Steve Jobs famously said, "Picasso had a saying — 'good artists copy; great artists steal' — and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
For the record, we’re against stealing but there is no denying that inspiration is everywhere. What I take from Picasso’s quote is the notion that no idea is truly original and it’s how you use the work you are inspired by and make it your own that counts. From our designers to content creators, we’re all a product of what we consume. Whether it’s a book, film, or great piece of art, it has the ability to directly or indirectly impact our work.
In an interview with the Smithsonian, Jobs shared more about how artistry impacts the development of what was then called Macintosh. "I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before and finding a way to express that to other people who don't have that insight so they can get some of the advantage of that insight that makes them feel a certain way or allows them to do a certain thing. I think that a lot of the folks on the Macintosh team were capable of doing that and did exactly that."
As part of Speak’s Creative Production Plan put together for our partners, we look at other sites or design elements to seek inspiration. I asked a few Speaksters to share sites or other elements of design that are influencing their work these days.
Merging Print and Web Design
“I've been eyeing this design a lot because I admire how it almost merges print and web to create a piece that looks like you could find it being handed out at a museum just as easily as you'd come across it on the web.”
Gabby Windham, Designer
Fun and Sophisticated — Tone is Everything
“I was inspired by both of these sites (Mackpouya and Winchester College) when I came across them. One is fun and whimsical while the other is sophisticated. It’s a great reminder that every element of a design contributes to the tone of a site.”
Whitney Hochstein, Senior Designer
“I was visiting TN Vacation for information on hikes near me. I love the organic feel of the typography and almost scrapbook arrangement of the content. Overall it’s a really well-done design that fits the topic while providing a great user experience. I was able to find more than I was looking for on the site.”
Corrine Mizzell, Designer
Clean, Illustrative Styles
“I've had this site bookmarked for a few years now actually. They're an agency that designs & builds websites in Japan. I've always liked the clean, illustrative style that is rooted in their culture. I also like the super smooth animations/interactions.”
John Waddell, Senior Designer
“It’s not a site, but I use this Chrome extension a lot. I have a personalized curated feed with design, photography, technology, current events, and UX/UI highlights and featured articles. Sometimes I see an article or glimpse an image of something that others are exploring. It will spark something for me and how the idea may tie into my current projects. We open a lot of tabs every day in our browsers in our job. Finding a random glimpse of an idea might be just the catalyst for a new idea that we don’t think of until it’s time to create the solution.
A Fresh Take on Enterprise Design
“This site really stuck out to me because it does an incredible job of informing the user about a product that is normally considered a bit stale in a way that is fresh and unexpected. An enterprise site has a lot it needs to accomplish, but this site informs and excites.”
Stephen Smith, Designer and Developer
“I love the use of movement that guides a user’s eye down the page. It’s well done and I’d imagine it has a big impact on their average session duration (the time users spend on their page).”
Josh Cooper, Director of Creative
If you want a team that is constantly seeking inspiration for creative ideas, look no further. We’ll look at your brand with fresh eyes and help you imagine the possibilities. From a brand refresh to a website redesign, we’re ready to help.
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