There is a big difference between being authentic and being original. Originality is defined as the ability to think independently and creatively. It’s an out-of-the-box type of thinking. Authenticity is defined as being real or genuine, not copied or false. Designers are typically (or should be) authentic, but it is much more difficult to come up with original work. Designs are commonly influenced by other designs, but it’s important to make your work your own. Here are three ways to infuse originality into your design:
- Break the rules and go outside your comfort zone. Going against the grain and designing something totally unexpected is a great way to be more original. But to break design rules, you have to first have a firm understanding of them. Read up on the basic principles of design by clicking here.
- Broaden your range of inspiration. A lot of designers tend to focus on one single book, site or a small group of web sites for their creative inspiration and direction. Make sure you frequently update your sources of information, whether it’s bookmarking new websites or purchasing new books and magazines. Connect with other designers and artists on social media to find inspiration. Here’s a great design website you might not have on your go-to list: Designspiration.
- Design just for the sake of designing. It’s difficult to push originality to its fullest when you are constantly limited by your client restraints. Take an afternoon to design something just for fun, without the rules of a client or company. This will help keep your creative juices flowing and you’ll have a fresh piece for your portfolio that encompasses your style and personality. Try designing a personal logo if you don’t have one or listen to music and then design the images that come into your head when listening.