The Maker's Quest

A Podcast exploring the journey of making things and living a creative life


Gathering Inspiration For Designs – EP15

Gathering Inspiration For Designs –  EP15

In today’s episode, Brian and Greg Talk about different techniques for gathering inspiration for their designs and then iterating from basic design principles to more abstract concepts and techniques.


Audio Version

Video Version

Show Notes


  • Iterate far enough so you are not ripping someone else’s design, but it is truly inspired by.
  • Set your life up to meet other great collaborators to work with and pull inspiration from.
  • Create a list of people to jam with on design iteration.
  • For Greene and Greene inspired info check out Darrell Peart’s work.
  • Greenshorts DIY YouTube Channel Jazz Carpentry
  • Design is like Jazz and Blues players, each player adds their own twist, and it becomes something new and better than where it started.
  • Be willing to accept other people’s ideas over your own; it could be better and help both ideas grow organically.
  • Break out of empty page syndrome, and add simple inputs to expand upon into something more complex.
  • Making individual choices on the small details will help prevent you from directly copying someone else’s work.
  • If you get the details wrong, it can ruin the whole design.
  • Don’t borrow an idea; steal it; if you steal it, you will be motivated to try to change it to hide that you stole it, and it will become your own spin.
  • Good design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need input. If you have no direction, you have no idea,
  • Inspiration boards don’t have to be d
  • directly related to the design, but tell the story of the design
  • Hounds tooth patterns – Go google it
  • Tell the clients story in your design
  • Celebrate the accidental mistakes; they may not be mistakes if the result inspires a new direction.  Bob Ross and His Happy Accidents
  • Design talent is not free you have to work for it and develop it.
  • Be a harsh critic of your own work.
  • Pay attention to the process, and analyze  it so you can apply what works to the next project,
  • 7 Gestalt principles
    • Similarity
    • Continuation
    • closure
    • proximity
    • figure/ground
    • symmetry
    • order
  • Go back to the fundamentals when you get stuck
  • Don’t be governed by the grid but govern the grid ~Massimo Vignelli
  • Develop your style by incorporating the same design idea in different pieces.
  • The patience of time, consider how the weather and the daily use of the product will affect its look and function over the years.  What will the design look like after some time has passed?
  • Sometimes you have to do it the hard way to make something unique.  Fewer people do it the hard way, so fewer people will copy you.  There is uniqueness in the difficulty of a design.

Check out Frank Loyd Wright’s Red Tiles (Search it up)

Hosted by

Greg Porter
Greg On Instagram:

Brian Benham
Brian On Instagram:

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