Every Web Designer has experienced it on more than one occasion – the lack of inspiration for that next stunning design. Whether you are swamped with projects and simply cannot focus, or you just have not designed in so long that you have lost motivation, these tips will work for you.
1. Take a break – When you are trying to create a new design for a client, there really is no point to staring at the computer screen watching your mouse draw boxes on the Photoshop canvas. Take a break: exit out of Photoshop completely and do something else for a bit that allows your mind to open up. Try going for a jog (or maybe a walk if you are not the running-inclined), or even playing a video game or watching television. The key here is to take your mind off of the fact that you are having a hard time coming up with a design. Then, when you return to your favorite image editing program (do make sure to return), you will have a fresh mind. Or, better yet, an idea will have already hit you when you were on the break!
2. Colors – Color is a big part of design. So, instead of just sitting there, go find something colorful to look at. It can be something physical like a painting or sculpture, or it can be something digital such as color sharing websites (like http://colourlovers.com and http://kuler.adobe.com/). A nice thing about the latter is that those kind of websites usually allow you to download a pallet for Photoshop so you can quickly jump in and start playing around with the colors. If you don’t like a certain pallet, just switch to another one – easy.
3. Start somewhere different – Instead of starting where you usually start, try something different. If you usually start creating the logo first, begin by designing the general structure of the website. Use different shapes to give you inspiration – try different rounded borders radii, try not using rounded borders. If you usually start at the opposite end of the spectrum, try creating the logo first. Start out with some basic text – maybe the website name or URL. Then spice it up… would that ampersand look better as a different font? Maybe you should use different colors separating different parts of the title? Play with font styles and sizes.
4. Get new fonts/brushes – No designer can have enough fonts & Photoshop brushes. Go searching for new ones – download a whole directory of fonts and brushes and play around with them in Photoshop. Brushes are a great way to give inspiration: pick a good brush at a decent size and start splatting it on the canvas. You may be able to actually fit what you make into a design, but if you don’t you might find a good color contrast or an interesting effect.
5. Use other designers to your advantage – Web designers can be of great inspiration to each other, either directly or indirectly. Go out and talk to other web designers on IM, in person, on the phone, on social networking websites, etc. Let them know of your designer block – they will probably share similar experiences with you and how they overcame theirs. If you are not feeling so socially inclined you can also go out and look at other website templates for motivation – but be careful, you don’t want to rip anybody off.
So use these tips to your advantage. Let’s start with the first one – take a break! Good luck.