Ever sat staring at a blank screen or sheet of paper, wondering what to have for dinner, where to walk the dog later, when the mailman will deliver the next set of bills… ANYTHING but what to create? Your mind is scurrying like a mouse in a maze but nothing useful is happening. It’s a horrible feeling — but creative endeavors don’t have to be that way.
When we set out to design our logo, our website, or even social media posts, trying to pull the ideas out of thin air isn’t the best use of your time. Few things in this world are new, so why reinvent the wheel when it comes to things like logos or websites?
Web design isn’t divine inspiration
A more useful way to approach the problem is to research what’s been done well before and use that to kickstart your ideas.
Now, I’m not suggesting you replicate someone else’s work by copy-pasting and then adding your own details! But, by looking at existing material and deciding whether you like it — or don’t — what works for you and what doesn’t, and how you might incorporate similar ideas in your own work… that’s absolutely legit.
The best way to do this is to find at least three examples (that you LOVE) of whatever it is you want to create. Three websites, three logos, three whatevers.
Don’t limit yourself to only reviewing things pertaining to dog training. Check out logos, websites, or social posts in other fields — it’s the design inspiration you’re after, not the nitty gritty of the text or images, so the “content” is irrelevant.
Why at least three? Because then you can see trends that are common to all of them. Maybe it’s the font style, or the use of negative space, or the colors you like. While you’re gathering information, also note the things you don’t like. Why did you love this one but hate that one?
Part of our web design process at Click and Repeat involves just that. We ask clients to pick 3 websites they like and 3 websites they dislike so we can get a good idea of what they’re looking for in a design.
Where to start
To help you get started we’ve put together a list of great places to look for inspiration.
- If you’re interested in font types and styles, Goodtype is a great place to start. Your font doesn’t only convey the words you want to say, it also says a lot about how you want to portray yourself and your business.
- Dribbble is aimed at graphic designers but there is a huge array of creative ideas here. Under the “inspiration” link in the top menu you’ll find further links to branding (logos etc.) and websites well worth a browse.
- Pinterest is another great place for firing up your imagination. Just do a search for the type of material you’re researching, logo designs, web designs etc.
- Canva is another great tool for kickstarting the design process. They have templates for just about everything, with the added bonus that you can play around with fonts and graphics too. Want some help with your Canva templates? We now offer custom social media templates!
- Click and Repeat’s websites to like and dislike doc — this is what we send to potential website clients and there’s lots of variation.
- If you want to get a better handle on good web design, as well as find some fun inspirational input, check out the Adobe XD Ideas site. Run by Adobe, the huge software company that created a whole bunch of design software, this site has a library of articles giving great tips for getting your web design just right.
- If you’re using DIVI to create your website, you can’t go wrong. Elegant Themes has lots of pre-made layouts you can use to kickstart your build.
- Want to see some DIVI layouts already up and running? The helpful guys over at Elegant Themes have live examples for you to peruse.
Now that I’ve given your muse a shot of caffeine, it’s time to go forth and play — because as every good dog trainer knows, play and work are totally interchangeable!