Every designer has hit a brick wall when faced with a design assignment. You would think that as common as it is the solution would be better known. However, the cause and the solution vary from time to time and from person to person. Regardless, there are some suggestion of how you might jump start the creative juices.
Visit an Art Gallery
If it is inspiration for design of postcards, business cards, and posters you want, then modern art is your muse. The abstractions and flamboyant tastes are sure to plant some seeds. Sometimes the masters can generate a bit of spark towards that as well. Any modern art exhibit will challenge your view of space and color interaction, perhaps even the use of real objects in art.
Walk through Street Art
The amount of artistic talent showing itself on the streets today is amazing. With all the budding young artists and even old-timers, you are bound to see some fresh ideas that kick you in the pants. Also, you get exercise to work off the fat you were growing last Winter. You are bound to make a few friends and see some interesting applications in art.
Photograph Textures and Colors
If you are really stuck and just want a splash on your brain, walk around with your camera, snapping any shape, texture of color that strikes your fancy. Make sure you go in places where you might never have gone before. Also, try getting close to things you have never seen up close and viewing from a distance things you had never looked at in this way before. Open your eyes wide when tromping about. When you get back to your computer you can pick and choose which ones are productive.
Foreign packaging can be a great source of design inspiration, since they have such a radically different view. If your heart is beating at all you will have many new ideas pop into your head.
These are rich places for design inspiration. You will find it in the lamps and fixtures, the furniture, the photos and lithographs, the toys and jewelry, even in the clothing. Just one day antique hopping will give you plenty in your arsenal of design ideas to last a month.
Stand in a Different Place
Perspective is your friend when chasing the elusive snipe of inspiration. To get a new take on reality, stand on your desk and look at your office afresh. Nail a chair upside down on the ceiling and strap yourself into it (do not ask me how to do it). Crawl under a table and watch people walk into the room. Turn everything in your room upside down, literally – your coffee cup (with or without coffee in it), your computer, keyboard, bed, chair, shoes, everything. These new perspectives are bound to force new shapes and interactions between textures and color to punch you in the face.
The Final Word
Whether you are designing posters, postcards, or business cards, the strategies outlined above will be your muses for your design projects. Have fun and take a notebook.