One of the most creative industries is graphic design. In addition to a deep understanding of several design programs, it calls for creative problem-solving and a strong imagination. However, graphic artists occasionally have ideation blockages. Every designer has to locate graphic design inspiration in order to rekindle their creative spark.
Whether you’re a self-starter working on your first project, an illustrator creating a magazine cover, a graphic designer creating a logo or an advertisement banner, or an experienced graphic designer, you can find a lot of inspiring ideas in this article to help you get past your creative block and start creating amazing graphics once more.
Take note that we’ve included a tonne of offline inspiration sources in addition to well-known online ones. Thus, anyone can discover some useful resources here to get ideas for graphic design.
Let’s begin by brainstorming some offline inspiration sources. As a designer, your initial instinct might be to use Google to look up designs to explore and acquire ideas. That doesn’t always work, though. Sometimes it’s best to disconnect from all digital information and spend as much time as possible in the real world.
Most people travel to relax and to change their routine for some period. Travel helps to immerse into new cultures and people and get new experiences. What some people may not know about it, travel can also be a great source of inspiration. By exploring new places, people, cultures, and languages, you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself to adapt to a new place.
Of course, not everyone has the possibility and resources to instantly buy a flight and go to another country, but it’s not necessary to be an expensive and far away trip. You can simply go to another city or village in your country, even for a few hours. Or you can go hiking with your friends, or maybe alone. The idea is to forget about your project for some time and just explore a new place.
Visiting Art Galleries and Museums
When you’re out of ideas, your first thought to generate new ideas will be to explore more designs that are similar to your project. In most cases, it can help to understand what you need to do with your project, but sometimes it may not be enough. Besides exploring designs and artworks, similar to your project, you can also explore artworks that are about entirely different topics.
So, if you have some time for a break, you can go to a local art gallery or exhibition to find inspiration. Especially in Modern Art Museums, you can find a lot of creativity and non-traditional methods of displaying emotions through art. Try to deeply explore the artworks and understand how the artist was able to convey a certain feeling through their work of art. All of these can help to spark your creativity and find new ideas.
It’s easy to get lost in your head when you’re doing creative work and need to think about something new. Sometimes it’s better just to leave the office or home and take a 30-minute walk. Try to forget about the work you are doing and start noticing the city’s architecture, people, the clothes they are wearing, streets, trees, etc.
A study by Stanford University has found that walking can increase creativity by 60%. Take regular walks during the week and try to clear your head from thoughts about your project a bit. You can also go hiking, ride a bike, or do other sports activities to help you distract from routine thoughts.
People are social creatures, and talking to your friends, family, or colleagues can help you distract a bit and regain your energy. People who surround you have a big impact on you, so when you can’t come up with new ideas, try to talk with your colleagues or like-minded people and discuss things related to design or even not related to it.
If you don’t have pals in the industry, you can find them on social media (we’ll talk about them later), meet them and try to socialize. Learn how they come up with new ideas and how they find inspiration in graphic design.
Practicing for Fun
Another way to make your creative juices flow again is to practice. Forget about your current project for a moment and try to practice for fun. Play with colors, draw or make sketches without thinking about the final result. Do not post it on social media; in fact, try to distract yourself from all your social accounts too.
Read Also: How to Find Clients as a Graphic Designer
Just create something using design software or even the usual paper and pencil. Do not try to make something meaningful from it. This will help you distract from the real world for a moment and immerse yourself in a fun and creative process. Maybe along the way, you will come up with something interesting.
Let’s now explore a few web resources for inspiration in graphic design. Sometimes all it takes to generate the perfect design idea is to just experiment with various images, logos, and design works.
This is a perfect site for exploring creative ideas and finding inspiration for graphic design. It focuses on the visual and typographic work of designers from all around the world. You can search for design works by choosing a color or color palette or by their collections. Here, you can find different kinds of imagery, from photography and illustrations to logos and icons.
As its name suggests, this website shows some of the best identity designs from all around the world. This can immensely help you when you’re working on branding, logo design, packaging or any other visual identity-related projects. This website contains brand designs from different industries designed by professionals from designers in Mexico, Sweden, Vietnam, the USA, France, Australia, Brazil and England.
Baubauhaus was named after the first modern design school in the world, and probably all designers from around the world have heard about it. Here you can find design works not only about graphic design but also related to UI/UX, photography, posters and many more. So, whenever you feel stuck on any project, just browse the designs of this website to find some inspiration.
Fonts In Use
Sometimes it’s really hard to find the perfect typeface for a project, as there are millions of good typefaces out there, and trying and testing them on your project would take too much time. This is where this tool can help you. There are tons of design works here that show the typefaces on real projects to help designers to see their desired fonts in use. Besides that, if you struggle to find a perfect typeface for a project, you can read their blog or simply browse the typefaces from their collections and find what you are looking for.
