Start with a beefy brief :
before you start a project a client gives a brief. For me most of the time, a client’s design brief gives me inspiration. While reading it, I am able to get a visual design idea on my mind, that I later put into design form. (yes…. there are times my visual design idea didn’t work..).
The wholly molly deadline:
there are times you don’t get any idea for the design till the last moment. With my experience, the last minute deadline inspiration has one plus mark – you don’t have time to over think to create too many concept designs (I have made too made too many concepts & ended up with which two do I choose). The minus point is if you have an idea and that’s a complex one you might not have enough time to do it (if do just sketch it out).
The good old paper:
hmm… yes my table is scattered with paper & pencils, and no one is allowed to touch them (danger zone). When I need to get some inspiration I usually sketch on paper. Similar to a writer, I do sketch till I get what I want according to the design brief and then transfer it to the computer.
Opps the audience:
When designing it is important to have an idea of the audience who’s going to see the end design. This will help you to get the inspiration you need to figure out what speaks best in the market according to the targeted marketing crowd.
Piece by piece:
It’s hard to get an inspiration or even an idea, when you get a complex design brief or a client with no specific idea (There are clients like that… so you really have to go overboard for them..). Section the design brief in to smaller pieces. You will see a design pattern emerge, that helps you with visualizing an idea.
That gut feeling:
For me personally, having the gut feeling about whatever I do is very important. Even when I do a design, I get the initial feeling whether it will work or not with the gut feeling. If this happens to my draft design, I always revamp and do a new design.
There are many ways to find inspiration and ideas apart from what I do. Some go for a walk, while some loves to come up with ideas by sticking to a few words on the brief. What suits to me might not work for you, so you will have to give some trial and error.