Friday Design Inspiration and Tips

Happy Friday, dear readers! Can you believe we are over a quarter of the way through another year? I can’t. Time is speeding up, I think, which is worrisome. What isn’t worrisome though is the new batch of inspiration we have since it is now April. I hope that the beginnings of spring or fall, depending on where in the world you are currently, have inspired you in your work and in your creating.

One of the things I most look forward to is seeing the new batch of desktop wallpapers on Smashing Magazine each moth and the April desktop wallpapers are absolutely delightful. I’d love to change out the desktops each month on the library’s computers, but I’m sure the campus would be annoyed we weren’t using official branding. Ah, well. At least we can be inspired when looking at our office and home monitors.

Smashing Magazine has also posted their monthly inspiration column: April inspiration. So many lovely photographs and illustrations and the color combinations make me want to create so many new things. Right now, though, I’m working on mock-ups in black & white that can be classy, but springtime makes me crave color.

Any season change is inspiring, but some are more than others. Do you find yourself getting into a rut creatively? Not sure what to do to make your next handout more effective? Reaching for the same typefaces and color palettes for every project? Everyone gets there sometimes. What is important then is what you do to get out of a creative rut. Some people go to the museum, others walking, others reviewing their inspiration file. Me? I was feeling in a bit of a rut, especially as I don’t get to apply much of my love of graphic design in my work on a daily basis, which is a shame. So I decided to stretch myself creatively and take an introduction to artists’ books workshop.

It was just the thing I needed to start looking at the world in a slightly different angle and seeing how I could integrate different forms of art with bookbinding and maybe even a future exhibit at the library. So I want to leave with sharing a couple of photos from what I started to make at the workshop. The words are from the end of a quote from Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, “It means you must still take long walks at night around your city or town, or walks in the country by day. And long walks, at any time, through bookstores and libraries.”

photograph of three booklets made in a workshop

Selection of small books made to demonstrate different formats

photograph of open book with the words "through bookstores and libraries" written on the pages

Last pages of book using Bradbury’s quote


I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of time to refill your creative tanks and relax. I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y!