Creative inspiration is on your doorstep

December 04, 2014 | Design | One Comment

Inspiration – it’s a tricky fellow. Some days it’s there in abundance, helping you produce the finest piece of design the world has ever seen. Other days it’s packed it’s bags, left town and decided to hideaway in a small cave in the Gobi desert.

That’s why we decided to dedicate this blog to finding inspiration. And when we mean find we’re not talking about sitting on your bum and creating a mood board on Pinterest. No, people, it’s time to slip on your comfy shoes and get walking, because creative inspiration is right through that door over there.

Record shops
Yep, they’re still around, and they offer far more inspiration than iTunes. In particular, get yourself to your local independent record shop. They’re likely to stock a far greater range of lo-fi handmade style sleeves and really polished, stylised artwork.

Just take your time flicking through the vinyl and let the amazing pieces of design you see sink into your creative memory bank. Record sleeves (and CD cases to a lesser degree) really can be a brilliant way to trigger new ideas and inspire you to try new techniques in your own projects.

Get inspired at a record shop like Rough Trade in London’s Brick Lane.

The cinema
Right, first things first, we’re not talking about Transformers 4 here (although inspiration can come from anywhere). If you want to see a real showcase of creativeness that’s going to inspire you, then you really need to consider what film you go and see.

Again, indie is best, so check out what your local independent cinema is showing. Then, once you’ve made your choice, sit back and soak up the visual treat in front of your eyes. That includes the stylised cinematography, the carefully selected props, the title sequence (often full of lots of lovely design) – everything on that big screen.

Get inspired by films such as Tom Ford’s visually stunning A Single Man.

The supermarket
What? A trip to Tesco for a microwave meal after I’ve worked until 7pm again is going to inspire me? Well, yes. Next time you’re in the supermarket take the time to look at all the beautiful examples of branding and packaging design around you.

What you see on the shelves are the results of thousands upon thousands of creative reviews, client amends and buyer meetings. This stuff is design gold that has been finely crafted to engage consumers in a highly competitive world.

So come on, fill your boots. Take note of what jumps out at you in the aisles and use it as inspiration for your next branding project – or any design project, come to think of it.

Beautiful labels with carefully researched typography could be the perfect ingredient for inspiration.

A festival
It’s time to pull your wellies on and head to a field in Hampshire, or somewhere more convenient, because festivals are an absolute hotbed for creative expression.

As well as the music, there’s usually loads of other stuff going on at a festival that can offer great inspiration for your design work. This includes stage design, theatre performances, sculpture and art, food stalls, handcrafted products and much, much more. Just remember to pack your wet wipes.


The props at the Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire offer great inspiration.

The streets
Inspiration literally is everywhere. Just wandering the streets for an hour or two can be far more productive than sitting in front of a computer waiting for a breakthrough to happen.

Buildings old and new, street art, shop fronts and window displays all feature masses of superb design to take inspiration from. Plus, just the simple act of walking around is a great way to clear room in your head for some new ideas and get a bit of stimulating exercise.


The colourful shop fronts on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch offer an abundance of inspiration.

Museums and galleries
We haven’t forgotten these fellows, but they can be a little stuffy and even mind numbing after a couple of hours wandering around. Use with caution and choose your exhibitions carefully!

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