Inspiration images resources online?

I was wondering, does anyone know of a good source for searchable online images, for creating mood boards and inspiration boards?.. I know the best sources are probably from your own collection of images, but rookie mistake as a student, I’ve only now started saving images I like to my hard drive, so my collection is pretty limited.

I usually search flickr, and sometimes google, but often it’s difficult or impossible to find what I’m looking for. Sites like gettyimages and stock images online are a bit too ‘cleaned up’ for me… I read a lot of blogs (not just product blogs, but other things that inspire me) of course, but I still find it hard to find images that “fit” the project I’m working on.

Any tips are appreciated!

A very interesting thread!

Inspiration images tend to distract you from a “box” thought and navigate you to various diverse thoughts, which themselves generate ideas. These mood images tend to fuel me back with creative juice.
At least this is the impact I feel from Inspiration images.

I would like to share a number of blogs that have an enormous amount of inspiration images (surely you won´t be able to view the whole content of them all).

The links are in no particular order. It is my list of inspiration sources.

Looking forward to see more links …

I know, I know, I am a broken record, but …

Downloading images from the internet to your computer without the author’s permission is illegal and unethical.

I would also like to believe the owners of this site would not want to promote such activity.

Is it illegal to download images from the internet even if I’m not sharing it or passing it off as my own?.. Sorry if it’s a stupid question, since I’m a student and don’t know what’s appropriate. There’s a lot of images on flickr that are available to download under a creative commons license, so I thought those are ok to save and use according to their terms… and there are stock photo websites where I know photos can be purchased, which is I assume what most design firms do.

In any case it’s not illegal to view and be inspired by images online, which was my main question. If there are some good stock photo sites I would be interested in hearing about those as well.

Ummmm, nooooo…downloading images from the internet and then proceeding to use those images as your own without credit or compensation is illegal.

By simply visiting a website you are, by default, downloading images to your computer. There is a very good chance they are stored in your cache.

I’m with IP, there is nothing wrong with d/l and using photos for personal use. If you work in a company though, be sure to keep your folder under your control. You don’t want someone else down the line to think that the company has the rights to the photo and use it in an ad. Pro photographers know all their work and will sue.

Also, be careful linking. I think the laws for linking to images is grey. Just because you leave the image on someone else’s server, doesn’t mean that you can use their image wherever you would like.

No, that is why browsers have a graphic function!

Creative commons define some rights. Right clicking and saving images is fine. Generally profiting from those images, (if you found a way to do it), not fine.

Be inspired and save folders full of the images that inspire you, like taking clippings from magazines.

Excuse me, but the thread gets in a completely wrong direction!!!

The point is that “bulletproof” is looking for sources of inspiration, to look at in a “private” sense, not to gain profit from the artworks.

We all learn early enough about copyrights … I think we do not need to be reeducated right now.

Thanks for bringing it back around, stv.

Anyone else have some good image inspiration sites? is always a good one, too. is also a favorite.

Great ones … how could I forget “The sartorialist” …

I would like to enrich the upper links with a “behind the scenes” of the Sartorialist:

Google Images, hand down. (paid subscription)

Ummmm, yessss… And quite ironic given your screen name.

Unless you mean downloading the image to your hard drive and never look at it afterwards. But as soon as you look at it, you are using it. Exactly like listening to a downloaded song. Personal use does not equal fair use. As Inigo says to Vizzini in The Princess Bride: “you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” You cannot use copyright materials in any means without the permission of the author unless it is fair use.

A thumbnail of a photo can be considered fair use. As a portion of a song is fair use. As is a quote is fair use. A full size image is not fair use. As is personal use of a whole song is not fair use. As is copying an entire book is not fair use.

Feel free to consult your IP attorney. is fun to click through. And if anybody on here can get me a ffffound account I can make it worth your while…

We beat this subject to death in June in the discussion called Finding Aesthetics, Finding Aesthetics

I find this image particularly inspiring for its colors and shapes. I took a screen grab from a Flash document on the Monster website using the Windows 7 “snip” tool, saved it on my desktop, looked at it for a while in my local image viewer, then uploaded it here.

Nope. Not true at all. You can download an image and look at it all you want. You can record a tv show (TiVo?) and watch it all you want. What you can’t do it sell it, or use it to make money without the owners permission. No IP attorney needed. Where do you work? I feel like all designers have to do trend research and find things for inspiration. You have never had to put together a trend/inspiration board? Under your train of thought, that’s illegal.

I guess I’m going to jail for life. I recorded a few million images in my brain.


No need to rehash the ip issues. Any further is just deterring from the conversation and will be treated as such.

A few places I like to go.


I’m still dreaming, after all these years. Thank you Mr.D2O