If you’ve ever come across amazing images that made you stop and stare,
you’ve probably tried to find ways to save them. Bookmarking sites are
not only a great place to collect these images, they’re also places to
find visual inspiration – which can be of enormous help, specifically,
to artists and designers. Today, we’ve collected six excellent sites
that are far and away above the rest when it comes to collecting and
sharing inspiring images. So whether you’re a designer who’s looking for
some clever packaging ideas or you’re an amateur photographer looking
to plan your next incredible trip, check out these six sites for that
creative boost of inspiration.
Started in June 2007 by a Tokyo-based design film, FFFFOUND! is a darling among designers. With a word Register crossed off, FFFFOUND! wants you to know that it’s strictly invitation based. By allowing only its members to post and share their favorite images, this bookmarking site keeps the site free of spam and high on quality. Often written about as an essential site for designers, FFFFOUND! displays inspiring photography, art, and illustrations in a very simple and clean way. For members, FFFFFOUND! is a great place to find images that reflect your taste. The site will even recommend visuals it believes you’ll enjoy.
Tip: Looking for a quick boost of inspiration while not at your desk? FFFFOUND! has an iPhone app called iFound!. It costs $0.99 and is available on iTunes.
Want to virtually pin up an inspiring image? Look no further than Pinterest. Though this site skews female, there’s so much to be found – including millions of pins on everything from style and interior design to weddings and recipes – that you’re guaranteed to find something you love. Their goal? To connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting. That means you not have a place to store your home decoration ideas or favorite recipes, you’ll also have a constantly updating stream of beautiful and inspiring imagery. You’ll need an invite to join Pinterest but it’s not as hard as FFFFOUND! to get one. Just click on Request an Invite and you’ll more than likely be asked to join.
Tip: Received an invite, now looking to get started? Check out the Staff’s Favorite Boards to start following some well-curated sections.
Started in November 2007 by Victor Espigares, a software engineer in Spain, VisualizeUs is a great go-to for creative and cool imagery. If you want to bookmark your favorite images but don’t want to have to deal with getting accepted, then check out VisualizeUS. This website promises: no strings, no invites, and no waits. It’s surprisingly easy to use. If you’d rather browse through images than bookmark, you’ll notice two sections on the homepage, Fresh Favorites, or most liked, and Recent Favorites. You can quickly filter by tags; some of their most popular ones are architecture, art, design and illustration.
Tip: If you keep seeing great images being posted by the same user, add that person to your Watchlist. That way, you can see all of the new images they submit.
4. We Heart It
With over 10 million images on We Heart It, you’ll be able to flip through a deep archive of imagery at We Heart It. Started by Brazilian Web developer Fabio Giolito, after he couldn’t score an invitation to FFFFOUND!, We Heart It is a free, easy-to-use site that allows anyone to create an account. Like Pinterest, We Heart It skews female as you can tell by their top tags which include girl, fashion, cute and pretty. It’s a great place to find style or fashion illustrations or imagery.
Tip: The simplest and easiest way to upload image from another site is to use their heart button. Find out more about it here.
This small, bootstrapped startup from Germany has made a name for itself for its sleek and intuitive interface. Starting up an account is free. Begin Zootool by adding a bookmarklet or by downloading the third party Google Chrome Extension. After you’ve collected your images, you can see them all neatly displayed as a grid. Aside from just images, you can also bookmark videos and documents (like PDFs, Wikipedia articles, and even presentations from Slideshare) from all around the web.
Tip: If you want some extra features, check out Zootool’s pro account. What’s does it cost? Only what it’s worth to you. That’s right. You decide on what you want to pay per year from $1 to $100. Among other things you’ll be able to sync your links from Facebook Twitter, Flickr, Dribble and Vimeo. Also, you’ll be able to switch off the ads on the sidebar for a distraction-free experience.