My biggest design secret is that I steal like an artist.
"Art is theft." - Pablo Picasso
One of the most famous artists of all time knew that beautiful design is taken from the world around us. Before I ever design (and pretty much always) I look around for beautiful designs, I surround myself with them. I look at a lot of designs actively - analyzing the spacing, the colors, the little details. I learn from every design either what to do or what not to do.
"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn." - T.S. Eliot
I use two sources repeatedly dribble and my flat/minimal pinterest board. I look through them to get ideas, to see what I like right now, and to see how different designs feel. Here are a few interesting things I uncovered today:
- I didn't find anything on dribble that really resonated with me. Usually I do. That's why it's good to have multiple sources of inspiration. You never know where it's going to come from.
- I found some designs on my Pinterest board that I hadn't paid much attention to since I pinned them. For some reason they stood out to me today.
- I found myself focused mainly on what I was going to do for the header. For me, if I can get the header right the rest follows. I focus my efforts on the header because that is also the most important part of the page.
Typically I just leave the tabs in my internet browser open on the designs that I find inspiring - add to it throughout the design process or remove ones I realize I won't use. I like the idea of having them all here on this page. Here is the beginning of the designs I will continually look at as I design the landing page:
The Next Step (Step 4)
Since the header is so important, in this step I make sure I'm clear what it's going to look like.