Design Inspiration – Not Just an Afterthought

Design inspiration can come from anywhere. You don’t need a design degree to find the right elements to make your training attractive and functional. There are a number of commonsense approaches to picking the right design approach.

The first suggestion from those who make their living in the design field is to open your eyes and look around. It sounds like a simple idea, but it can put you the right mindset to define what makes a design work, and what doesn’t. Take signage for example. A particular font or the way a billboard is presented can make you want to enter a store to have a look around or just walk by.

How many times have you seen businesses try to be clever with their words on a chalkboard, only to miss the opportunity to attract you because of bad grammar or a less-than-inspirational thought? Chances are more times than you’d care to remember. So you have to get your trainee or customer in the door and make them take notice.

Bold isn’t necessarily better, either. On a busy road near here, someone put up a billboard of a cartoon chicken in a ridiculous outfit, and the tag line was: “Made You Look Up, Didn’t We?” Not a good message to convey on a crowded roadway where looking up can mean you crash into the car in front of you. And there was no way of knowing what the brand was selling. Perhaps chickens?

Websites are constantly battling with ways to grab your attention and have you drill down further than the company’s landing page. Choosing your colour scheme can have a very large impact on your retention rates and click throughs. You don’t want to lose your logo in an insipid colour background. Simple is good, but too simple can result in shrugging of the shoulders and a, “I think I’ll be backing out of this one.”

Another tip, particularly if you are searching for usable images: Keep a folder of readily available images you have permission to use or have paid for in your cloud storage so you don’t have to go hunting for a new one. These images or graphics can become a link to other media like videos that can take care of prolix introductions that can bore viewers to death.

How about educating yourself in the process of design by looking at fine art? Nothing like visiting the masters to see what causes dynamic tension in a piece of art or sculpture.

With the whole world as your private gallery, the first step in design inspiration is to open your eyes and have a look around.

My Learning Space works with designers to deliver content that can keep your clients and learners creatively engaged.