Inspiration is a vital part of the creative process. However, sometimes it can seem unattainable. As graphic designers, we occasionally find ourselves in creative ruts. Our days are predominately spent at a computer screen, so it is important that we take a step away every now and then. We have found that breaking out of our routine helps stimulate our imagination.
There are actually so many things we can do, in personal life and business to engage our creative side and inspire us to consider different solutions! The good thing? The sources don’t all have to be online!
Probably the most common go-to approach! Grab a pen and paper and jot down words of association to the particular problem or job you have. These can be clever, logical and even silly – it is a thought provoking exercise that opens pandoras box and can often uncover suggestions that may not have come to you naturally.
As a progression from word association, start drawing! Sketch out any ideas that might be in the forefront of your thoughts – traditionally or digitally and see what it looks like in the flesh. Sometimes this exercise alone helps you to eliminate certain ideas or create new ones.
Take a walk to clear your mind. Spending time in nature can help alleviate the stressors in your life (even for just a short while) and allow you to think more clearly. Not only can this help you conjure up new ideas, but you can also get great inspiration from being outside and observing what is going on in the world! Take for example a building that has interesting architecture, or a natural colour scheme that you hadn’t thought of – you can draw inspiration from almost anything if you allow yourself to.
Pick up a magazine
Grab a bunch of different magazines and flip through. These could be of various topics and have no relevance to the project you are trying to solve however you can draw on ideas from different layouts, colour scheme or presentation of images for example.
Read a book
Whilst the internet has everything you can possibly imagine, books (especially older) can give a more interesting insight into history, original techniques and tell stories that inspire the imagination. Books can shine a spotlight on niche topics such as typography and provide inspiration to readers that they otherwise would not have had without a visual cue.
An uncommon source, but valuable! Photography encompasses composition, colour and balance and can inspire you to think about the story behind the image whilst adapting similar principles to your own projects.
Remember, you can gain inspiration from almost anywhere, you aren’t just limited to a Google search.