The design community has seen a huge expansion in recent years with thousands of blogs or community sites trying to copy or imitate the success of more successful ventures like CSS Globe, Smashing Magazine, Wired, MIX Online, Tuts+, Designer Depot or Noupe.
Recent blog posts and articles show a trend in the web-design community, started by more veteran artists, to isolate itself from all the copy-cats, kiddie designers and Photoshop noobs that have flooded the market recently.
All of this commenced at the beginning of the 2000s, when designers started getting together and sharing knowledge on sites either built by themselves or hosted by more famous design magazines (print or web issues).
While the artists expanded their sites with easy-to-learn tutorials and easy-to-find information organized in listicles (list articles), the success itself almost killed the entire community. Every person with Internet access and an image-processing software like Adobe Photoshop
, PaintShop Pro
or Paint .Net
had aspirations of entering the design market.
In the meanwhile, really talented artists and veteran illustrators saw their fees take a plunge thanks to the huge number of freelancers and cheaper designers. This surely but slowly led to a rift being created between the real-design community and the recent newcomers.
Sites like Drawar
and Smashing Magazine
are places with the biggest databases in web artistry and articles, but more and more articles are taking shots at the talent-less newcomers.
At the end of 2009, Dribbble
launched, entering its public beta period. The website accepted members by invitation only. That meant that old design veterans or world-famous and established artists have gathered together and are almost screaming, “The real stuff is right here” in an attempt to isolate themselves from all the cheap and untalented part of the community.
At the end of March 2010, the website officially left beta and entered the design community to rave reviews and lots of attention. To enter its user base, a well-established designer has to invite you, and by doing so, they are fully responsible for your actions.
After joining it, Dribbble works as a graphic Twitter. Members (web-designers, code developers, logo artists, illustrators, cartoon artists, etc.) can publish a small image of 400 by 300 pixels as a short preview of their current work. Their motto, “Show and tell for designers in 120,000 pixels or less” is very similar to Twitter's motto, “Broadcast yourself in 140 characters or less.”
For now, Dribbble has reputation on its side, entertaining famous artists like Doug Bowman (currently Twitter, former Google design mastermind), Trent Walton, Dan Cederholm (Electronic Arts, Google, MTV, ESPN, Inc.com), Jeffrey Zeldman, Elliot Jay Stocks (EMI Records, Virgin, .NET Magazine) and Simon Collison.