What's new

design inspiration?

I'm curious to learn how the professional graphics person does to plan out that cool new interface or menu.... how does one come up with that cool new button or neat new texture?

Is this something you plan out in advance or just sporatically come up with?

I've had it easy so far - when I've been preparing to do a site in the past I take out a pen and paper and draw an outline of the site... the links chose themselves and I had someone do the site.
Now that I'm wanting to do my own interfaces and my own web design from scratch, I find myself too "right brained" to come up with a really unique idea or layout that I like.

So where do you get that unique inspiration when doing a site?
Not just cool techy sites, but corporate sites as well. I think those are most difficult b/c not only do you have to be original, but it also has to have a certain look and feel to be considered professional.

So - what do you guys do when starting a new site?
What can I do to come up with my layout faster better?

"What can I do to come up with my layout faster better?"

The worst thing you could do is try to rush inspiration. I'm pretty sure that any artist fluent in design will agree with this.

An experienced designer has a lot of past ideas to draw from -- both good AND bad. Everything counts when you're looking for new inspiration.

What i usually like to do is watch a lot of TV. Sounds odd, but, there are a lot of really great graphics and design being used now for everything from commercials to major motion pictures, to TV movies, etc...
I try NOT to intentially LOOK for something persay, but rather just 'watch' and be aware of what i'm seeing. When i DO see something that inspires me, i make a special note of it, and try to dissect what i'm seeing as it would apply to creating it in Photoshop -- in other words, i rip the design apart graphically while i'm looking at it.

And that's what i usually do.
BUT... never forget that the client should start off the design process with some ideas of their own. Then the designer can step in and carry the ball home.

Hope that helps. [honesty]


Very good question kevinb52, but not always as difficult as you think. It's important what Mark said to look around. People with a very global interest for the world surrounding them will also find it easier to come up with an idea. See, it's difficult to start something from scratch, but it's easier if you have a subject to work with.

Let's say I give you a word: car

Now you can make a list of words; shiny, expensive, fast, engine, tires, danger, travel, gas, road, driver, race, headlights, etc.
I always make a list for myself and before I know it I have all the inspiration I need. If I can't make myself a list, now then I'm in trouble! :rofl:
Great info Mark and Gaus! I follow the path of G-Man. When I am creating a site or logo from square one, I write down a word and then anything that comes to mind from that word, write that down. Then I usually search the web based on my words and just look at what is out there. Then I go into the real world and look there. The inspiration will come. If you try to rush it, forget it. You will be so irritated! What is your site about, who are you trying to reach, personal or business, size of site....ask yourself these questions. Research the market you are trying to reach....If it is a personal site, then pretty much anything goes out there. :D
I start with the business card as there is colour, logo and all the important details there......... then I sit down with pencil and paper and start to think from a mental list just as Gaussian said and doodle my way round that - if I can't think of anything suitable I go for a walk or a swim and will even sleep on it until I come up with something, never rush anything I do a lot of good thinking and designing when I am supposed to be sleeping he he he
then I take it to PS and make the page up there so that I know it looks right then slice and dice it to html then I go to bed at the end of the day and usually 9 times out of 10 come up with something even better - I wonder if this is because it is quiet with no he he he interuptions and I am more relaxed that this happens
Same here Sue...my best ideas come at 2am when not a creature is stirring...well ok my cat is but she is semi quiet after she is fed! ha ha :rofl:
When in doubt simplicity becomes the order of the day... why? because it is always easy to add on to something simple once the creative juices start to flow...
Howdy... :D Tkank you

Hey I agree with you folks regarding writing down relative words , now if only I didn't dislike writing so much haha, but seriously that is a great starting point

And Mark, I hear ya man... I too, watch all the latest commercials and shows and wow, there really is a ton of great new ideas showing up... sometimes so much so that I simply end up in awe, and wonder if I will ever get to become so talented.

One step at a time... trend following for now, trend leading for tommorow eh?

Keep at it Kev... :)

have a good one all :D


Well-Known Member

Welcome SilvErWolf

Oh this is gonna get confusing,


Well-Known Member

I know it sounds sort of enigmatic thoughts,but I think only about the general idea of my design and then everything flow by itself depending on the talent of the artist.

I never use skatches...and I don't prude of it...I just get confused when I trying to sketch something out. I think it has its positive side also, when you don't use sketches you get more freedom of your artistic skills...you don't force yourself to keep the rules of the sketch.

Of course,everything is about inspiration that comes from movies , commercials and so on. the trick is to make it look unique and leave the inspiration in the background while no one can describe what he or her feels about your design..

(I hope it wasn't boring..[shhh] )
haha, thanx Silvrwolf, and yes you are right... I hadn't looked at the members list before joining and since you were here first I will change my handle back to Gidgit... I was trying to shake that handle as I am a guy and most do not see that through the name... ah man... caught in drag forever... hope my wife is ok with this... hahahahah


I know that there was something confusing with the name Silv(e)rwolf and couldn't figure out what it was [confused].

Now I will probably get even more confused knowing this [confused] :rofl:

I think I'm going to focus on the E from now one :D


Well-Known Member
hahaha, I am back...dress and all...hahaha ...NOT

Gauss you really crack me up... in fact you good sense of humor is contagious bud... which is a good thing... :D

I really like this community... everybody is so upbeat... and that ain't the case in many others... sooooo... give yourselves a big pat on the back each of you... because your what makes this so... cool...

oh and heres to Mark ( beerchugs) for creating such fine digs


...and a deal is a deal, the 3 G is transferred to your account by the end of this week :rofl: :rofl:

Kidding! :D

Thanks for the kind words James :)
I look at a lot of billboards and ads in magazines. My drive to and from work is on a major interstate through a major city and there are tons of billboards. That usually means that during rush hour, I hear a lot of honking horns.

My wife is a hair dresser and she gets tons of magazines sent to our house. While she is browsing through the magazine, I usually look over her shoulder at all the advertisements. You would be amazed at the inspiration I get from those. I find that in a lot of the graphics magazines, there are also great ads in there to pick apart. A lot of times, if I run across a good ad, I will scan it and redo the ad, just for practice.

And finally, keep your eyes open! Just look around. Nature itself offers tons of inspiration.