This is a guest post from Kyle Schembri currently going to school at the University of Victoria while working with the Vancouver based Flipp Creative. You can find him on Twitter every once and a while.

Craig Baldwin writes a helpful column here at Inspired Mag were he organizes and posts the best design inspiration to be found on the web. His posts are great for designers looking for an extra boost. But without offline inspiration, you risk to narrow your vision of creativity. Lately, it’s started to become forgotten that your designs can be inspired not just by the work of others, but by your surroundings and the objects around you.

One of the first projects I ever completed as a freelancer was to create a simple logo design for an upcoming landscaping company. I remember sitting down at the computer with an open photoshop window, having it consistently remain blank after every session. Several unsuccessful attempts later I left my desk to grab a new cup of coffee, only to find the inspiration I needed right outside. Looking back at it now makes it seem so simplistically stupid, yet at the time it was brilliant. Within the next hour I quickly combined several shades of green and the curvy shape found in the blades of grass surrounding me. An inspirational transition which I always show on my portfolio, allowing the client to always see my creative thought process.

The point this post is trying to make, is that designers (especially those just starting out) need to get out and explore more often. Find your inspiration not at CSS showcase websites, or the top 25 best business cards, but rather in your world outside of the walls surrounding your office. Take a look at the animals in your neighbourhood, the buildings surrounding your house, and the colour combinations found just down the block. As a designer, you will quickly realize that you will gain more respect from a client who has seen your thought process, compared to one that hasn’t.

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