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What Makes a Successful Graphic Designer – Hard Work Or Inspiration?

The first thing that pops up in graphic designers mind, when they get a project is how to get started? Should they start searching the internet for ideas or grabbing a paper and pencil will be a better way to kick off? Should he solely rely on inspiration to start with a graphic design project or should he work hard from scratch to conceive an original idea?

Based on the process of accomplishing a graphic design project, there are three major types of graphic designers. The first are the ‘Lazy Workers’ who directly scavenge the web for ‘inspiration’ and try to pass off the work as ‘original’. The other type is the ‘Hard Workers’ who toil and sweat to drain out original ideas from their brain. The last type of designers is what I would like to call the “Smart Workers” who combine the effects of both inspiration and hard work. Which type of graphic designer should you avoid being?

But before you reach to a conclusion, let us analyze the dual outcomes of both aspects… ‘inspiration’ and ‘hard work’.

• Outcomes of Inspiration in Graphic Design:

Each day, more and more sites are evolving that provide access to graphic design inspiration. No doubt, these sites provide graphic designers a lot of help to get their creative juices flowing, but they also pose some disadvantages. Following are the positive and negative effects of inspiration on graphic design.

1. Saves Time and Effort:

Save Time and Efforts
For those graphic designers who are looking for a quick guidance for their graphic design project, inspiration is a wonderful tool to save time and efforts. Although it is not prudent to rely solely on inspiration, nonetheless it does save your time on brainstorming and conjuring up logo design ideas. For those designers who like to procrastinate or run short of time, it is a shrewd way of getting the job done.

2. Limits Creative Power:

As said earlier, inspiration has its advantages but also yields some drawbacks too. When you become overly reliant of ‘inspirational sites’ to give you design ideas, your creative and thinking power becomes restricted. For any graphic designer, it is not a good sign and also limits your ability to grow as a designer.

3. Higher Chances of Plagiarism:

Higher Chances of Plagiarism
On the downside, using inspiration can cause serious issues of copyright and plagiarism. Since you are just amending some aspects of an already existing design, there are chances that your design will look similar. One of the biggest personality types of graphic designer is uniqueness. This cannot be achieved by solely using inspirational material.

4. Learn About New Trends:

Regardless of the fact that inspiration limits your creative thinking, it gives you a lot to learn as well. Since thousands of creative designers upload their design concepts and ideas on inspirational platforms, it gives you a diverse spectrum of graphic and logo design trends to learn.

5. Causes Distraction:

Causes Distraction
The thing about using internet for ideas is that it causes a significant distraction. Considering the myriad blogs and websites that offer design inspiration have chains of ‘related stuff’ on each page, graphic designers are bound to keep on clicking one after the other. Moreover, the social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook will always be a constant waste of time.

• Outcomes of Hard Work in Graphic Design:

Having discussed the dual effects of inspiration, let us now turn our focus to the other side of the story. Those designers who work hard using their brain to generate a concept from scratch also reap various benefits. But there are a few drawbacks to this as well. Following are the dual outcomes of only using your head in graphic design:

1. Generate Unique Ideas:

Generate Unique Ideas
Firstly, when you don’t take aid from any source, you are bound to generate ideas that are unique, fresh and distinctive. The concept that you create using your head will be something that hasn’t been done before.

2. Boundless Creativity:

As I highlighted earlier, inspiration bounds your ability to think as a graphic designer. Hence, by working solely on the basis of your own intellect you can employ boundless creativity and ingenuity. Since your thinking is not limited to the designs you search on the net, you will have freedom over your creative though process. You can brainstorm for novel and fresh ideas, which is an important stage of developing a creative design idea.

3. Sense of Pride:

Sense of Pride

4. Create Your Own Trend:

Design inspiration is all about following already existing trends and movements in graphic design. But when you use your intellect and brain power, you create an entirely new trend. Instead of being a trend-follower, you will become a trend-setter.

5. Requires Relatively More Time:

Relatively More Time
On the downside, relying solely on your intellect is relatively more time taking. Since these types of designers follow a comprehensive process, it involves more time that the designers who directly take inspiration from various sites and finish off the project.

What Do You Prefer?

“Inspiration without hard work is ineffective. Graphic designers shouldn’t consider inspiration as the solution to their problems. Rather, inspirational material should be used as a tool to working harder and effectively. In conclusion, I would like to ask my fellow graphic designers as to which way to do they prefer? And Why?”


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