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20Sep

Finding Inspiration For Your Graphic Design Projects

There’s no doubt that graphic design is a creative work.  Inspiration plays a prominent role, as it does in any other creative work such as painting or writing.  Celebrated graphic designer Lou Dorfsman once said,

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”

It’s the “dragging forth” part where some of us designers get hung up.  In any graphic design project, we have to begin by studying our client’s requirements, expectations, and target market.  That’s the cut-and-dry stuff.  But once we’ve got the fundamental requirements in place,  we have to find some inspiration that will help us create THE perfect solution to the problem at hand.  But where do you even start to find that inspiration?

Some people find inspiration in the most unusual and unexpected places like looking at a passing butterfly, eating a plate of colorful salad or reading a book.  Isaac Newton found his inspiration from a falling apple. Inspiration can be fleeting and sometimes difficult to have right when you need it.  When, how and where would you find inspiration to create your graphic design projects?  Here are some ways that other creative people find their inspiration.

Solitude

Using solitude as inspiration for graphic design creativity

Being alone will put you in an ideal state of mind to get inspired with great ideas as it will simply help you stay connected with your own thoughts. As Goethe described it: “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”  Put on the kind of music that inspires you, put your head into your work, and think.

Morning Thoughts

Waking up in the morning after a good night sleep, your mind is sharp and is in an ideal state to be inspired. Make sure to have a good cup of hot coffee or tea as it has been proved that caffeine stimulates intellectual abilities too.  And consider leaving a notebook or pen beside your bed – you might wake up with a great idea on your mind, or awaken in the middle of the night with a flash of brilliance.

Exercising

Practicing any physical activity will oxygenate your brain, relieve stress and provide a good sense of well being which will foster the inspiration process. Run up and down the stairs at the office, do some jumping jacks, or stoll to the corner coffee shop – even a few minutes of exercise can make a huge difference in awakening your creative energy.

Connecting with Nature

You also can be inspired while going for a walk among the trees and flowers, watching the falling leaves or hearing the lovely sounds of singing birds. Inspiration comes when we least expect it. Connecting with nature puts us in a relaxed mood which results in better creativity.

Inspiration Board

Using an inspiration board to fuel graphic design creativity

Some designers and artists keep a board in their workspace with bits and pieces of things that inspire them. You might keep a matchbook cover, a postcard, a feather and a paint chip – or magazine advertisements, printed out web banners and a web color wheel.  Whatever you find in your daily life that speaks to you – just pin it up on your board.  You never know how it might foster creativity for you later.

Have Fun

Having fun and laughing is also relaxing; no one can find inspiration while being agitated and anxious.  Watch a funny video, share a joke with a friend, or quickly create some random artsy projects – whatever makes you smile and clears your head.

Look To Others For Inspiration

There’s nothing better than researching other graphic designers’ work to have a clear idea of what you want to create. The purpose here is not to copy what other designers did but more to be inspired by the colors, the type or the style of the work you want to achieve.

These techniques have proven to foster inspiration among creatives of all types.  What, when and how do you feel more inspired? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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