Inspiration comes in all sorts of ways… and we all need it from time to time. In the design world, it’s pretty much what fuels you every day.
So, what inspires me? Everything. My friends, co-workers, old magazine pages, birds outside my window, the ugly 90s “vintage” top on the Whole Foods cashier, and the list goes on. Whether good or bad, alive or dead, I take things and build something from them.
I take both the good and the ugly. My bookmarks folder is full of pretty things, but also sh*tty projects I’ve gathered. One shouldn’t limit oneself to just looking at the beautiful things in life; if we all copied a peacock then we’d all be colorful, yet boring and unoriginal.
Bad designs, failed ads, ugly combinations of typography – they can all help you more than a perfectly executed piece.
When you analyze a bad design, you see the imperfections right away, you see things that are wrong (and what went wrong) and you start coming up with solutions. Bad designs can make you think and process new ideas faster than a great one. When you see a good piece you appreciate the art and effort put into it: you admire the design and say, “Damn, good job, son!” The end.
I’m not saying that perfect pieces won’t inspire you to create something new and amazing. Not at all! Definitely analyze the hell out of those beautiful things and use elements as you please, but never ignore the lesser designs because you don’t want to fall into that category by not learning from them.
And if all else fails, here’s something you can use:
It’s legit and mother approved!