Struggle of finding inspiration

Is it normal to struggle to find inspiration for each design project you’re assigned to?

I’m fairly new at graphic design, but I have decent knowledge about its principle and I have completed some design projects whose results I’m really proud of. However, each project was hardly without me stressing over finding the right design beforehand. This really wears me down.
Is this normal? or am I lacking something?

Thanks.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Try not to look for inspiration too close to home. If you’re working on a new logo, don’t look at logos. Look at related things that aren’t logos that fit the target aesthetic/audience.

Stop thinking about finding a design before you start. I don’t identify an inspiration before I start. It’s all part of the research and brainstorming process. Create work until you get there.

1 Like

Thank you for your answer, Buda. I really appreciate it. :relaxed:
From the way you put it, I take it that each piece of work is mostly about trial and error in the process, having to go through this all the time surely is rather frustrating, moreover if it takes a lot of time.

Is this how design normally works?

I enjoy the concept/creating process and I would say that much of creativity is trial and error. As you become more experienced, you avoid starting any concept you know won’t work, but at the start of a project, I create lots of drafts/concepts. Then I narrow it down before fleshing out concepts to show the client. The concepts I show a client may range from their exact brief, to my preferred interpretation of the brief and others in-between. Sometimes the client’s wishes and final concept are quite different.

I rarely begin the process with a clear winning concept. Usually that would mean copying something that already exists. Happens though. Like say a client has an existing piece and just needs updated to a new product/shape/photography with minor changes. Or a client might supply a sample of what they what they like and want me to recreate in the same style. That’s not ideal though and not what I call finding inspiration.

2 Likes

Ah, thank you very much. I was rather frustrated before because I couldn’t find the right concept for my design after I’ve spent a long time trying. But now, knowing that it’s a normal thing designers go through kind of makes me feel better,

Figured out it’s just my lack of experience that’s very likely to prolong my time of inspiration-searching / concept-figuring process.

It’ll get easier as you gain experience. Like Buda said, experience provides some insight into what will likely work and what won’t, so that alone save a lot of time. That experience can also lead to getting stuck in ruts that mostly work, but don’t blaze new territory, which is a problem for down the road, I suppose.

I’ve found that solutions to design problems usually stem directly from analyzing the problem itself. What’s the goal, who’s the target audience, what will appeal to them, what’s the client really concerned about, what’s the timeframe and the budget, what successes have others have solving similar problems and how did they do it. etc. Get a good handle on these kinds of practical things and it tends to really narrow down the problem to something much more focused and manageable.

You’ll probably also find that, unlike design school, inspiration is often not as valued by clients as just getting the job done on time, within budget and to their satisfaction. If you can make it look good besides, so much the better. :wink:

1 Like

Words that should be emblazoned on every graphic designer’s soul.

1 Like

I find a lot of inspiration scrolling through behance, and looking at other logos, or finding a word and transforming it into something else.

1 Like

I’ve found that solutions to design problems usually stem directly from analyzing the problem itself. What’s the goal, who’s the target audience, what will appeal to them, what’s the client really concerned about, what’s the timeframe and the budget, what successes have others have solving similar problems and how did they do it. etc. Get a good handle on these kinds of practical things and it tends to really narrow down the problem to something much more focused and manageable.

Thank you, that’s a very detailed explanation.
I’m going to always refer to this whenever I get stuck scratching my head finding a solution for my project problem.

You’ll probably also find that, unlike design school, inspiration is often not as valued by clients as just getting the job done on time, within budget and to their satisfaction.

You’re right. I have to be practical and take every requirement and limitation into consideration instead of only aiming my design to be perfect, especially when I’m on a very tight deadline. Design is not art competition afterall, so long as it’s good enough, it’s good enough.

Same here mate.
It’s always good to steal other people’s work, like an artist. :wink:

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook