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10 inspiring cities for designers

We absolutely love how global and active our Dribbble community is. How great is it scrolling through a feed of brand new design work from all over the world every single day? We were curious to find out what cities have been Dribbbling the most lately and asked designers from each in what ways their city inspires them to continue creating.

Check out the 10 cities that have collectively posted the most shots in the last six months and hear from designers about how their city inspires them and their work.

10. Seattle, Washington

  1. Summer
  2. Plant Jar
  3. Coffee Run Recolor

Row 1: Brittany Kolar, Minna So, Andrew Alimbuyuguen ✨.

Seattle is located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The city is surrounded by many mountains, forests, and water so beautiful views are abound for residents. According to designer Brittany Kolar, this is what she particularly finds inspiring. In the last 6 months, Dribbblers from Seattle posted a total of 6,319 shots.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places in the United States but Seattle inspires me most because of how unique it is. The color palettes I see in Seattle inspire me while I create my work. Blues and greens are endless wherever you look whether that is the ocean or the trees surrounding you. Nothing gets better than being able to create work at a coffee shop and you are able to see extraordinary views of Mt. Rainier, the ocean, and the evergreens.”

9. Shanghai, China

  1. Travel app Kit
  2. Food Icons
  3. Engraving 鯥

Row 1: Caesar cen for B&B, Rwds, ALEX.

With a population of over twenty-four million people, Shanghai is China’s largest and most urban city. The city is a huge financial hub with a thriving economy and plenty of opportunities for designers. In the last six months, Dribbblers from Shanghai posted a total of 6,672 shots. We asked Ceasar Cen why he loves being a designer in Shanghai and this is what he said:

“Shanghai is a very fast-paced city. Because the city has many opportunities, there is a large number of talent. As designers, we must always embrace change and respond fast to new demands. Of course, the city also has a slow side which gives me inspiration and rest.”

8. Los Angeles, California

  1. Le Shop Studio Poster
  2. Break The Rules (WIP)
  3. Sahara Soda can design

Row 1: Amber Asay, Ethan Silva, Caleb Bol.

Los Angeles is widely known for its film and entertainment industries. More recently, however, the city has had a growing design scene which has attracted many artists to the area. In the last six months, Los Angeles Dribbblers posted a total of 7,678 shots. Here’s why designer Amber Asay finds Los Angeles inspiring:

“The presence of creativity throughout history is very strong in Los Angeles. There’s layers upon layers of things like old architecture, signage, and interior design. I love living here and peeling back those layers — whether it’s delicious Art Deco details, beautiful old Hollywood vibes, or even artistic city grunge. Not only that, but this city thrives off creativity. There are constantly new things popping up and events to go to that showcase amazing talent and trends. I may be biased, but I think this is the best city to live in as a graphic designer because you get sun year round and the creative community.”

7. Paris, France

  1. Ethic in design
  2. Spring icons
  3. 6 / 36 days of type

Row 1: Victoire Douy, Marianne Vary, Adrien Ghenassia.

It’s hard not to get inspired by Paris. Especially because historically, it’s always been a center for art and culture. Monuments and buildings dating back centuries line the streets and there are tons of art museums and galleries to visit. In the last six months, Parisian Dribbblers posted a total of 7,710 shots. See what Parisian designer Marianne Vary finds inspiring about Paris as a designer:

“Paris is a great environment to get inspired as a designer. I have spent hours outside, drawing Parisian monuments and architecture but also people, faces, and expressions on the Metro.

“Of course, it’s a city where you can visit tons of exhibitions of all kinds, whether it be photography, design, painting, history, contemporary art… I would sometimes go to an exhibition not expecting much out of it and end up being amazed by some texture, shape or whatever idea that I would then reuse in my own research for a project.

“As a designer, it’s also great to be able to observe people in Paris as it’s a very cosmopolitan city. In the Metro, I love listening to people’s conversations or see how tourists act when they’re looking for something. It’s an awesome environment to spot problems people encounter and get ideas about how to solve them.”

6. Moscow, Russia

  1. Secret
  2. Product Page
  3. The green man

Row 1: Mary Kotyshova, Anton Mishin for LSTORE, Valentin Tkach.

Moscow is Russia’s most populated city filled with a mix of the old and new and a diverse community of people. In the last six months, Dribbblers from Moscow posted a total of 7,859 shots. We asked designer Mary Kotyshova about finding inspiration in Moscow and she agrees the contrasts in the city are helpful for designing and thinking outside the box:

“Moscow is a city with a long history where old Russian churches can coexist with Soviet houses and new skyscrapers. These are at first glance completely incompatible things which often don’t look right—but they can also surprise and inspire you. It’s a city of contrasts and I love this eclectic style. It also helps me to find new ideas and learn to combine the incompatible.

