One of the students on my How to design a Logo Course asked the question “What do I do when I run out of Ideas?” This is something that happens to most designers as some time or other. You are working on a project and just can’t seem to come up with a good idea.
(PS – sorry about the sniffing on the video, Hayfever won’t seem to go away!)
One of the best ways to keep a constant source of inspiration at your finger tips is to collect together pieces of design work you like. I like to do this by pasting things into a hardback sketch book, but you could just the bits in a folder or box too. Whenever you get a leaflet through the post or have finished with a newspaper magazine tear out bits of graphics you like and stick them in your sketchbook. You could even add notes as to why you like the graphic, perhaps you like the colours or perhaps the style of the typeface. This will also help you to learn more about graphic design and what works well and what doesn’t.
If you wanted to take it a step further you could keep different sketchbooks for different types of graphics. I have a sketchbook for general graphics, but also one for kids character design which I am very interested in,. You could perhaps create one each for typography, logos and illustration or photography or any other area of design you are interested in.
I really like collecting together “real physical imagery” but of course you can also collect imagery from the web and collect them together in iPhoto (mac), Picasa (mac and pc) or use an online service like Pinterest.