Everyone needs a little inspiration sometimes, and graphic designers are no exception!
Those who are pressed for time to seek out inspiration themselves often rely on services and technology that serve them creative inspiration in daily doses, like newsletters, RSS feeds, and Google Chrome browser extensions like Muzli.
Others, however, take a less-digital approach and look for inspiration among their peers or within the media that they consume, and even from their surroundings! They may put pen to paper and search for new ideas through other creative exercises such as writing or sketching, or perhaps even a visual inspiration diary.
Sources of graphic design inspiration are endless, but it can be challenging to know where to begin and what type of inspiration to prioritize. Here, we’ll help you discover where graphic designers find visual inspiration, where you can find your own graphic design inspiration, and what resources are available to assist in your inspirational endeavors.
How Do Graphic Designers Find Inspiration?
Though this is really based upon each artists’ individual creative style, there are general categories into which graphic design and detail inspiration fall.
Oftentimes, graphic designers find visual inspiration within their own peer and networking groups. It can be helpful to chat with artists who work in the same space, as you can bounce ideas off one another and discuss trends and new avenues within your industry. Just be sure that you’re only sharing your ideas with people you trust who will be able to provide honest and constructive feedback!
Graphic designers also find inspiration by trying new things. Some graphic designers will start painting, clay modeling, or bullet journaling to get out of their comfort zone and find new ideas. These exercises seem to be most helpful when graphic designers truly challenge themselves to do something completely outside of their space. Even if they’re a total beginner at their new hobby, they’re bound to find ideas to take back to the graphic design drawing board.
If all else fails, graphic designers seek visual inspiration within their surroundings and the traditional and social media that they consume daily. They may take notes on articles or posts that catch their attention or they may look for new creatives to follow. For some, it’s also as simple as getting outside and going on a walk. Being outdoors helps us feel connected to the world and some graphic designers take photos along the way, or bring home small items from nature to help inspire new ideas.
Where Can I Get a Design Inspiration?
To find inspiration, it’s helpful to have a sound understanding of the basics of graphic design. As a completely digital field, graphic design requires artists to have the unique creative ability to translate real-life creatures, objects, and places onto the digital canvas. Take some time to dig into what graphic design really is, and it’ll start you down the path to finding your own graphic design perspective and ideas.
If you’re a seasoned designer struggling to find inspiration, it can be helpful to work on a project that will allow you to consider your current body of work on the whole. Try working on your portfolio to identify trends and common themes that seem to speak to you. Once you have your work organized, categorized, or within the system that best works for you, you may even try meditating on your ideas to see if anything new springs forth.
As many graphic designers do, you can also turn to digital apps and platforms to help you find new ideas. These days, there are enumerable options for creatives—from podcasts to browser plug-ins, the internet map is scattered with wells of inspiration. Muzli is one of the most popular inspiration services, heralded by graphic designers and artists everywhere.
What is Muzli?
Simply put, Muzli is a Google Chrome browser extension that aggregates the design news and inspiration from around the web and organizes it into a feed for users. Muzli becomes the homepage for your browser and, in addition to new ideas, you can expect to see your favorite and most-visited websites in the mix, as well.
Want to see exactly what Muzli is serving up? We’ve rounded up a couple of our favorite examples below:
Muzli chose Plume, an adventure video game by Dino Adventure, for one Pick of the Week because of how technically advanced and beautiful it is. It’s “fully modeled environment coupled with awesome character animations and keyboard controls” are impressive and makes users forget the game “is happening in the browser” they write.
This Gucci Decor site made Muzli’s Pick of the Week because it’s an excellent example of the kinds of sites you encounter that at once seem familiar and totally brand new. Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it…exactly the kind of content we’re inspired by.
Why Do Designers Love Muzli?
The question is really “what’s not to love about Muzli?” It’s a free service that helps graphic designers consume visual inspiration and stay up-to-date without leaving the house. It scours the web for the most innovative and original illustrations, design elements, photography, and typography, and then instantly delivers the most relevant and inspiring to a new tab in your browser—whenever you need it most.
How to Access Muzli
There are three ways to access Muzli’s creative content. You can read their mega-popular Medium magazine for expert articles and roundups like Muzli picks, follow their Instagram feed for curated visuals, or of course, install the Chrome extension to get the gorgeous visual feed for which they are best known.
How to Get Featured on Muzli
If you’re hoping to have your work featured on Muzli, their guidelines suggest that you really do your best to make your pieces stand out: Use an appealing header or title for your piece, or make your work more dynamic and user-friendly through GIFs or loop videos. You can find more specific design-related guidelines and tips here.
More Ideas for Inspiration
In addition to Muzli, graphic designers can find visual inspiration through other inspirational round ups, educational platforms, and newsletters.
Abduzeedo is a design blog full of inspiration, case studies, tutorials, and more. It even has a “daily inspiration” category!
Convince and Convert Newsletter
This weekly newsletter, curated by Jay Baer, a 24-year digital marketing veteran, provides subscribers with inspiration through digital trend reporting and marketing news.
Creative Mornings Newsletter
Creative Mornings is a weekly newsletters that serves up inspiration for creatives through highlights from talks held around the world and links to interesting content around a wide range of topics including design, technology, and more.
Skillshare is our education platform designed to help students learn how to do and get better at virtually anything! We have plenty of courses in graphic design inspiration, and you’re sure to find something to get your creative juices flowing.
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