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General Inspiration and design process...

ok this may of been a topic before but when I searched I didn't really find much of what I wanted.
So here goes..

So as you already know I'm realtivly new to the graphic design world

12 months in uni studying graphic design
3 months working for a marketing angency.

I was wondering where you guys get inspiration for the work you do? Books, sites, other colleagues etc?

I've been looking at the obvious places that I know of

Behance / Pinterest / dribble / instagram / various books and magazines.

Which has been ok but I'm sure there has to be better places to draw inspiration? Or is this it?

For example;
This week I had to recreate an information booklet for a local day nursery which had 16 a4 pages FULL of text.

Having never creating something like this before was really difficult..

Looking for simple layout rules or guidelines and inspiration wasnt an easy task.

Although I have completed it now and the boss is happy with was a relief.
I'll find out mid next week if the client is happy fingers crossed ;)

The other thing I'm interested in is processes? After reading your brief do you sketch or do you just crack on digitally?

Paul Murray

Staff member
I tend to sketch all the time, even if it's just a little wireframe it helps me to get the project into my head and understadn what I'm aiming for. Sometimes I'll start working directly on screen (mainly when I'm working in-house) until I come up with somethign that requires some thinking, then I'll sketch.

As for inspiration, I find inspiring content through Instagram accounts I follow, dribbble, and Pinterest. For sites I keep an eye on Awwwards.com but often find a lot of these sites uninspiring and sticking to the practical, if a bit too safe, 'clean responsive grid site'.

The best inspiration is out in the real world, in other countries and cultures, churches, museums, places you may not necessarily think to look for design inspiration. The problem with looking at inspiration online is everyone is looking in the same place – try looking elsewhere if you want to be different.
@Paul Murray - Thanks, ill check out awwards.com

I get what you mean the same stuff (variations) keep circulating and I've noticed it, where i live is very poor for some inspiration, although we do have some lovely spaces around that does work to a degree.

usually find my self taking a trip to Bristol / London to gain that extra boost

Paul Murray

Staff member
I see you're in Plymouth. Ironically I'd love to have scenery like that near me! Manchester's full of creativity, but it gets to the point where you don't even see the murals or street art anymore.

It can be hard to find inspiration for whatever you're working on at the moment so try and build up a bank of inspiration from places you've been, you never know when it will come in handy. I recently went to a Camp Eden in Yorkshire, a WW2 museum in a converted RAF base. There was loads of 1940s era typography and packaging to photograph that I'm sure I'll use one day. Also I just found out there's a colliery museum near to where I live since it was a big source of coal back in the day. Although I'm not particularly interested in the mining industry, I'm sure the machine parts and techniques used might prove useful for branding that follows an industrial theme and I might just discover something that sticks with me.
Yeah I love the moorland around here it is a beautiful sight, and it's good for an escape and I do get chance to think things through,

But I'm the city there's no murals, graffiti Or street art which I find really inspiring and healthy for my mind lol


Staff member
I went down near Plymouth a few weeks ago and spent a day in the city.
Seems a nice place but I didn't see any graff.

You should head over to Brighton.
Not been but my wife was trying to sell me a day there and the art was her selling point so not sure. o_O

I live rural on the edge of the Peak District and I just enjoy the open space and scenery to clear my head.
It's only a short trip into Chesterfield and Sheff.
There's some nice pieces in Chesterfield (surprisingly) but a lot of them have been done by the company I work for. Commissioned stuff. ;)

In Sheff there's a lot more gritty, urban art and yesterday, as I was at traffic lights there was a guy beside me spraying up some concrete bollards as characters.
They looked great and it made me smile. :D