- by Steve
When we have a big project come into the studio I love sitting on the bean bags and bouncing ideas off of the rest of the design team. Being involved in such a skilled and versatile team means we can all put our strengths into a project to give the client something they’ll love.
For illustrating, I get most of my inspiration from tattoo artists and what they’re producing. I follow a lot of talented tattoo artist locally and across the world on Instagram and in my spare time I turn my illustrations into t-shirts.
99% of the time, I have my headphones in listening to Spotify or trying to get through my backlog of Podcasts. What I listen to varies on my mood but I love listening to pop punk, rock or anything a bit alternative, it really helps me get going with a big project.
When it comes to designing I have a few ‘go-to’ websites that I regularly visit (and love) for inspiration.
· www.lolcolors.com - great for colour palettes
· www.fromupnorth.com - great for inspiration
· fontflame.com – great for pairing fonts
My creative productivity is at its highest when I’m cosy and warm, so you’ll always see me with extra layers on (that classic grey hoodie) and complaining about the air-conditioning. When I’m not doing that I’m usually listening to music, which helps block out all that distracting background noise.
I get most of my inspiration from things I see online. I have a load of useful sites bookmarked, which I visit regularly when I need some inspiration:
- www.behance.net - Great for discovering creative work from a range of fields.
- www.logopond.com - Very useful for inspiration when design a logo.
- www.coolors.co - Handy when creating colour pallets.
I take inspiration from everything around me. Where most people look at things from a content point of view, I can’t help picking up a magazine and purely focus on the design, fonts, photography and layout. Under my desk I have a draw full of inspiration - magazines, leaflets and direct mail which I often look through when starting new projects.
Someone that I admire right now is Aaron Draplin, a graphic designer based in Portland, Oregon. I received his book ‘Pretty Much Everything’ for Christmas and when I get a moment I love diving into his world, soaking up his energy and positive enthusiastic thought process. I love his philosophy and he is a prime example of someone that works hard - “doing whatever it takes to make cool stuff”. Check this out for dedication - in 1995 he took a dishwashing job in Alaska on a sightseeing train with one aim - to make enough money to buy his first Mac, and that’s exactly what he did!
Reading this book has reminded of my past passion for sketching and illustration. Aaron always has a sketchbook on the go, carrying it wherever he goes. He starts off every project with a pencil and paper “Your hand is freer here than it would be on your illustrator.” From years of being distracted by technology surrounding us - I kinda miss my love for drawing, but I feel out of touch and practice. So I have decided to do something about it and reignite that passion - I have signed up to a 15 week drawing and painting evening course! Thanks Draplin!
Here are a few of my go-to resources:
www.unsplash.com - Lovely, natural free stock photography
www.fontawesome.io - A handy icon font, great for website visuals and web development too!
www.fontsquirrel.com - This font website usually has most of the Google’s web fonts, perfect for your visuals!
Looking at my desk, most wouldn’t believe a designer operated there. It houses a Mac, a phone, a pen pot and a bottle of water. Nothing else. I need a minimal workspace to work. The same goes on screen - I have a panic attack if I have more that 5 tabs open at any one time or there are more than two folders on my desktop! I like to work without distraction so if it doesn’t need to be there, it’s gone.
I love working in a team as our group discussions always generate some really inspiring ideas. Bouncing ideas off other like-minded individuals in an informal environment is great for the creative process.
I’m a big doodler. If there’s a piece of blank paper on my desk it’ll soon be adorned with mindless doodles of nothing in particular. It’s just a way of getting what’s in my head, out which is a process I practice in the early stages of any project. I attack a brief, pencil in hand, with anything my mind can come up with, no matter how mad it seems initially. From here, ideas are discarded and the more successful ones are developed. It’s my favourite way to work as sometimes an idea is produced that you didn’t know you were capable of. It’s also important for us designers to take a break from screens every once in a while so I’m a big fan of the pencil and paper approach.
I work mostly with my headphones atop my head, listening to a range of podcasts, mostly comedy based. Occasionally I’ll throw on some music if the spoken word becomes too mentally intrusive, normally favouring 90’s indie to keep me focused.
I love having a browse online for inspiration when I have a spare minute. Below are some of the places I hit when trawling for ideas:
www.awwwards.com - great source of the latest interesting and innovative web designs from across the globe.
www.visualgraphc.com – neat blog with a range of inspirational works
www.dribbble.com - great resource for visual inspiration