6 Best Places For Designers to Get Inspired Offline

The online world is one of the greatest things I ever was introduced to.  The online world has so many advantages that digital artists can utilize to make their lives easier.

So many websites have vast collections of art submitted on a daily basis and there are sites purely dedicated to inspiring graphic artists.  But what happens when the power goes out and your 3G isn’t cutting it?

I was inspired to write this post because this Sunday my high speed internet was down with a lot of others in my area from a certain service provider having trouble with it’s servers.  After two hours of not being able to be fully productive as I would have been with the internet up I started to think about all the other places I go to draw inspiration from.

For anyone who has ever went to the gym they know that your muscles don’t grow while your lifting but they grow as they repair.

This statement holds true for art as well.

Leaving your computer desk and taking a break from a piece you have been working on to get a clear head can sometimes be the best way to get great results.  Art surrounds us in every shape and form and not noticing it is a crime.

I’m going to give you the top 6 places I draw inspiration from and feel free to add some of your own in the replies and I will add them to this post.

6 Best Places For Designers to Get Inspired Offline

The Mall:

offline inspiration

Being a guy one of the last places I want to go is the mall because I hate shopping but if your going to get dragged there or need to go you mine as well take notice of all the great art that is surrounding you.  The mall is a high priority spot for advertisers and especially around the holidays.  You can’t turn around and not see at least a few advertisements in your face.  Besides the advertisements there is a plethora of stores all around you.  Each company has their own brand and logo, and with the mall being a melting pot of stores you’re going to get a very wide variety of logo types.


be inspired by nature

Something about the forest preserves and rolling rivers that hit you more than a lot.  Being out in nature with a clear head just to think or jogging around a path can sometimes be the most motivating.  Photographers especially can find nature a great place to get inspired for their next shot because they can find the beauty in every inch.

Book Store:

Not only do book stores have thousands of books each with a different cover, some more interesting than others mind you, but they also have books on how to get inspired too.  Imagine that going to a book store to get inspired as opposed to the internet.  Sounds so archaic

Video Games:

video games inspire designers

I can already see a lot of you being very excited about this one.  ”You mean to tell me in order to get inspired I have to go play video games.” Well yes actually that’s right.

Some of the best designers and animators work for the gaming companies of the world.  You will get great animations and great UI.  Some of the best user experience is in game menus.  Not to mention each game has it’s own brand and logo to go with it.  Many of the most iconic game logos come from the old arcades we use to play.  There is no wonder some of those will stand the test of time.


Another one of my personal favorites is watching TV.  This one is a gem because it’s something you can do when your out with other people so your not sitting alone like a glansberg.  One of the worst parts about TV shows are the commercials but for a productive designer it’s a great time to take mental notes on what some of the ad agencies are doing.  They are great typographists and a lot of them have cool subtle special effects.  Just like the TV series are the big budget movies that have great special effects and opening theatrical trailers.  There really is so much to draw out if you are avidly looking for it.

Coffee Shop:

coffee shop inspires designers

Ok, this one I might get some flac for because everyone is going to say there is WiFi at most coffee shops nowadays.  We’ll this is true however sometimes just getting out of your comfort zone and work space can help you draw inspiration.

Maybe it’s the overzealous baristas or the high caffeine in the coffee but for whatever reason a lot of creatives keep coming back here as their go to place for design.  Besides if you are a freelancer, isn’t one of the luxuries of freelancing is to have freedom?  Why not take advantage of it and bring your portable work space with you.


I hope these 6 methods to stay inspired offline got your minds thinking outside of the box on how to always keep your brain coming up with new ideas.  Next time we’ll explain the best ways to stay productive offline.  Look for that article coming soon!