Designers: How To Gather Ideas That Will Impress

By . Filed in Web 2.0

More and more designers are turning to blogging to get their ideas about design out there and be heard by the greater design community online. However, there’s one special problem that many of them have: they have nothing really interesting to say about design. They will blog about things that are unimportant, or boring, or that no one really cares about.

It’s essential that designers who blog have something interesting to say. If you don’t have this one down, you’re going to get nowhere fast in the blogging world. No one will stick around to read bland, uninformative content. Let’s explore some ways designers can develop an interesting blogging voice that keeps readers coming back for more.

1. Read, Read, Then Read Some More

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until I can’t say it anymore: if you’re not reading, you are doing a great disservice to yourself as a designer. Books are the main portals through which everyone – designers and otherwise – gain wisdom which they can apply to their lives. Now, you may think that you need to read a lot of books about design specifically. And you do. But you also need to be reading about other topics as well.

Read about anything else you have a vague interest in, and, if you can manage it, things you know almost nothing about. Any unusual perspective gained through reading a book will certainly broaden your perspective as a designer, and also will give you an endless source of fascinating material to create blog posts about.

2. Travel

Dust off that passport and go sightseeing once in awhile. You never know what sort of inspiration is waiting for you in another city or country. It may surprise you to find inspiration in even the smallest villages in the most remote places.

Even at home in your own city, there are likely things you’ve never seen and places to explore. More and more people in recent years have started taking so-called “staycations” where they stay in their own towns and play the role of a tourist. They go to new areas they’ve never been, and learn some fascinating tidbits about the city where they live.

Travel can be an incredibly inspiring experience for the designer who is looking for things to blog about. All of the restaurants, shows, art galleries, parks, shops, and landmarks hidden in places most people never bother to look can provide you with a steady stream of content for years – perhaps even decades.

3. Make Friends With Designers & Non

It’s not called a community for nothing. Making friends with other people in the design community seems like an obvious thing to do, but you would be surprised at how many designers – especially freelancers – work almost completely in isolation. It’s easy, after all, to get into a rhythm of working at home in your pajamas, and not bother to get out and network with other people in your industry.

I will confess to falling victim to this one myself. Working at home definitely has its advantages, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have things any other way at this point.

Connect!

But you really have to work hard to make those vital connections to other people in your line of work, especially when you’re not being compelled to work together on a team project. Send an email or two now and then to a designer whose work you admire, or contact them through social media. Chances are they could use the conversation as well.

People outside your industry can also provide you with much-needed perspective about the world outside of design. And if you’re going to be working with non-designers as clients, this is very valuable information for you to have.

Again, it can be hard for freelance designers to keep up steady communication with those outside their immediate circle of family and friends, but it’s definitely an essential step to having things to write about, both design-related and not.

4. Make it personal

If you’re not being yourself on your blog, there’s no point in blogging. Yes, it’s important to stay on brand and cultivate a certain presentation that your readers can appreciate, but it should all be genuine and unique to you. Clients and fellow designers want to see the real you – don’t be afraid to let your opinions be known. Even if they’re controversial or edgy – especially if they’re controversial or edgy.

Continuing on a similar theme, you should also be sharing the things you love with your readers in terms of design. Do you have a favorite style or design period? Or maybe there’s some contemporary designer who is doing amazing things in some obscure corner of the Internet. Let people know about it.

Do you use blogging to gain traction as a leading voice in the design industry? What are some of the things you’ve learned through increasing the spread of your ideas about design?

Author:

Addison is the author of Food Identities, a blog that explores the crossroads of food, design, and culture. She's written some things, designed other things, and eaten a whole lot of food.

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