I was recently asked by someone for advice in order to push her career into a direction which was more design focussed. I think sometimes it's really difficult to give advice on design in general because it can be so broad and open.
Nowadays I don't even know what to call myself. I studied graphic design for many years, and always called myself a graphic designer. But it seems now that the industry has moved around a bit and I've started calling myself a digital designer. I primarily focus on digital with some design for print involved. I'm very cautious because I think the term 'graphic designer' is kind of becoming more broad and a little more dangerous. Design is becoming a bit more specific and I've seen the following terms used: graphic designer, digital designer, print designer, UX/UI designer, interface designer, web designer.
So, with that it mind it was hard to give advice on my friend who wants to "get more into design" because design is so broad nowadays. To give her a better idea of the type of design is prefers, I sent her a list of sites/blogs/portfolio sites that she can look at and go through to see if there's any type of design which particularly jumps out at her as something she wants to progress to. I decided to share some of these too.
Some are quite broad, some feature more photography or product design but I think to be an all round good designer, despite the fact that I work primarily in digital design creating ads and campaigns, not only do I need to keep up with the latest design trends but also advertising trends, UX/UI trends and even photography trends.
(In no particular order!)
This site is about a swiss designer who blogs everything from design/architecture to product design. I like her style because she doesn't feel the need to write about absolutely everything. There's usually bits here which appear on other design sites/blogs I've noticed so I know whatever she's posting is up to date and current. Often to not, she posts really cool innovative products, which can be pretty cool. Also, she usually updates on Friday.
Here is a great collection of design of all sorts - you can set up a free portfolio too and like/follow other work. It's great for checking out the latest design trends from digital to print, UX/UI, interface and web designer. I've also noticed more and more design agencies are creating portfolios of their professional work and client work. Definitely check it out.
This is pretty much the same as Behance except I think you have to be invited to use this site. You can still browse and check the work of others for free but you first off have a basic account and you can pay and upgrade for obviously, a more premium account. There's a lot of great design work on here and I'd recommend it for when you need a little inspiration.
I love browsing through the pages on this site. Some things I'm personally really not interested in but there's always concept pieces, innovative products and some pretty cool videos. It's good for a bit of a more quirky need for design inspiration or even if you have a spare few minutes on your lunch break.
I personally love this little site. It has everything from design/ photography/ art/ products/ campaigns and advertising. I use this site everyday to see cool trends and interesting articles because it's just so interesting.
A really great website which allows other websites to be recognised for various UX/UI features, the design, structure and layout. The websites are submitted so they range in content but really great to what other people are doing and how successful (or perhaps un-successful) various types of web design and functionality can be.
As the name suggests, it's sites which are inspiring. It's for web design inspiration and you can submit your own sites or other peoples sites. I find this site particularly useful. Much like Awwards.com (above) the content of the sites submitted vary.
Here's some really cool general design news, tips and inspiration. It's updated regularly meaning you'll always be up to date with what the industry is talking about (even if the site is a bit cheesy and buzz-feedy...(in my opinion))
My partner and I subscribed to these magazines, but you can also get general content online. This site sells itself as 'advertising, design & visual culture'. Definitely a one stop shop for all your design trends/ articles. I also enjoy that there's usually interviews with up and coming designers/ more well known designers.
This site holds really cool digital/web design, UX/UI inspiration and is really good to keep up to date on web trends. It also has tutorials and other helpful info. Bookmark this, now.
There's obviously a hell of a lot more that I could mention, I haven't even really touched on adverting blogs which I get updates from but I think for me, these are some of the great sites to make sure you keep on trend. As for my friend, it's a good start to see what sort of design she wants to do and which type of design most excites her. I think in this current design age, you need to know how to do pretty much everything when it comes to design so it doesn't hurt to learn as much as you can and keep all doors open.
Enjoy the sites and links -