Finding Inspiration as a Graphic Designer – The Threat of a Blank Page
by Maike Torrez on June 8, 2021
Hmmm, where do I start…where do I even find the inspiration for this blog? The blank page is staring at me, so I guess I have to just put something down. See? I did it! That wasn’t so bad. I’ve laid the foundation and hopefully, this will turn out to be a helpful piece for you. Here are my tips for finding your own inspiration.
Jump right into that cold water, because nobody is going to do it for you.
Dive into research and accumulate as much info as you can about your project. Ask questions and get a feeling for what your client wants. If you are a visual person — which I assume most designers are — start looking for pictures. Searching for keywords can also bring surprising results and spark new ideas that you didn’t even think of before. These are some simple things to do and suddenly that blank page is not that scary anymore, because you have filled it with a whole lot of starting points.
It’s okay to scrap something.
You might find out along the way that a path you started down wasn’t the greatest idea or things didn’t work how you wanted, which can lead to second guessing. Do you abandon that idea, or do you keep massaging it? Sometimes you are scared that you won’t have another idea, so you keep working on something you don’t really love and that’s very frustrating. Most of the time it’s better to scratch an idea that didn’t really work and move on. You can always come back later and see if you can make it work.
Don’t be afraid. You can do it!
One thing I have learned over years of searching for inspiration: There will always be a new idea! It might take a little longer than you’d like to come up with it, but there will always be a lightbulb. Of course, you don’t have all the time in the world to wait for that great idea to arrive, but you also have to trust in yourself and your abilities. You will deliver something good in the end.
Sometimes, you have to step away and clear your mind. Maybe take a walk in nature, play with your kids or dogs. There’s a ton of inspiration in real life, especially if you don’t try to find it.
Don’t let the pressure kill your inspiration.
If you are stuck and nothing seems to work, find a safe option, the one you didn’t want to pursue in the first place because it was too obvious. Just do it. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. It will give you a solid choice and some peace of mind. With that peace of mind usually comes another idea and suddenly you are on a roll and end up with several possibilities you really like!
Don’t be too proud to ask for feedback and other people’s opinions.
And most importantly, take the advice you’re given! Sometimes your view on things might be too narrow because you were focused on one thing and lost sight of the whole picture. Brainstorming with coworkers is a great way to help you get out of that hole and give you a new perspective when you feel stuck.
It’s true that you can’t force creativity, but designers also have to be able to rely on their talent and trust that they will be inspired when they need to be. We all use tools and techniques that help us keep our creativity flowing because we never want this source to run dry! Whether we use them consciously or unconsciously, we all have our own ways of finding inspiration. And in the end, there is nothing more rewarding than a happy client and seeing your work come to life!
Have you thought about revamping your image with a new logo or giving your website a little — or big — update? Do blank pages give you the heebie-geebies? Call us for some inspiration — we’d love for our next happy client to be you!