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The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application by Cameron Chapman

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Chapter 6: Creating Something New from Direct Inspiration

Direct inspiration is often easier to get ideas from than more abstract sources. Looking at other web designs can lead directly to new ideas and new ways to use existing ones. But it’s also very easy to draw a bit too much from a single source and inadvertently copy someone else’s design. That’s why it’s important to be methodical in how you use inspiration from direct sources, to make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property.

Dissecting a Design

Hopefully, by the time you get to this point, you’ll already have some designs in mind that you love. Some of these will be similar to the project you’re about to tackle, whereas others will be wildly different, either in tone, content, or style (or all three). The first thing you’ll need to do is take a close look at the designs you’d like to pull ideas from.

For this chapter, you’re going to create a blog design, for a personal blog. This is going to be for a fun, modern personal blog, aimed at hip 20-somethings. Virtually every designer out there is going to be called upon to create a blog design at some point or other (unless they specifically don’t do blog design), so it’s close to common ground.

Let’s start with the top-level elements like mood, layout, and color scheme. Once you have these things down, it’s easier to start choosing the more specific elements you want to adapt.

For the mood, you’re going to look at the site for the Munch 5-a-Day ...

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