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Google is a great tool and it does provide some level of visual inspiration for people. But when Google is our primary source of inspiration we are cheating the creativity within. Inspiration is defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something” (Oxford Dictionary). Visual references, such as Google or Pinterest, do provide us with mental stimulation. But in scrolling through a moshpit of images, we cheat ourselves of the opportunity to engage with the emotion that fuels inspiration. In my experience, the inspiration that results in my most meaningful work is not just mentally stimulating, but emotionally stimulating. It must first be felt.

Of course, this makes sense to us. Before we can create something that delivers a feeling, we must feel it. That isn’t as easy as typing something into Google. But when we take the time to immerse ourselves in our experiences and take time to ponder emotion we are greatly rewarded with inspiration that stirs us. It is when we are stirred from within that we move forward with purpose and are better prepared to create something truly meaningful. There is indeed a lot of inspiration to be found in everyday life. However, there is also a lot of inspiration out there for the taking. Nature, adventure, story, music and so much more provide unique opportunities to be inspired, but these experience often need to the sought out. So lace up your boots and get going!

Another easy, but often overlooked, way to find this kind of inspiration is by carefully listening to the client during the discovery session. There is much glean by asking the right questions and carefully listening to your client. This is a major source of inspiration for me and why I can get excited about every project I work on. When the client is excited and passionate about their brand it inspires me to craft a brand identity that delivers that same emotion to their customers. However, sometimes it takes some work to uncover that passion. It’s not that they don’t care about their brand, but sometimes it can be hard to communicate. That is why it’s important to ask good questions and carefully listen to the response and ask more questions. When you properly understand the story behind a brand and the problems that it faces, it’s equally exciting and intimidating. But it is in that emotion that I often find inspiration to carefully craft a meaningful solution.


Jon Allison

I am an award-winning designer and an outdoor enthusiast, and my approach to design is undoubtedly influenced by the great Canadian landscape. Just as the perfect sunrise can transcend language, so too can smart design when it is the right choice, for the right audience.

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