“It’s a big city, and I like that there are a lot of people of different nationalities, a lot of different characters, and worldviews. As an Illustrator, I am inspired by people I meet on the streets and in the Metro. The Metro in Moscow is also very beautiful and although I ride it every day, it can’t get boring because there’s always something new that I haven’t notice before.”

5. Bangalore, India

  1. V I S I O N
  2. Magazine
  3. Lost in it!

Row 1: muhammed sajid for Hiwow, Vivek Ravin, Pulkesh Fouzdar.

Bangalore, a city in Southern India is often times referred to as the Silicon Valley of India. That’s likely because it’s a huge center for tech with hundreds of software and telecommunication companies located here and therefore plenty of work for designers. Dribbblers from Bangalore posted a total of 8,583 shots in the last six months. We asked designer Muhammed Sajid about being a designer in Bangalore and this is what he said:

“Bangalore is a busy city and a very happening place. I get more reach for my work here and it’s a good place for career growth which is why I’ve chosen to live here. Bangalore has a mix of culture that keeps developing every day as people from all over the place are coming to live here too. I don’t like to stick to a particular style as you can see in my work.

4. New York City, New York

  1. Gator
  2. Kindred Badges 4
  3. 7 Train

Row 1: Vincent Conti, Damian Orellana, 𝔍𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔪𝔦𝔞𝔥 𝔅𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔱𝔬𝔫.

New York City is the most populated city in the United States and home to many diverse communities. The city is globally known for its world-renowned museums, iconic landmarks, and of course the day to day hustle and bustle. In the last six months, New York City Dribbblers posted a total of 9,603 shots. Read why Creative Director of Art and Graphics at WeWork, Jeremiah Britton finds New York City inspiring as a designer:

“The people in New York are always on the move and always excited to try new things. Whether that be trying new food, starting a new business, or artists and designers pushing themselves to create new work. Being surrounded by that energy on a daily basis is what makes New York City such an exciting place to live as a creative.”

3. Beijing, China

  1. floating meowing town
  2. Galaxy Kitty : Moon
  3. Up Or Down2

Row 1: Maomaori, Effy Zhang, Frannnk for RaDesign.

Beijing is China’s capital and one of the oldest cities in the world. With that being said, the city has a mix of modern architecture but also ancient landmarks attracting tons of tourists. The many palaces, temples, parks, and gardens are sure to inspire the creatives in the area. Beijing Dribblers posted a total of 12,468 shots in the last six months. Designer Effy Zhang tells us why she loves being a designer in Beijing:

“Beijing is a fast-growing city. There is a large number of young people who gather here from different places in China. Like New York City, the melting pot, people in Beijing are completely different also. They speak with different accents and chase their dreams here. As a designer, I think it is very important to be sensitive to the surrounding environment. Compared to creating repetitive work, I prefer to create designs that can deliver emotion and even design for disadvantaged groups.

“I think the biggest charm of Beijing is the people in this city. I’ve received help from people who I don’t even know their real name. Some of them are designers, and some of them are from different backgrounds. They know the value of beauty, care about the feelings of others, and are very tolerant of different opinions.

2. San Francisco, California

  1. 🕚
  2. Golden Rule - Old Fashioned Matchbooks
  3. UI Experiment #41

Row 1: Jordon Cheung, Nicola Broderick for Gamut, Rishi Shah, Logo & UI Designer.

San Francisco sits on a peninsula in Northern California surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The city is home to some major tech companies like Twitter, Airbnb, DropBox, Pinterest, among many more. With that being said, tons of designers reside in San Francisco and it’s surrounding areas. A total of 12,917 shots were posted by Dribblers from San Francisco in the last six months! Here’s what San Francisco designer Nicola Broderick loves about being a designer in San Francisco:

“San Francisco is a community of risk takers. Yes, we are a beta testing playground full of strange delivery robots and self-driving cars, but that’s the beauty of our innovative culture. Collaborating on a creative team to conceptualize these risky ideas into products and services is the basis for our startups. Through my experience as a designer in San Francisco, I’ve developed a range of capabilities from brand identity, art direction, illustration, web/app, product, typography, packaging, and copywriting. The love and support from my team and design community inspire me daily to produce quality work.”

1. London, United Kingdom

  2. TypoStories - vol 1
  3. Medusa

Row 1: Sam Dunn, Davide Baratta, Roberto Conti.

London Dribblers posted a whopping 15,493 shots these past 6 months! While London is a very urban city, there’s no shortage of history whether it be found in its architecture, museums, or historical landmarks and sites. This is what London designer Roberto Conti finds especially inspiring about London:

“I get inspired by London because of the cultural mix and the creativity that you can find on the streets. In my case specifically, I get very inspired by the historical stratifications starting from the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans as my work is directly linked to those cultures. On the other side, my inspiration is also a reaction to the industrial rush, trying to get back to a more genuine craftsmanship.”

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