Finding Inspiration

The hardest part of any design project is getting started. It can be overwhelming thinking about the task ahead, the challenges that need solutions, the people that will be affected, and all the details that will need to be outlined. These are the moments when it is good to take a step back to find some clarity. Every project needs a direction. Let your inspiration become the focus.


But, how do we find inspiration? And, where does it come from? From reading a book to walking on the beach, designers find inspiration in everything they do. Every moment is a chance to learn from our environment and apply these learnings to the design challenge at hand. Keep your eyes (and your mind) open, and look for those things that peak your interest and draw your attention. You never know what you might see.

Take a Trip!

We get some of our best inspiration from our frequent trips to the local coffee shop. Why? Because here’s the dirty secret of the design profession: designers copy each other. We all look for inspiration from the world that we live in, from the spaces we occupy to the websites we search. Our surroundings have been designed by someone else. Design surrounds us.
In fact, it is really hard not to be influenced by everyone else’s work. Good designers absorb the context that they live in (and that their clients live in), cull through the information, and identify the things they like a great color, a view, an antique barn board and generate ideas based around them. So, go ahead and copy. It’s okay. Just be sure the ideas you are re-purposing are solving your specific design challenge.
We suggest that you learn how to use Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. These social media platforms are loaded with valuable inspiration. They are also sortable, so that you can look for inspiration where you need it, catalogue it, and retrieve it for later. Use the images you discover in your searches as a source of inspiration. Let them guide your subconscious. Eventually, with enough surfing, you will discover the spark of inspiration for your task at hand.
For more information on understanding the design process download our free guide, 5 Quick + Easy Steps to Design.