This is a post continuing from a blog I did earlier- How Do You Conquer Designer Burnout?

When working in the design industry it’s easy to find inspiration everywhere you go, by everything you see, hear and touch and you don’t need to be sat at your computer to get inspiration either.

— You don’t need eyes to see – you just need vision. Here are some examples that influence me when I’m working on new projects.

Browse design blogs and galleries

There is a never ending amount of design blogs out there and these are great for inspiration and displaying current and upcoming trends. Another great source is the gallery sites which showcase websites, portfolios, and logos etc. My favourite design blogs and galleries at the moment are Abduzeedo, The Design Inspiration, CSS Remix and Web Design Ledger just to to name a handful.

Sometimes the old ones are the best

Look at your past design work. Design trends come around full circle over and over. Take a look at your portfolio and see which ones were the most successful.


Music is one of the biggest inspirations for me. It sets a mood and keeps me uplifted and motivated throughout those tough redesign sessions.

Movies & TV

Sitting down to watch the TV or movie can be a great inspiration. Just by seeing some great titles with typography, a logo or an advertisement on screen can re-ignite your creative flow.

Look around you

The world is an amazing place. Just look around you; cityscape’s, the countryside, the sea, all of Mother Nature’s finest are there to be admired. Even when I go shopping I get influenced by the smallest thing and to some people it may sound weird but it’s really easy for me to be inspired by the typography on a shop’s carrier bag or the colours on a chocolate bar wrapper.


Sleep does the mind good and by taking a rest from it all can boost and re-energise those creative juices. Just make sure that you don’t sleep too long especially if there is a deadline!


This again is the whole ‘look around you‘ point again. Many a times if I have to go on a long journey and see the world go by I take a look at the beautiful scenery and places and there is a whole range of inspiration out there. Remember that we live in the digital age so hopefully you will have access to a digital camera whether it be an actual camera itself or a cell phone camera. Why not take some pictures of the things that inspire you?


Magazines like the TV is full to the brim with great typography and advertisements. Remember if you are working on a brochure or a blog then just look at the layouts in the magazine and these may also inspire you as well.

Sketching and Doodling

It’s always great to have some kind of notepad at hand. When you get an idea in your head it’s good to write or sketch down any ideas like a logo, a layout for a blog or site or some kind of brochure. Doodling helps too and you don’t have to be great at drawing or illustrating to do it. I used to doodle a lot and could fill books of the stuff and it’s where a lot of my creativity came from when I was younger.

Shutdown the computer

Turn the computer off, relax, unwind and switch off your mind. Maybe actually not thinking about design related work is when you get that ‘eureka’ moment!


25 Responses

  1. LukeSF
    Feb 26, 2010 - 03:13 PM

    RT @designblend RT: @iBlend: RT @designblend: Ways to Find Design Inspiration

  2. Richie
    Feb 26, 2010 - 02:58 PM

    I think the best of them all is the last one. Shut down the computer and let your mind wander freely. This allows you to think more clearly and effectively 🙂

    Also, looking at designs from the 70s and 80s is a great source of inspiration, considering the fact that they were hard sketched without the use of a computer 🙂

    Good article, Starr.

  3. Starr De Alexandris
    Feb 26, 2010 - 03:14 PM

    Yeah sometimes it is best to just shutdown. It can be hard but it has to be done. Retro stuff is really good for inspiration. I especially love 80’s designs. Thanks

  4. Paul
    Feb 26, 2010 - 03:31 PM

    Thanks for the post. Beautiful site and a visually beautiful post. I’ll use this as inspiration too!

  5. Starr De Alexandris
    Feb 26, 2010 - 03:38 PM

    Thank you for the kind words. Compliments are great inspiration too 😉

  6. Mary
    Feb 26, 2010 - 11:40 AM

    Thanks for the inspiration

  7. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing
    Mar 01, 2010 - 09:59 AM

    i found your post when i needed it the most! keep writing and providing inspiration. i also found helpful, for more information on printing and designing!

  8. Amelie
    Mar 02, 2010 - 02:08 PM

    Nice post. Will take on board

  9. Ben
    Mar 04, 2010 - 01:23 PM

    I agree with Rich sometimes you have to just not work – working hard all the time leads to burnout – great post Starr promoted

  10. Starr De Alexandris
    Mar 23, 2010 - 11:45 AM

    Ways to Find #Design #Inspiration

  11. Ajay Talwar
    Mar 23, 2010 - 11:48 AM

    RT @designblend: Ways to Find #Design #Inspiration

  12. Dawn
    Jun 23, 2010 - 01:51 PM

    RT @webdesignmash: Old RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration ~ Bring it back, we can all use some inspiration!!

  13. WordPress Advocate
    Jun 23, 2010 - 01:53 PM
  14. thomas munzig™
    Jun 24, 2010 - 07:39 AM

    Old RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration RT @webdesignmash

  15. amethyst
    Sep 28, 2010 - 08:44 AM

    It’s really hard to find inspirations and ideas when it comes to design. Art just doesn’t come to you and your hands just don’t automatically create beauty. Thanks for these tips.

  16. Gabriella Sky™
    Oct 29, 2010 - 12:00 PM

    Old skool RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration

  17. maher shamma
    Oct 29, 2010 - 12:00 PM

    RT @webdesignmash: Old skool RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration

  18. Sabrina Sturm
    Oct 29, 2010 - 12:05 PM

    RT @WebDesignMash: Old skool RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration

  19. Ari Surya Fibriyanto
    Oct 29, 2010 - 12:29 PM

    RT @WebDesignMash: Old skool RT – Ways to Find #Design Inspiration

  20. techwench
    Nov 20, 2010 - 08:42 AM

    these tips should help in designing great post


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