Wix is a cloud-based platform for website creation and development. It also has a great blog to help designers find inspiration. Its blog contains useful articles about logos, illustrations and many other topics about design. This website will be helpful not just for inspiration but for self-learning and enhancing your skills as well.
Of course, social networks are included in online resources, but since there are so many of them, it’s preferable to discuss them separately. These social media platforms are excellent resources for discovering graphic design inspiration and perusing the works of others. Several social media platforms are available here, which will assist you in finding inspiration as well as a large community of designers that share your interests.
Dribbble should be at the top of your bookmarks list. It’s one of the best resources for graphic and web designers. Here, designers from all over the world post their works, comment on others’ works, find colleagues and find new jobs. And best of all, whenever you need inspiration, Dribbble can help too. As thousands of designers share their works here, you can find some really good stuff here that can help you in your design project.
This is another great social network specifically created for designers. Behance is similar to Dribbble. Here designers share their works, create portfolios and even look for new jobs. You can explore the designers’ works here and follow them to see more of their content. This is a great resource for finding inspiration.
Pinterest is a very unique social network and probably the best place for designers to look for inspiration. You can search for anything on this social channel and find millions of ideas, tutorials and other wonderful resources. Pinterest is probably one of the first tools that designers use when starting a new project, doing research or trying to find inspiration.
Instagram is focused on visuals and aesthetics, so it’s no wonder it has made it on this list. You can find lots of designers here who share their works to get inspired. Or you can also search with hashtags to find the perfect style or idea for your next design project. It’s also a great tool for finding new connections and new jobs.
You probably wouldn’t expect Twitter to be here, but it can actually be quite a good resource for designers too. The creative community is pretty active on Twitter, so you can learn a lot about the design trends and designers’ community here. Look for your favorite designer and follow them to explore their works and thoughts about different areas of design and, of course, to find inspiration.
How do Designers Come up With Ideas?
One of the most essential components of product design development is coming up with original product design concepts. You will need to put money and time into the procedure in order to receive the finest results. Coming up with new ideas takes guts as well as ingenuity.
The following advice can relieve some of your burdens and inspire you more:
1. Brainstorm & Research
Brainstorming and research go hand-in-hand. Brainstorming helps generate creative ideas, while research provides facts and data to refine these ideas. During a brainstorming session, start by identifying what problem the product will solve, who it’s meant for and what its end goal is.
Then, come up with innovative ways to address this issue—write down every idea that comes to mind without judging or dismissing any of them. Collect a range of objectives from different perspectives which can help guide the direction of the development process.
Research is the next step—look into trends in your industry, analyze competitors’ products, consider customer feedback and demands, and investigate materials for usability and affordability—all of which can help craft an excellent design that stands out from the rest.
Finally, take all of this information to develop a prototype product design or concept design you can test before launching the product on the market. 24% of product designers don’t conduct user testing, which is a costly mistake you can’t afford to make. That’s why you should hire one of the top product prototype companies to take care of it all.
2. Look At What Competitors Have Done To Source Inspiration
Taking a look at what your competitors are doing can help formulate new ideas, validate existing ones and create a deeper understanding of the marketplace. Study the leading products in the market and understand their key features to inspire new designs. This way, you can also observe trends in the industry and identify opportunities for differentiation.
By studying competitors’ products, businesses can gain insight into the user experience and how consumers interact with other products. It allows for innovative approaches to common challenges, such as size and weight, materials used or ease of use, which can then be applied to the development process.
Looking into what has worked well or went wrong for competitors helps understand potential improvements that could be made to your product design ideas. It aids in adding value to existing products without reinventing the wheel.
3. Explore Various Sources for Design Trends and Ideas
Exploring various sources such as books, magazines and the internet can be a great way to come up with ideas for product design. Books and magazines offer insight into traditional and modern design trends, while the internet offers easy access to current trends in design, materials, technology and more.
For example, looking at recent publications in magazines and industry journals can help identify emerging trends in the world of product design. Similarly, browsing the internet for marketplaces or websites dedicated to product design can open up a whole world of possibilities to explore.
By researching the latest product designs, styles and features, you can get creative ideas that are both relevant and effective. Looking at different types of products will also help you develop unique concepts to use in your designs.
With careful consideration of each source of information, you can find new ways to refine existing designs or create entirely new ones with a wide range of possibilities.
4. Embrace the “Think Different” Approach
The only way to come up with something that hasn’t been seen before is to think differently. When adopting this approach, focus on individual perspectives, analyze the situation from a range of angles and adopt an open mind to explore different possibilities.
Taking risks and challenging the status quo are key to creating innovative insights for product design. Embracing failure as part of learning and experimenting with out-of-the-box solutions will provide the potential for breakthrough design concepts that could go on to be highly successful products.
The “Think Different” approach can be applied to countless situations, for instance, looking at a problem from different perspectives. To quickly adopt this approach, you can do a mind-mapping exercise, where you map out your thoughts and explore them in detail.