How I get my design inspiration

As a graphic designer, it is important that I am in the right environment to help get the creative juices flowing.

I don’t have to be in the office to get inspired. I find that there are sources of inspiration everywhere. Whether I am out at meetings or travelling to different places, I am constantly looking around and checking out adverts and posters to menus and even clothing. I guess as a designer you never switch off!

There is nothing worse than getting a creative block. It happens to every designer once in a while. You receive the design brief from the client and find yourself staring at that blank piece of paper or a white screen waiting for the idea to kick in.

I find that the light bulb moment can happen anywhere and at any moment. I have even experienced this at the gym. That’s one of the things I love about my job – the fact that it isn’t 9-5. Some people may say this is a disadvantage but it my line of work I see it as an advantage.

It is important to me to have the right atmosphere in the office to get the creative juices flowing. Something so simple to the music being played on the radio to the pictures on the wall all helps to create the right ambience.

As well as reading lots of articles online, I also subscribe to Creative Review, which is a monthly design magazine. I love receiving this through the door and I find it a great source of inspiration as well as a good read.

I would definitely recommend subscribing to a relevant industry magazine. I’ll sit and read Creative Review with my coffee in the morning to get me motivated and read online articles when having my lunch.

Even as I am writing this I have just seen something out of the window that has triggered an idea for my next project.

What helps inspire me:

Notebook

I always carry a notebook to make notes and write down ideas. It’s good to write everything down, no matter what it is as, or how good you think it is. It might evolve into something.

Design magazine

Subscriptions to design magazines help me to keep up to date with what’s going on in the design industry. I receive Creative Review through the post and also subscribe to a few online newsletters such as Design Week, Design Milk and Creative Market. It’s good to read these and take a step away from the Mac.

Creative environment

I keep my workspace clear and have creative items around for inspiration. For me, a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. Have a select few images or photos on your wall to look at. I find colourful things help. I have a Rubik Cube and a bright yellow smiley face stress ball that are not only colourful but are also handy when I need to take 5!

Pantone books

They are never far away and I always refer to them. They are key when creating logos and brands, as you want to choose the right colours.

Music

I like to have music playing in the background; it really helps to create the right atmosphere. I can’t work in silence. Not sure if my singing in the office is to everyone’s liking but it helps me!

What do you need to inspire you?