Feed Your Brain: Why Inspiration Is The Key To Successful Design


Inspiration is all around you, but sometimes it’s easy to hit a creative block. In your time of need use our handy guide to help flourish the visionary juices once more.

Back in 2014 I wrote the article A Guide to Finding Your Daily Design Fix. Fast forward 4 years (wow time really does fly!) and I want to build on this piece and discuss sources of inspiration that will help you, as a creative, to produce beautiful work.

Borrowing a quote from my previous article: “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour films, music, books, paintings, poems, photographs, conversations, dreams, trees, architecture, street signs, clouds, light and shadows… authenticity is invaluable. Originality is non-existent”. This rallying cry was written by Paul Arden in one of my favourite books Whatever you think, think the opposite. To sum up his point, no design is original, everything is inspired by something that has been before. To create successful design you need great inspiration and great inspiration can be found ANYWHERE and in ANYTHING.

We are lucky enough to live in a generation where information, in its infinite forms, is readily available at the click of a mouse, tap of an iPhone or flick of a remote. Not only this, we live in land rich in design, culture and heritage with groundbreaking architecture, revolutionary technology and interesting inhabitants. Whether you realise it or not, inspiration really is all around us.

Subconsciously as a creative person you constantly absorb your surroundings and findings, ready to regurgitate the information at the appropriate time. But there are often times that you hit a brick wall and call upon inspiring resources to aid the design process. Although normally I would always recommend stepping away from your trusty Mac and gaining inspiration beyond four walls, sometimes pressure and deadlines mean it just isn’t possible. In these times of need here’s a helpful list of creative sources and influences on Instagram:


Spaces & Places

I Have This Thing With Floors

Phil Donohue

Museum of Arts & Design

Daniel Rueda

Design Boom


Bloggers & Mags

We Heart

Elsie & Emma: A Beautiful Mess

Grace Bonney: Design Sponge

Creative Boom

Lucy Feagins: The Design Files

Design Milk


The Dieline


Because we are surrounded by an abundance of inspiration, it can often be overwhelming and hard to take in. In these times use my handy guide to organise your thoughts.

Article originally posted on To Work or Play.

Images © Clare NicolsonSarah MatthewsI Have This Thing With FloorsSerial CutMelsys Illustrations & We Heart