Chapter 7: Creating Something New from Abstract Inspiration

The Previous chapter covered how to take elements from existing website designs and adapt them for your own purposes. It’s a fairly straightforward process, and one that’s easy to emulate for almost any project.

Now, let’s move on to creating a design from an abstract source of ideas. These abstract sources might include non-web designs (including architecture or interior design), photos, or your general surroundings.

One advantage to creating sites based on abstract sources is that it’s nearly impossible to copy an existing design in a recognizable form. You can create a site based entirely on a single image and many people would be hard-pressed to identify your source of inspiration, even when comparing the two side-by-side. This makes abstract inspiration less risky, from both an ethical and a legal standpoint.

Dissecting an Image

You’ll start by figuring out how to dissect an image to see what elements you might be able to use in a design. To do this, you’re going to look at the actual images from which you’ll create an original design. I discuss things in terms of images, because even if you’re basing your design on, say, the design of a building, you’ll likely be looking at an image of the building in question.

For this project, you’re going to design a site for a fictional paranormal romance author, Ramona Black. The site needs to appeal to women, especially women in their 20s and 30s. It also needs to have a ...

Get The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.