Inspiration is the fuel for a designer’s mind. But where do designers and creatives find their inspiration? This typically depends the designer themselves, as each has their own, unique tips and tricks of working. Whether inspiration is sourced through graphic design magazines, such as Computer Arts, Digital Arts, online portfolios, or out amongst the world of advertising and design. However it may be, you should realise that creativity is a process. Here are some key factors to consider that can help you find inspiration for design projects.
Try following the steps mentioned below:
The first step is to decide the purpose of the design. A design should have the capability to sell and attract potential customers. Graphic designs are created with the purpose to sell products or services of a business. If the purpose is clear then it will be easier to generate ideas and concepts for the design. This is where the good old fashioned pen and paper are extremely handy to jot down any ideas or sketch any thoughts that you may have for the project. Often, black and white spider diagrams or venn diagrams help to achieve imagery that is relative and symbolic or meaningful to the design concept. So place pen to paper and start drawing! There is no right or wrong answer in the ideation phase of a design concept.
The next step is to think about the target audience. Before creating a design, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the potential customer. Try to ask yourself the question, why would people buy your products? You should think about how you can persuade the potential customers to buy your products and services, without being too ‘pushy’. This is where you formulate your message which aids in the process of providing you the required inspiration for your work or design.
Finding creative design elements and inspiration is the next step in the process. You can find inspiration by taking a look at the work of other designers on a similar topic. This does not mean that you have to copy other designer’s work but this often leads to providing sparks or elements that you may wish to incorporate or experiment with into your work of art. This may help you generate ideas quickly and fuel your design on many levels. A good example would be online portfolio sites, such as Behance, where top designers and creatives post their projects in various albums online for all to see. Or perhaps design publications that showcase and feature award winning work — such as Computer Arts, Creative Review, Digital Arts.
The final stages are to create, develop and refine (fine-tune) your final design. As you now have the idea, style and the message that you want to convey through your design, all you have to do now is create a design that best conveys or illustrates the message to your target audience and decide which software you will use to create and which medium is best suited to showcase your work. This is where you can incorporate colour, fonts, images etc. to enhance the design.
I hope that these steps will help guide you in creating your designs, or at least give you some insight into the processes involved of how graphic designers work towards their final design concepts.