A Node of Inspiration

Published in Fiftyfoureleven on Friday, November 4th, 2005

I was cleaning up some of the design comps for the version four design of Fiftyfoureleven, when I came across what was the original inspiration for the color palette.

I know that I'm not the first to write about this, but one of the things that I do on a regular basis is keep small snippets of design around that I enjoy. Magazine clippings tend to end up in a box in my office, while screen captures litter a folder on my desktop.

As a non-designer (Garrett has more tips for us), I find that the magazine clippings in particular help me to envision a pallette and a look and feel, and this in turn helps me to create a variety of mock-ups.

Before I had this inspiration around, I found that it was easy to get railed into a certain look or feel, and it became a bit tedious to try and provide a client with a variety of options. Having bits of inspiration to refer to has been somewhat successful at getting my mind away from a look or feel that I have already tried, and most likely worked to death.

Anybody else out there have different methods for getting around this?

Fiftyfoureleven V4 node

I'm not sure how the ad below made it all happen for this design, but it did.

The color palette does match for the most part, and for whatever reason, seeing this ad made all of the design thoughts that had been rattling in my head come together.

Within about an hour the first mock-ups were made. They weren't the final mock-ups, mind you, but the majority of the work that was necessary, and this particular piece of inspiration was the one that made it all click.

Comments and Feedback

Great work on your redesign! It is very nice and pleasing to the eye. Excellent job!

So presumably the lack of Comic Sans for article text is an oversight you'll be addressing soon, Mike..? ;)

Thanks Robert! (congrats on the girl!)

Yeah, Matthew, you'll be seeing the most extensive and complicated use of SiFR to date (I want to make sure that everyone gets it). I'm just waiting for V3.0 to be released ;-)

I really adore your website's design!

Perception of colour is very subjective - influenced by your mood, trends and environment. While it's useful to collect inspiration from magazines, screen captures, etc... I don't show these to clients because their opinions will change when they see them on a screen the next day.

Hey Adam, thanks, and thanks for stopping by! I recognize your site from the reboot (always a good sign!). I too was up quite late.

I tend to keep these things away from clients as well. I use them for myself, mostly. And yes, colors do change a lot depending on the day, mood, monitor.. etc.

But that is the red from your brochure. The same RGB values; we also scanned it for you to see for yourself. Take a look!

Clients.. :-)

I do much the same thing you do - I occasionally save magazine clippings, and I have several folders of screenshots. Each one has some design element, layout, or colour scheme I thought was worth holding on to. Most of my designs are syntheses of inspiration nodes I have saved.

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