Week 3 Discussion – Finding Creativity

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Week 3 Discussion – Finding Creativity

22 unread replies.22 replies.

Initial post due by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. (MT) of Week 3
Two replies due by Saturday, 11:59 p.m. (MT) end of Week 3 (60 pts)

Due Dates and Participation Requirements

Learning Objectives Covered

  • LO 02.01 – Discuss the application of three historic and two contemporary design inspiration sources on design production

Career Relevancy

In this discussion, we will discuss finding design inspiration. In the past, being inspired was thought to be something mystical, bestowed on one from the gods. Though this mystical thinking has largely passed, inspiration can still be elusive. In contemporary times designers must consciously cultivate practices to support inspiration. This is relevant to your career as a professional graphic designer because part of the design process for every project includes researching for visual inspiration. Many professional designers make a practice of compiling design inspiration sources and websites so that when they begin a project or get stuck while working on a project, they will have other ideas which to consult and refer.



Design is an inherently creative act. Every piece of design requires you as the designer to artfully weave your client’s message and your audience’s needs together to create a compelling piece of visual communication. As a designer, you are constantly being asked to create new and engaging visual things. That said, the constant schedule of design production can leave you as a designer feeling overwhelmed and uninspired.

One way to counter these negatives is to be intentional about visiting design inspiration sources and engaging in design inspiration practices. Inspiration is not about directly copying someone else’s work rather looking at other designer’s work (either from the past or from the present) to help you generate new ideas. The following five design inspiration sources are especially common amongst professional designers:

  1. Museums (or museum websites)
  2. Design Archives/Design History Blogs
  3. Podcasts/YouTube Presentations
  4. Contemporary Design Blogs
  5. Nature (or nature photography websites)

Historic Design Inspiration Sources

The first three of these inspiration sources are historic meaning they involve browsing design artifacts created in a past era. Visiting museums and browsing design archives can give you insight into how designers in the past have dealt with the same or similar situations. This can provide you with a fresh perspective and inspiration on a design production situation. Listening (through podcasts and videos) to designers in the past speak about their process and thinking can also be inspiring to the design production process.

Contemporary Design Inspiration Sources

The last two of these inspiration sources are contemporary. Looking at work that is being (or has recently been) produced can give you great inspiration as to what is currently happening in the design field and who is working with a target audience that is much like yours. Finally, being out in nature or even just looking at pictures of nature can give your brain a great break, recharging both your mind and your creative energy. You never know where you might find the perfect color scheme, imagery, etc.


For this discussion, imagine that you are attending a networking event with several other designers. One of the designers you are chatting with is stuck on a logo design project and has become very discouraged. He is feeling totally uninspired and is considering telling the client he cannot complete the project because he has no more good ideas.

  • How might you explain why is it important to look outside yourself for inspiration?
  • Taking into account what you know about design inspiration, how might he apply any of the three historic and two contemporary design inspiration sources on design production?
  • Why can looking to historical sources for inspiration stimulate creativity?
  • Why can looking to contemporary sources for inspiration stimulate creativity?

For your citation, you might use articles that show examples of the importance of inspiration in the graphic design practice. You can also find articles from experts that suggest where to find design inspiration.

Your initial and reply posts should work to develop a group understanding of this topic. Challenge each other. Build on each other. Always be respectful but discuss this and figure it out together.

Reply Requirements

Per the Due Dates and Participation Requirements for this course, you must submit 1 main post of 150+ words, 1 citation, and reference, as well as 2 follow-up posts of 50+ words. Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be your own words (no copy and paste), each reply unique (no repeating something you already said), and substantial in nature. Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time (20%) and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. (20% per post).

Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.

Click here for info on the Institution Writing Guidelines (IWG) if you have questions.


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