9 on Design: Websites and Blogs to Inspire You


So many rich, inspirational, informative websites and blogs are now online that help keep us here at ImageSmith up to date. We have many favorites, and want to share a few in this post with the hope you find and bookmark a new resource to fire up your imagination. They are a true mixture, but one common denominator is they always help to provide inspiration and insight for design and marketing ideas.

In no certain order:




“All things PRINT all the time.” Now with that tagline, you know we love this site. The proud creation of Chicago-based Brian Szubinski and Jason Shudy, inkondapaper is full of the latest news on print, design, direct mail, technology and more. A great resource for anyone working in or relying on the creativity and innovation of the print world.



With their tagline “the pulse of media”,  media bistro is an expansive site hosting many different blogs all serving as an international resource for media professionals. Keep up with news from a variety of fields you may not have time to otherwise be an expert on such as 3D printing, mobile apps, job searches, public relations, advertising, semantic web and broadcast news.


Studiodaas Magazine or www.dnjg.be

Based in Rotterdam, this site with the cute green housefly logo is rich with stories, links, downloads and information about “design, web design, typography, web development, graphic design, photography and more…” Browse around and discover great links to tutorials on innovative typography, print projects, free font downloads. The site is well curated and geared for the progressive designer.



Live from New York, Flavorwire is a slick, up-to-the-minute website that features original reporting and critique on global cultural news. Their Twitter profile says that includes: “art, books, music, and pop culture the world over. Highbrow, lowbrow, and everything in between.” Click over on the right to the Design section for great news and inspiration about the field of graphic design.



The blog of graphic designer Visco Duque from Lisbon, Portugal – Rebento never fails to feature innovative, fresh, cutting edge designs, photography and illustrations that are an inspiration. It feels like a world market of design, a great place to browse.



Modern magazine redesigns, world’s biggest sand artwork, engraved typography, paintings for the blind…. just a sample of the wonderful mixture of current articles on Inspirationhut. This online art and design “magazine” focuses on talent and inspiration, and also offers frequent font, psd, texture and other downloads that designers love to find.



A “graphic design lifestyle blog,” youthedesigner’s focus is the design professional – so expect to find practical inspirational spotlights and interviews, news on competitions, workshops, and technology as well as freebies, contests, print templates, info graphics, and the like.



The blog of Trüf creative, an award winning design firm in Santa Monica, CA – “A Creative Studio Obsessed with Designing Better Brands.”  Great sense of style and color, this blog always inspires and informs.



“Blogging on the offbeat, the unique and the chic” – articles here on fashion, culture and inspiration feel like a great find in neat corner shop. Another great place to browse. 




ImageSmith is proud to be a printer in an exciting era of digital communication. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmental responsible printing. They should also be able to work with you to solve any difficult prepress issues with your files. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!
Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Weird Media: Art Created from 9 Strange Raw Materials

Art and sculpture created from unusual media


If you can paint with it, paint on it, sculpt it, or in any way configure it into an image, someone has probably already done so. At times inspiring and at times revolting (the woman who paints with vomit seemed a little too extreme for me), strange and weird media are being used by artists to create both interesting art and interesting discussions about what art can be. The list below piqued my curiosity about how such items could be used and what the results would look like. Which ones intrique you enough to follow through to the image? (Click on the link within each item to see what the artists have created and to read about their reaons why!)

Pantone® Swatches

British graphic desginer David Marsh recreates iconic album cover art using Pantone® swatches – interesting results for Nirvana’s 1991 album “Nevermind,” Patti Smith, U2… many favorites.


Zachary Copfer developed a photographic process that uses bacteria in a petri dish as the emulsion. Don’t worry, the photos are irradiated when finished to kill the bacteria and placed under a layer of acrylic for display.

Chewing Gum

Italian artist Maurizio Savini creates sculptures out of chewing gum. Unchewed. The pink artwork is supported on fiberglass frames, and has been exhibited all over the world.


Turning the tables on the hand creating the art, Guido Daniele uses hands themselves as the canvas to create amazing images. Daniele, an artist working in Milan, is famous for his technique of body painting, and his images are used in advertising, commercials, fashion events and art exhibitions.


Dr. Rev Mayers, an Australian tattoo artist, has created artwork done completely in his own blood.

Rat Poison Packaging

American artist Jason Clay Lewis uses d-CON rat poison and its yellow packaging to create three dimensional works of art.


Chris Trueman used over 200,000 ants to create ‘Self-Portrait With Gun’, an art work that has had offers of over $35,000.

Human Ashes

Val Thompson mixes the the ashes of a cremated body into her paint to add texture to a memorial painting. Her business is called “Ash 2 Art.”


New Zealand-based artist Maurice Bennett converts ordinary slices of toast into art. The images and portraits are striking.

As it turns out, MANY artists have been inspired to create artwork from food –– you can check out an interesting list of such ventures here. This is not a new trend.: in the 1500s, Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo created portraits by forming collages of fruits and vegetables and then painting them onto his canvas.

And on a less savory note – someone, somewhere is using or has used just about every fluid the body can produce as media for their artwork. They are also using just about every body part as their brush (We’re not including the link on this one, but you can use your imagination and google what you decide on).


ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.