Websites for Visual Inspiration

Websites for Visual Inspiration If you're looking for instant graphic inspiration, great visual ideas, or just want to see some cool images, check out these visual blogs and websites: Words & Eggs, Stephen Kroninger on Drawger, A Journey Round My Skull, Ethan Persoff, and All My Eyes. These five sites are all strong in illustration and publication design, as well as book covers, comics, posters, and much more. I look at all five of these every day, and am filled with respect and admiration for their dedication, love, and overall smartness towards graphic design and visuals of all kinds.

(Above: The Masses, November 1916, illustration by Hugo Gellert, from Words & Eggs.)

Words & Eggs is the brainchild of Lesley Yoder, and is a brilliantly curated site that focuses on vintage graphic design, with an emphasis on magazines, books, and posters. There's a Words & Eggs image of the day, and French Friday, which features a weekly dose of Francophile design. Recent posts include a massive collection of covers from early 20th Century American socialist magazine The Masses, covers and inside pages from 50s-60s German graphic design magazine Gebrauchsgraphik, and covers from French film magazine Positif. You can also follow Words & Eggs on Twitter.

(Above: The Masses, September 1917. Illustration by Carlo Leonetti.)

Illustrator Stephen Kroninger sets up his blog shop on the Drawger site, the online illustrator collective. His most recent entry features extensive info and links to the work of Japanese poster designer Tadanori Yokoo, who is currently having a retrospective show in Osaka. Other recent posts by Kroninger include a visual remembrance of former Fug Tuli Kupferberg, and a preview (and trailer link) of the new Tomi Ungerer film, Far Out Isn't Far Enough. Kroninger also posts a regular feature called A Box of Magazines that is a brilliantly themed selection of magazine, newspaper, and book covers from his extensive collection.

A Journey Round My Skull is a cool collection of illustration and graphic design with a serious literary bent. Their most recent post is called Literary Pets, and is a collection of photos of writers and their pets, including Ernest Hemingway (cat), William Burroughs (cat), and Flannery O'Connor (above, peacocks). Sometimes there's extensive writing and research, but usually Journey just piles on lots of visual goodies. Recent posts include beautiful woodcut illustrations by Hermann-Paul from a 1930s Dutch edition of Don Quixote, Cuban film posters by Eduardo Munoz Bachs, and a collection of Dutch detective book covers from the 1930s-60s. There's a strong international flavor, and there are lots of great links to even more visuals.

Ethan Persoff's website is rich in 1960s underground publishing. Most spectacular is the Comics With Problems section of his site, which features archival comic books from the 1950-2000s covering a variety of real life topics, including drug abuse, alcoholism, communism, and surviving a nuclear attack. Persoff received a lot of media attention over the past couple months for his posting of the U.S. military's official Don't Ask, Don't Tell comic book, and for his discovery of the crude, bizarro, racist Tea Party Comix. He's also been archiving the complete publication run of legendary 60s underground magazine The Realist. Persoff's site is deep, well-scanned and researched, and completely unique.

(Above: Tea Party Comix, issues #1 and #2.)

We featured Linda Eckstein's visual blog, All My Eyes, earlier this year on the SPD site, but its continued high-quality and smart curation merits another mention. Recent posts include a look at the Life magazine dog covers of illustrator Will Rannells, a collection of objects from the Lost TV show, and a powerful batch of contemporary covers from The Economist. The images are combined with elegant, informative writing, and are relentlessly sourced and linked.

(Above: Life, September 3, 1925. Illustration by Will Rannells.)

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