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Design Inspiration vs Plagiarism

Design Inspiration vs Plagiarism

September 23, 2021 / Grace McCloskey


When searching for design inspiration it’s important to know where the line between inspiration and plagiarism lies. We’ve compiled a list of 5 sources of online inspiration, as well as some important questions to ask if you’re unsure of which side of the line you’re on!

Inspiration or Plagiarism?

Plagiarism - the dreaded ‘P’ word, sadly plays a part in many designer’s careers. Designers in all fields work hard to create unique and inspiring pieces, yet unfortunately have their work ripped off and reproduced all too often.

While it is incredibly normal and often encouraged to keep up to date on design trends and be actively browsing and engaging in the design community, it is important to know where the line is between inspiration and plagiarism.

When finding inspiration in other designer’s work, try keeping these questions in mind:

- Am I looking to other designers’ work because I doubt my own abilities?
- What is it about this design that I like and can I create my own spin on it?
- Has this piece inspired me to create something new or am I trying to recreate this piece?

Questioning why you are drawn to certain designs is a healthy way to keep your inspiration at a comfortable distance and let your talent and abilities take the front seat.

Online Inspiration

A blank page is often the most intimidating thing for anyone in a creative field. Luckily the internet is filled with an abundance of inspirational websites to help get your creative juices flowing!

1. Behance


Behance is an online platform for all types of creatives to showcase their work. With a mix of designers that range from students to professionals, Behance allows you to discover a broad range of talent across a wide variety of design projects.



2. Pinterest


Pinterest (AKA the home of inspiration) has a seemingly endless amount of images, gifs and videos to inspire designers in any field. One of the advantages of Pinterest is the ability to categorise your liked images in different boards. This functionality comes in handy for designers wanting to sort their images by project name, while also helping designers create moodboards to refer back to throughout the duration of a project.



3. Instagram


Nowadays social media sites have become a necessity for designers to showcase their work and build a following. Because of this, sites like Instagram are filled with talented designers constantly uploading new work, with endless amounts of hashtags to help you find exactly what style or project you’re looking for. With the ability to now save instagram posts, you can create a collection of saved photos to refer back to whenever you need a hit of inspiration.



4. Dribbble


Like Behance, Dribbble is built around a community of creatives sharing and showcasing their work online. One of the benefits of the website is it’s easy to navigate homepage, helping you view projects by field with one easy click. Unlike Behance however, Dribbble has a slightly stricter membership policy where accounts need to be verified before posting - meaning only the best agencies and independent designers are featured.



5. Creative Market


Creative Market, as the name suggests, is a marketplace for all things creative - containing an abundance of incredible design assets for you to download. With this constant influx of ‘on-trend’ design assets as well as their related blog with inspiring and relevant design articles, it is a fantastic website to find exactly what you need to get inspired and get the ball rolling on your project.





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