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Using Graphic Design Inspiration and Avoiding Plagiarism

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One of the most difficult things to do is gain inspiration without copying or stealing someone else’s ideas. Because we are surrounded by designs and art in everyday lives, trying to find that fine line between inspiration and theft proves to be problematic at times. Especially when you take into account that all designs are essentially influenced by the earlier created works of art we are surrounded by. The Internet alone has millions upon millions of graphic design inspiration at your fingertips. These days, with so many resources so readily available, finding inspiration for a design is pretty easy. The difficult part is taking the idea and making something new of it. How do you do that, you ask; by merging various concepts, approaches and design features together.

When doing a search for graphic design inspiration, don’t stop at one idea. Keep your searches going for additional designs that are related or similar in color, content and structure to what you are looking for. The objective is not to choose one design and duplicate it, instead find a collection of elements that can work together in a different way. As you’re doing your search you should be looking at the design and picking it apart to see if any piece can be meshed with another to create something fresh. Your ultimate goal is to combine the best components of each of these, creating a new design that inspires you.

Once you’ve gathered some inspirational ideas, take a deeper look and study the fine details that really make them stand out and catch your eye. Look for typography, light effects and gradients; these are the subtle details that bring the design to life. You should be asking yourself, “Why do I love this design so much?” Once you have it pinpointed it will be easy for you to create a new vision with different concepts. When you’re finished, it should not look like an imitation of any of the other designs. It should be a renewed design created with the contribution of them all. You must work to fuse the different elements with common stylistic methods to transform your design into something brand new.

There is no guidebook that teaches you how to search for graphic design inspiration and not commit plagiarism, but there are some forthright ways to avoid it. By using the strategies mentioned above we can all help the circulation of new ideas, creating new inspiration for everyone.

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