Xchng at http://www.sxc.hu/index.phtml

Also, the MorgueFile is an interesting site for photos. Below is a good starter list of sites to use.

Others include:

openclipart.org

openphoto.net

photorack.net

freerangestock.com

vintageprintable.com

deviantart.com

creativecommons.org

vectorstock.com

freestockphotos.biz

freephotosbank

publicdomainphotos.com

Cepolinaphotos

and the creative commons area of flickr