Where do designers get their ideas from?

Where do designers get their ideas from?

For those of us who can’t draw a straight line it can be mind boggling how designers continually come up with a fresh, new take on each project they work on. We asked one of our designers Mae where she gets her ideas from and how the creative process works for her.

Mae says she was always drawing as a kid so there was basically no other path in life for her other than art and design, but it was the work of Jessica Hische that led her to train as a graphic designer.


A big reason I got into graphic design was because I was a fan of Jessica Hische and her typography.

I love the freeform yet structured nature in her work. Her work looks effortless, but as you look closer you can see the skill and thought put into creating it.

She’s also very open about her work process – how she creates something from start to finish – which was a big help for me as a design student.

Where else do you get ideas from?

I’m constantly on either Awwwards, Pinterest or Dribbble! It’s a great way to see quick glimpses on trends and techniques in design from around the globe. As I’m out and about I also like to observe design around Taranaki, as Taranaki has its own unique style and design preferences.

How does the design process work for you?

I like to think about the demographic of the person viewing, using or reacting to the work – so the client’s client. Then I do a bit of research in the field, like what designs do people in that industry tend to prefer. I take these into consideration as I’m designing. I’ll open up my design programme and flesh out some ideas and refine as I go until I have something I think will suit the brief and get the desired reaction from the end user.

In some cases, there may be some overlap of work you’ve seen in the past or work you’ve researched, but it’s kind of like not reinvent the wheel – with most cases of design there is usually a structure to what people find easy to read or view and colours, fonts and styles that suit a particular field, client or demographic.

Brief or free rein?

I like to have free rein haha I love the creative aspect of design so bringing forward something totally creative is super fun!

Are you creative outside of work?

I’ve been taking pottery classes at the New Plymouth Pottery Club (though this has been a bit on and off due to COVID-19 restrictions) and I have taken part in some of the local paint and wine evenings. I also love to cook, paint and take photos with an old film camera I have.

Last words

I’m very grateful to be in this field as I get to do something I love as a job.