The Inspiration Debate

August 16 2012 Visual Design

Every designer has a tried-and-true process to seek inspiration. For most people, this includes browsing through blogs and bookmarked websites, referencing physical books, visiting museums, etc.

Lately, with the advent of so much wonderful content online, designers have found themselves beginning to debate authentic inspiration.

What experiences are lost and/or gained by using either medium for inspiration? Does one’s inability to physically flip through webpages detract anything from the experience of flipping through a magazine? Can true inspiration happen through non-tactile experiences?

What we really are doing, regardless of the inspiration medium, is curating. A physical pin board is just as effective as the virtual pin boards we have on Pinterest. Flipping through pages of beautiful photography can be as inspiring as a walk through a museum. Inspiration happens in whatever way we can best curate and manifest those objects and items as meaningful references.

To that point, here are three designers who I admire for their use of design-inspiration curation via Pinterest:

  • Ashley Heafy’s Inspired Packaging Board is carefully curated and clever.
  • Joshua Mink’s board Iconographic¬†inspires beautiful data visualization.
  • Forest Young conquers design perspective in his aptly named Space¬†board.
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