Places to visit for creative inspiration

Working as a designer means it’s important to stay inspired, there are thousands of blogs dedicated to inspiration and Pinterest is full of photos to get your imagination going. Sometimes, however, it is nice to move away from the computer and get some real life inspiration but galleries and museums, whilst a good visit, can feel a bit stuffy. Instead visit some of these other sources of inspiration:


Record Shops:

Record shops can be a great source of inspiration, especially those stocking lots of independent labels. The music industry creates some really interesting out there pieces of design that often take your breath away and leave you wondering ‘how did they create that’. There is a real mix of lo-fi handmade style sleeves and really polished and stylized artwork. Taking some time to browse the shelves and absorb the spectrum of design can help you establish new ideas and techniques that you want to try out and use in your own projects.


After exploring Rough Trade ( you can’t help but leave inspired

The Cinema:

Going to the cinema can be a great showcase of creativeness, especially if you go to films where the Director has carefully considered and designed every element of the production. You can examine title sequence semiotics that set up the film and subtly indicate what might happen; look at how the props have been accurately designed for the scene; look at how the cinematography has been stylized. Every tiny detail adds up to a great cinema experience, a technique that can be applied to graphic design.

A single man

Stills from A Single Man directed by Tom Ford provides inspiration

The Supermarket:

Next time you are in the supermarket take the time to look at all the beautiful examples of branding around you. On the shelves you will find examples of branding projects and packaging design that have made it through rounds of client amends and buyers meetings to be presented to the consumer. Seeing these products in situ can help give you ideas of what actually works and inspire you with your branding project.

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Examples of inspiring branding on the supermarket shelves

A festival:

More and more festivals are being carefully curated and are becoming great sources of inspiration. Going to visit somewhere where you can be absorbed into a different world can allow your creative imagination to be set free. Whether it’s a music or food festival, there will be mountains of design pieces to take influence from.


The props at Secret Garden Party could provide new ideas for a print design

The Streets:

Taking to the streets wherever you are can be really inspiring. From the buildings themselves to the street art painted on the walls to the shop fascia’s and their window displays, there is masses of design engulfing you. As well as all this the act of passively walking can help clear room in your head for new ideas to develop.


One example of that is Redchurch Street in London – it has an abundance of inspiration from the colourful illustrations on the shop shutters to the styled restaurant branding. Can you think of a street full of inspiration in the area you live in?

Inspiration can be found anywhere; it’s all about becoming a sponge and absorbing everything that you see no matter what environment you are in. Everything is becoming more and more designed and considered which means day to day you can come into contact with great graphic design pieces.

Thanks to John Maguire for writing this piece for Designify!

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