We’ve all heard the phrase “inspiration is everywhere”. While that might be true, we still need to know where and how to uncover the best ideas. If we take a systematic approach, we can save lots of time and can better ideas for inspiration. In this article I will outline a few simple steps on how to find inspiration for your next design project.
For our examples, let’s assume we’re designing a website for a leather shop that sales hand-made leather products such as wallets, book covers, belts, notebooks, etc. Following a few simple steps we will find inspiration for designing the website.
NOTE – Even though I’m showing you where to find other themes do not copy them. They’re only to help get ideas and inspiration.
Websites in the Same or Similar Genre
Google or Bing the genre of the website and take a look at the top results. Make a note of the website’s elements. This includes menus, colors, sections, animations, images, etc.
For our example I typed in Leather Shop and got a few stores that sale hand-made products, a supply store, and Wilson’s Leather. A site called WillLeatherGoods.com had by far the most impressive site.
Once you’ve looked at a few websites go back to your search and select images. The keywords Leather Shop gave me lots of images of shops, tools, products, people doing leather-work on workbenches, etc. Look for a few images that you like the colors for and save them. This will show you colors that work well for your genre.
Use a tool like Adobe Color CC to choose your pallet from the images.
Theme Sales Sites
Go to a site such as ThemeForest and select themes (it doesn’t matter if they’re WordPress or not). You can either search for a specific genre or just sort by best sellers or highest rated. These will be the designs that have the most popular features and colors. Be sure to look for the latest dates as well. If there aren’t a lot of themes in that genre then just look for the latest themes.
The themes in the leather genre were too old for any layout inspiration, so I selected the closest category. I also selected the most popular themes overall and looked at their pre-made layouts. If you still have trouble finding something in your genre then use a related keyword. I used the word Handmade and found even more inspiration.
Websites that create and host your site for you have lots of themes to browse.
These include makers such as:
Select a category and browse. Once you find a template you like go through all of the pages, making notes of what stands out to you.
Search for your genre with the keywords Web Design. You can then pin the websites that interest you into an inspiration board. My search revealed several excellent website ideas for color, layouts, features, and images.
Thumb through a few popular magazines. It helps if they’re in the same genre so you can get a feel of the colors that are prominent, but it’s also a good idea to look at other genres. You never know what kind of photo or page design will strike you.
There are even more ways and places to get design inspiration but these techniques will get you going in the right direction quickly and give you plenty of ideas for designing your next project.
What’s your favorite technique for finding design inspiration?
Photo Credit: unsplash.com
Randy is a WordPress writer and child theme developer from east TN. You can catch him writing, reading, guitaring, or drinking coffee just about any time, night or day.