As creatives we expected to come up with new and fresh ideas for our clients. We find ourselves relying on designs that have either influenced us in the past or design we have seen currently that someone has already thought of.

We sometimes face road blocks when it comes to developing new ideas, so we look to others to inspire us. The key word here is ‘Inspiration’ and not ‘Duplication’, which can sometimes be a struggle when dealing with clients or trying to come up with new ideas.

The best way to approach this situation is to ask yourself. What makes you different from all the other creatives out there?

So how can you ensure you provide your client a design solution they are after?

By Communication and Clarity; by asking the client what inspires them, you get a better understanding on what solutions you can provide them but that’s where the buck stops. You use inspiration to ensure you can provide an evolution for new creative outcome that is more suitable to your clients’ need. Always remember that what might work for one client might not work for the next, there will always be adjustments.

When creating for clients, they trust that you are providing them with something original and suited to their business needs. Keep in mind that the they are going to make this public. The Liability falls on them, but the reputation falls on you. The last thing you need while you’re trying to grow your business is to have a reputation as a cowboy designer.

Cowboy Designer – Someone who cuts corners and steals ideas as their own.

If you are running short of ideas or encounter some creative road blocks, here are some things you can do:

  • Create a mood board of inspiration or ideas that you like, see what you can do to improve it, breakdown, tear it apart and rebuild it.
  • Go to a creative events, for example: art galleries or festivals
  • Read books written by creative people
  • Research top designers, blog sites or websites
  • Join forums like Behance or Dribbble and create works, seek opinion and critiques.

This will not only help you improve your skill set, but can help spark new creative ideas.

There are plenty of ways for you to be creative and provide your client best design that is suited to their business needs. You just need to go out and research and ensure you are delivering the best creative work you can.



As a designer finding inspiration is always a challenge. But look in the right places and you can find some great tools out there that you can put in your utility belt to use later. Simply by utilising some of your down time, you can find some great sites out there that can assist you in creative inspiration.

These links are not just beneficial to the designer but the client as well. How many times have you asked a client, what colour theme they are after? when you could easily send them a link to colour swatches, saving you time of back and forth with the client. Or asking a client, what inspires them? and be able to show them by creating a mood or vision board.

Below are some great websites to help you get started, these sites are here to help you kick-start some design inspiration or concepts for your next client.



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is a great site if you are looking to explore colour pallets. It’s a great assist when it comes to finding the right colour relationships or combination colour schemes. Saving this site in your favourites would be great in your every day design needs.


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Obtaining royalty free images can be costly, so above are some of the great sites where you can obtain some amazing imagery. Something to remember, with respect to the photographer or supplier of the images, please ensure you return the favour in providing a credit to the artist.

Always remember as a designer your work is on show, be mindful of the images you use in your clients work. Copying images off google and using it as your own work or worse, your clients work can be harmful to your client and their business not to mention your business and your reputation. If a client wants something specific that you can’t supply without having to pay for the image rights. Make the client aware of the cost involved and ensure they are willing to pay.

Sites like, and supply some amazing imagery at a price. Before you buy, you download the image as a preview; yes it will have watermarks on it, but use it as a place holder for the client to decide if it is the right image for them. Once they have agreed on the cost, then you can purchase the user rights.


Feel like you need to enhance your skill set. Beside the obvious, there are some free tutorial sites like:

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Accessing tutorial like these allow you to explore different techniques, lean new shortcuts in in your design processes and improve your skillset. Alternative to free, you can also subscribe to Though is a subscription site, there are a lot tips, tutorials and skills based training courses you can benefit from.


One of the best ways to impress a client is to have a mood board or vision board prepared. The client will be able to see and understand what you envision for their brand and also allows them to be a part of the process. Mood or vision boards are a collection of images and text samples organised in some way that help explore the desired overall look and feel or tone of a project. A mood board is not essential for every type of project but for major projects including web sites and applications, marketing campaigns, and in developing a corporate identity system they can be invaluable brainstorming and guidance tools.

Some great site for where you can create mood or vision boards are:

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There are plenty of tools out there to assist you in becoming a great designer. The web is a great host for a lot of the world’s design inspiration. But also look outside of the online space. If you can’t find a picture you are after in an image library, grab your camera or phone and try and create it your self. If you can’t see an icon that a client or you require something specific then try and draw it and re-create it in Illustrator.

As a creative, you have the best tool on hand and that’s your imagination. So get started, there is a lot of inspiration in the world out there to ensure you are delivering greatness.