Getting Inspired VS Copying
Looking for inspiration is a vital role in every designer’s work, actually the first phase in designing a website or a logo is usually researching the competition and similar design styles.
The journey to inspiration consists of the most favorite inspiration galleries, seeking other people’s work, browsing many sources that might be helpful to the project (e.g.: awwwards.com for websites), and seeing the latest trends, to come up with something new.
Internet has made the inspiration process much faster and easier, however, at some point, what was supposed to be an inspiration turns out to be an exact copy.
When does inspiration becomes Copying
The more a person seeks inspiration and works on his project, the more he will come up with better results. Unfortunately, some people tend to look for an easier and effortless way to do so, by copying other people’s work.
Why copying is bad?
- Copying promotes a culture of being lazy. People do not want to think but want to get credit or pass in assignments by taking shortcuts and stealing other peoples’ success.
- It decreases the effectiveness of both parties. Each brand should have its own unique identity and strategy. When it is copied, both brands (especially the copied one) become less important and less efficient.
- Your brand is different and original. Every branding should translate the message of the brand. This means every project needs to have its own strategy based on the brand’s target and customers, so it really reaches authentic and efficient results.
- You’re not fooling anyone. If you’re not pushing out original design, ideas, content, etc, you will most likely fail.
- You’re hired to do something original and creative. try to come up with something your client will fall in love with, because that’s what they hired you for.
When is it okay to copy?
Copying can be allowed for learning purposes and when it’s meant to be copied. For example, some tutorials or magazines are specially made for guidance purposes. Their main aim is to teach people how to create a specific product. Make sure there is no copyright on the end product.
Copying an artwork for any learning purpose is okay as long as you do not publish it and pass it as if it is your own.
A long time back, Sir George Cayley saw a bird and wanted to fly. He grasped the concept of two wings, a tail, and a body, and borrowed it, improved it and tested it. Much later, after quite a few attempts to borrow-improve-return, he presented the first scientific design for a fixed-wing aircraft. This is how airplane was invented.
Inspiration is the light that glows to lighten up our creativity, to create something beautiful.
Not sure how to get inspired?
The following are some tips on how to get inspired without crossing the copying thin line.
- Work on something new and exciting. Get inspired by a competitor or any other source, take the time to figure out what did you like about it, then change it up to work for your brand. Just make sure to create it from your memory and not from the source.
- Have diversity in the sources of creative works that inspire you. The easiest way to find inspiration is online sources. But also, don’t forget to get inspired by nature, people, photographs, books, magazines, cities… and many other things.
- Make a better version of the original. Whether work was done within a certain creative department or not, looking into competitors’ presence is important in order to achieve better work.
- Know when it’s time to drop it. It might happen that you arrive to a dead end. You end up with a copy. It is okay. Drop it and start over again.
Turning in someone else’s work as your own without giving credit is considered plagiarism.
What makes a unique person is the way or methods he uses while looking for inspiration.
At Maze, we take our time to have wide research, get inspired by the latest and most successful projects to come up with something original, successful and innovative.