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6 unexpected ways to overcome 'designer's block'

How often do you feel frustrated, lack inspiration, or get stuck staring at an empty canvas? Do you ever have days where it feels impossible to start a new project?

You’re not alone. Even the most experienced designers go through bouts of low inspiration, otherwise known as designer’s block.

In this article, the design team at Readymag — the powerful no-code web creation tool— shares their own tried and true tips for overcoming creative block, staying inspired, and mastering the skills of imaginative play. The next time you hit a creative slowdown, put these tips to the test.

✏️ Thanks to our friends at Readymag for sponsoring this blog post!

1. — Look into design manifestos

Almost every designer has heard of Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles For Good Design, Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, or First Things First by Ken Garland. These written statements declare sets of principles, vision, and approaches to design reflecting years of experience.

Get inspired by some of the best in design through the Oracle Cards of Design Manifestos and see how you can incorporate new powerful ideas and processes into your own design workflow.

The Oracle Cards of Design Manifestos animation code design editorial readymag web
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The Oracle Cards of Design Manifestos

by Tatiana Egoshina for Readymag

The Oracle Cards of Design Manifestos is an intellectual game to open up your imagination and help you through some of the most frequently experienced forms of creative block. Every time you refresh the page, it will offer a card with a phrase from an i...

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2. Think with your hands

Instead of scrolling through colorful pages on yet another screen, seek inspiration within the task at hand. Product designer Tatiana Egoshina recommends pouring out all of your thoughts on a piece of paper or canvas.

Then, draw basic shapes and combine them into something new. This is a great reminder that all practical solutions are already in front of you, it’s just a matter of time before you find them.

Object and Environment album animation colorful design experimental music readymag ui website
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Object and Environment

by Stas Aki for Readymag

Moscow-based musician Andrey Lee, known by his eccentric project CEO of Everything, collaborated with Readymag on a synesthetic web edition for his album Object and Environment. Explore the project: andreylee.com

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3. Switch to another activity

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, a good solution doesn’t come to mind for hours. If this is you, stop pushing and focus on a completely different activity. It may sound counterproductive, but while you’re doing the dishes or taking a nap, your brain will keep mulling the task over in the back of your mind.

“Then it just clicks and you rush to your computer wondering why you haven’t arrived at this perfect solution before.” — Stas Aki, Product Designer at Readymag

4. Workout your design muscles

Come up with design workouts and do them with any medium you feel like using. Small daily wins will help you to develop more confidence to act boldly and improve skills for rapid designing. Do it just for yourself or amuse your friends with your results on social media—the key is to do it long enough to turn it into a useful habit.

Customer stories design readymag web
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Customer stories

by Tatiana Egoshina for Readymag

Customer stories is our ongoing series where businesses and brands share the workflow behind their projects #MadeWithReadymag: https://readym.ag/SCYQ7LThe project consists of separate pages for each Customer and a main page where all the Customer storie...

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5. Escape your everyday routine

Designer Varvara Fomicheva believes that the best way to beat designer’s block is to take a trip to a place you’ve never been: countries, cities, even new streets. Try to notice small things around you that you usually pay no attention to like interesting trees, weird snow caps, etc. It greatly helps to unwind.

One more way to escape the everyday routine is to visit a local museum. The more works of extraordinary diversity the exposition includes, the better it can spark your inspiration. For example, you can examine the images of the ancient Egyptian wall paintings and consider what shapes could perfectly fit into modern UI. Or, look for ancient manuscripts with interesting handwriting that could be turned into stylish fonts.

Daily Routines animation design editorial illustration readymag web
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Daily Routines

by Tatiana Egoshina for Readymag

Daily Routines is Readymag’s multimedia long read exploring the work practices and everyday life of five designers: Mira Malhotra, Pavel Kedich, Anton Repponen, Anna Seslavinskaya, and Becki Kozel.All the ‘routine meters’ are co...

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6. Share your most ridiculous ideas

Fantasize. Put forward the most fantastic and absurd ideas possible. Something that seems crazy at the first glance, may inspire someone from your team to see the design problem from a whole new perspective.

Win back your creativity

If there’s one thing to remember, inspiration often strikes soon after opening your artboard and turning your thoughts into action. At Readymag, we developed a powerful web-building tool with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, so you can easily start putting your ideas into effect. Get creative with Readymag for free today — no credit card required.

Readymag Readymag is the browser-based tool for designing outstanding web pages—without coding. Readymag offers free-form layouts, an intuitive interface, 3000+ integrated fonts, and a toolkit to build everything from landing pages to editorials to interactive presentations, and more.

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