5 Places for Graphic Designers to Find Inspiration

by . December 13th, 2011

We designers are always on the lookout for inspiration. We often find it in unlikely places. A splash of paint on a kindergartner’s overalls can be just what it takes to transform an ordinary project into something extraordinary. The way the sunlight reflects off the surface of a body of water may be the exact image we want to create in our own work.

We draw inspiration from the world around us, sprinkling subtle references to the people we encounter and the moments we experience on a daily basis. Having said that, it’s not always easy for us to find fresh sources of inspiration, especially when deadlines are looming in the horizon. For those moments when you need inspiration and fast, here are five places that you may find valuable in terms of sparking your creativity (aside from this blog, of course!):


street art

· Street Art.

Ranging in skill from novice to professional, street artists have a style all their own. They take ordinary objects like brick buildings and steel and transform them into extraordinary works of art. Walk around your city and find a few pieces of street art that speak to you as a designer. Snap a picture of the poster or graffiti in question. You’ll want to refer back to it, especially because it could be gone the next day. It’s the type of art that is temporary and easily dismissed by the public as unimportant.


textures and colors

· Exciting Textures and Colors.

You never know when you’re going to run across an object that gets your creative juices flowing. That’s why it’s important to collect samples wherever you go. Carry a freezer bag in your purse or backpack so you can gather items discreetly. Pick up fabric and paint swatches, food wrappers, take-out menus, and business cards. Use them to inspire your own designs.


paruva kaalam soaps

· Foreign Packaging.

Step outside your comfort zone and shop specialty food stores for ideas. The packaging is usually bright and unusual. Select the item that is most visually appealing to you. Consume the product but hang onto to the box, can or wrapper so you can refer to it often.


two crown king EP and CD packaging design

· Music.

The right song can inspire you to design in a way you are yet to explore. That’s why it’s important to change things up often. If you’re used to listening to one style of music, break outside the box and listen to another. This can motivate to create in a completely different way than ever before.


kyoko ikuta architecture laboratory

· Architecture.

Study the buildings in your community. What elements appeal the most to you in terms of design? See if you can recreate them in your own work. Some of the most brilliant designers were architects. You can learn a lot from the structures that they created.


Got your own list of real places around you to look for design inspiration? Share it with everyone here!


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