6 Unconventional Sources of Web Design Inspiration

As web designers, we’re often on the hunt for inspiration to fuel our creativity and take our projects to new heights. Sometimes, we can find ourselves scouring through endless online sources, hoping to find something that sparks our imagination. But occasionally – despite our best efforts, there are times when we face that dreaded designer’s block, and inspiration feels out of reach.

But lucky for you, inspiration can be found outside of our online communities and sometimes in the most unexpected and unconventional places. We here at Valet have put together a list to dive deep into the world of a few unconventional sources of inspiration. From finding a spark in the savory hues of a dish to observing architectural brilliance in the structures around us, we’ll explore how diverse elements can breathe new life into our design projects and reignite our imaginations.

Cultural Eras

We’ve seen it time and time again; old becomes new again! We can find this reflected in art styles, fashion, and, yes, even in web design. Though the evolution of web design has evolved so much since the internet’s inception in the early 90s, you can count on elements to be re-packaged and adapted to fit modern design standards.

But here’s the exciting part: we’re not limited to styles from the internet’s past. Every decade and cultural era has a distinct and unique voice that we, as designers, can fall back on when we need inspiration. Take Art Nouveau as an example; we can look to “Spring” by Alphonse Mucha as a source of inspiration for its warm earthy color palette paired with the whiplash line work that was a defining feature of the movement.

Artwork "Spring" by Alphonse Mucha. Presented with colors palette.

As you look back in time, there is a treasure trove of creativity to inspire. You can incorporate fonts, color palettes, and textures into your design process. Do not hesitate to take a trip through time and blend the past and present together to make your designs truly special.

The shared spaces of a house showing exquisite architecture and beautiful interior design.


As designers, ensuring a seamless and envisioned user experience is key. This holds true not only for web designers but also for architects as well. They design buildings as they carefully consider how people will interact with the various elements within the space, guiding them efficiently to the elements they need. Similarly, web designers must be aware of how users will navigate through the pages and elements of a website. As we observe architecture and draw inspiration from it, we can explore unique and perhaps unconventional ways to arrange elements on a website, making our designs both distinctive and easy to use.

When drawing inspiration from architecture, we can also be moved by the material and texture of the design. Architects often pay close attention to the tactile quality of the materials used in their constructions, including the doors, handles, and switches. Keeping this in mind, we can incorporate textured elements into buttons or any interactive feature within our designs. This can add depth and visual interest to our designs, adding a special charm. So don’t be afraid to spice up your designs with a little texture once in a while.

A gallery room with paintings and sculptures.


Walking through a modern art museum or a history museum is like being transported to another place or even traveling through time. You are immersed in the beauty and knowledge of carefully curated exhibits which you can use as fodder to inspire your next design. Museums are masters of visual storytelling, which can be used as inspiration to create narrative-driven websites, guiding users through a well-structured and immersive storytelling experience.

Museums also excel at their use of minimalism. They are able to keep the focus on each individual artifact without any unnecessary clutter. We can be inspired to craft beautifully designed websites that shine a spotlight on the core message without drawing attention away with needless elements, creating a serene and inviting space for users to explore and enjoy.

Whenever you feel the urge to find design inspiration offline, be sure to stop by a museum. The ideas will start flowing, and you’ll leave with a fresh perspective and exciting concepts to incorporate into your designs.

Ice cream cup with three balls of ice cream and sugar cone. Base is decorated with crashed sugar cone and brown powder.


Though it may sound surprising, the world of food and culinary arts can be an absolute goldmine of inspiration for web designers! The mesmerizing and diverse array of colors found in various dishes and ingredients can inspire and ignite a spark of creativity. The deep, rich reds of peppers and vibrant greens of fresh produce can inspire designers to create lively and bold color combinations.

Additionally, we can turn to the world of food packaging to experience unique and eye-catching design approaches. These designs can be quite unique, with bold fonts, striking colors, and captivating imagery that attempts to lure consumers at first sight. We can take note of this bold approach and make choices that, if done with a keen eye, can elevate a design to new heights and leave an impression on visitors who visit your site.

The culinary arts are enrobed in creativity and innovation, just like web design. Both disciplines involve a blend of aesthetics, functionality, and user experience. By embracing the adventurous spirit of culinary artists and infusing it into our web design projects, we open the door to endless possibilities and unique experiences for our audience.

A cinema theater displaying a movie with seated people watching.

Film & Television

Just as filmmakers breathe life into their characters, web designers can visualize their users as having distinct personas, each with unique traits and motivations. This user-centered approach can empower us to create websites, content, and experiences that are catered to the needs of our audiences. This same precision can be seen in filmmaking as movies and television shows are often created with a target audience in mind. We can learn a lot from them by observing how they shape their stories with the audience in focus.

Keeping the audience in mind is one thing, but the unforgettable title sequences and iconic logos of blockbuster films can be seen as a masterclass in branding. We can draw inspiration from these films to curate unique and unforgettable brand identities for websites. Imagine creating a design and brand that leaves a lasting impression on visitors – it’s like creating a memorable movie poster for your website!

Additionally, film and television branding is so memorable because of its consistency and cohesiveness. Successful movie franchises and television series maintain their visual identity across posters, merch, you name it. This creates an unmistakable identity that can be recognized instantly. This disciplined approach can inspire us to ensure every element, from colors to icons, aligns with the website’s brand. So, grab some popcorn and your favorite drink and be inspired by a new (or old) film!

Fashion magazine displaying a man with two different beach outfits.


Fashion is something that is prevalent in all of our lives; it’s everywhere we go. But when you actively observe fashion trends, you’ll find them to be a rich source of inspiration for web designers. Renowned for its dynamic color palettes and “trendy” designs, fashion can inspire web designers to create visually captivating websites that feel contemporary and stylish.

Typography can also be a prominent source of inspiration from the world of fashion. You’ll often see fashion brands utilize unique typography to reflect their distinct brand personality. Taking cues from fashion typography to craft fonts and lettering allows you to harness the power of fonts to inject personality and character into your designs.

An area where fashion can really inspire web designers is through imagery and photography. Renowned for its artistic and visually striking approach, fashion photography can inspire designers to elevate their websites. By incorporating stunning visuals, you can create an engaging experience reminiscent of a fashion photo shoot.

Now, armed with newfound inspiration, let’s head out on our creative journeys with brand-new eyes. And as we design, keep our minds open to the unexpected sources of inspiration that surround us.

And once you feel sufficiently inspired, check out these fantastic tools to make those great ideas a reality.