Whether you’ve been a designer for over ten years or you're a recent graduate, staying on top of design trends is the difference between creating a leading innovation and becoming old school (and not in the cool way!).
With so many freelancers and design studios competing for many of the same clients, having a style that follows current trends may be the only difference between winning and losing a client.
Not only do you need to stay on top of the latest design trends, but to go above and beyond, you also need to accurately forecast and lead the way in trends that are yet to come.
You might find that searching for just the right design resources can become a little overwhelming. Therefore, here’s seven key design trend resources that every Seattle designer should know to stay inspired and up to date.
Perhaps one of the largest design community on the Internet, Behance is well-known as a go-to resource for inspiration, portfolios, and keeping up with the latest trends. Any respected designer should be on Behance, as it is a great way to showcase past work and follow people who inspire you.
Behance is a tool created by Adobe and can be used as a sort of design-focused LinkedIn profile and Pinterest board mix. It is a great place to start gathering inspiration and an idea of the latest trends.
Their mission is “to power the creative world to make ideas happen” and it’s something they very well hold true.
2. Designer News
The site is an online community forum where those in the design and technology industries can share content and discuss news and trends within the industry.
Needless to say, this is a great place to go if you’re looking to have a lively discussion about all things design and tech.
3. Muzli by InVision
Muzli is a free downloadable extension for Google Chrome that will keep you up to date with next-to-no additional effort on your end. How great is that?
Once downloaded, every time a new tab is opened, you will see photos and graphics that are meant to keep you inspired and ready for your next big project.
Whether you’re a graphic designer, UI or UX designer, or a web developer, you will find all the design trends and inspiration you need with just a click of a button.
4. ARCADE Magazine
ARCADE is a nonprofit based in Seattle that focuses on art and design in the Pacific Northwest. Their mission is to “reinforce the principle that thoughtful design at every scale of human endeavor improves our quality of life.”
The nonprofit provides opportunities through their magazine, events, and curated calendars to stay on top of design and art happenings in the Northwest.
Not only that, but their magazine is a design-lover’s dream as it includes content and visuals that truly wow the imagination.
5. Gray Magazine
Gray is another fantastic resource based in Seattle for designers - especially those who focus on interiors and products. The privately owned media company provides an outlook on the design culture of the Pacific Northwest through print and digital magazines, talks, events, and more.
The magazine does a fantastic job at displaying the more beautiful sides of Seattle (of which there’s seemingly no limit to) and is a great resource for anyone with a creative mindset.
Although they put an emphasis on architectural design, their content can be translated to design trends and inspiration in any facet of the industry.
Medium is a fantastic resource that connects people through their stories and shared content hosted on their site. It has certainly become the go-to resource for professionals in just about every industry, and design is not excluded.
On the site, you can find unique content on just about anything you want to know more about. Content is created by writers from all different backgrounds and cleanly curated into categories that allow you to read and scroll for hours, learning something new along the way.
7. Design Communities
Finally, the sure-fire way to learn more and make new connections in the design industry is by becoming a part of communities centered around design and pushing creative passions.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online and in-person communities in Seattle that allow just about anyone to fit in. These include:
Seattle Designers - Slack Community (invite only, inquire here)
Creative Mornings, Seattle (creative community & meetup)
Creative Connect, Seattle (creative community & meetup)
Do you know about another community? Comment below and I’ll add it!
As you can see, there’s plenty of ways to stay up to date on the latest design news and trends. To stay inspired, don’t forget to include other methods such as taking a walk (particularly when you’re feeling a little blocked), visiting a museum, and just getting out of your usual space will generally do the trick.
There are also lots of design blogs out there that are created to help you stay up to date. You can also start your own! It’s easy to do so, and I’ll even walk you through the few steps you’ll need to get started here.
Ashley Hoffman is a freelance content marketer based in Seattle who writes for businesses in the tech and design industries. She has studied digital marketing for over five years and has worked as a marketing professional for over two. She loves good books, awesome design, coffee, and natural disasters.
Find her on Twitter: @ashhmarketing