Where to get design inspiration

creative juice flowing

Finding inspiration to design is tough. Brand owners are constantly in search of design that speaks for everything their company stands for, or a message they want customers to remember. For some, creativity is not a strong suit, and would need to put more effort into looking for inspiration.

Too many deadlines, no cohesive vision, and being trapped in between numerous client calls can leave you feeling overwhelmed and really uninspired. Sometimes, we all need a little help getting through an unimaginative slump.

We’ve put together a list of places where you can find design inspiration (with some tips on the side) to help jumpstart your creative engine:

Where to find design inspiration?

In your company’s recent advertising results

Before getting creative, make sure you know what has been done, what worked, and what didn’t work. You need a clear goal for the design on what it needs to achieve.

cartoon showing advertising results

Some questions you must clarify:

  • What worked for your audiences or your market?
  • Are there any style guides or restrictions?
  • Did the imagery contribute to reaching the goal?
  • What can be improved?

These points will help you simplify the creative process by setting a structure to design within. Know the rules before you break the rules. Eliminating unnecessary options can make the process easier and goal-oriented.

Outside your office

Travel might be limited right now, but taking a walk around your neighbourhood, or someplace where you’ve never been before can do wonders for your creativity.

man walking dog cartoon

By immersing yourself in places that are far from home, you break out of your comfort zone and open your eyes to new ideas and possibilities.

Ask a neighbour for a restaurant recommendation, take long walks and admire murals and architecture in your city. Soak in the environment and let nature and surroundings inspire you.

In social media

Pinterest and Tumblr are the two major image-based social media platforms right now and are great sources for finding design inspiration online. They are both user friendly and easy to navigate and search, with great photography and images to boot.

Whether it’s the inspiration for a logo design, colour scheme for a space, or pegs for your themed celebrations, these apps have a lot of satisfying visual delights in store for you.

Hard copies and print materials

Magazines – or design-related materials – are great for visual inspiration. Highlighting the greats in every industry, the pages are sure to keep your creative juices flowing.

cartoon magazine illustration

Survey the layout, colour palettes, and fonts, and take a clear picture of the page that caught your attention. Keep a file on your phone or your computer so you can easily browse and refer back to it.

Inside other people’s minds

Talking to other people can help. Solicit suggestions from designers and creative types. You can also talk to a friend, a colleague, a mentor, or someone who has been in the business.

Chat about the projects you’re working on, what aspects you’re finding particularly challenging, brainstorm ideas and discuss sources of inspiration.

people brainstorming cartoon representation

Who knows, you might get some great advice, or better yet, a design solution in itself because they have been in that same situation as you.

Just talking through the difficulties of a project can somehow minimize the stress, leaving you with creative energy to approach the challenge from a new angle.

Come out inspiration, wherever you are…

Design inspiration is unique to everyone. What matters most is you find what works for you and use it to inspire your projects.

Plan ahead by collecting, experimenting, and having fun with them. Ideas brew inside your head so remember to also treat yourself to fresh air, fresh conversation, and a fresh attitude.

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