Stay Motivated: Design Books

Whenever I talk to my fellow creatives about design work, the most popular topic we get on is "how to keep motivated". It's a constant struggle trying to be intuitive and keeping motivated with our own design work. This is especially true for those of us who work for a company, agency, or work under someone in general. We are always designing for someone else. We are always designing for clients. More times than not, we have to venture out of our comfort zone to design something that we don't even like! It's no surprise that designers become unmotivated. As I've stated in my 'RAW Tuesday' post, I started this blog as a way to keep motivated and to keep doing design stuff outside of client work or whatever my 'boss' wants. And one of my favorite/best ways of keeping motivated is through design books. 

Now, this is 2014. We are at an era where almost everything is digital. Hell, even most design works are digital (except my job is an ad agency so we do mostly print work....but that's besides the point.) and there used to be a time where it wasn't always all digital. Not that design books showcase 'analog' designs all the time, they are at least tangible and something you can refer back to. When I'm doing design work for myself or on a project that I'm passionate about, I always refer back to my many design books. I'll go through my books every once in a while and bookmark certain design elements that I'm really digging at the moment. Then I'll go back to them for inspiration. Also, there's something more 'real' about seeing the designs on paper, with the correct colors, than just seeing design works on the computer. 

This is the newest addition to my Victionary design book collection. I'm a huge fan of Victionary's books and if you're a designer and haven't heard of them, you should check them out like RIGHT NOW. They have such creative, colorful, and wonderful books. Even non designers would appreciate them. Plus, they look pretty damn awesome on your coffee table.
This particular book, as the name suggests, is about neon (fluorescent) colored graphics. If anyone is familiar with me as a designer personally, I'm a huge fan of color and BRIGHT colors mixed with subtle or monochromatic colors. There's something very alluring about mixing hints of bright colors with subtle colors and this book really spoke to me. It's also kind of fun that on Amazon, they don't let you choose the color of the cover (it comes in orange, green, or pink) so it's kind of a surprise when you get it. As you can see, I got the pink version (just what I wanted! \^0^/). (The first thing I thought of was "2NE1" lol. Kinda reminded me of their album art.) 

Whenever I get a new design book or new magazine even, I'll keep it on my desk for a while. Mainly because, I know that if I don't have time to read it the minute I get it, I'll be reminded to read it throughout the week whenever I do have the time. It's also just nice to have some form of inspiration on your desk or near your work area. 

And lastly, keep it updated! I bought a magazine holder to put on my desk so I can selectively choose which books or magazines I want near me. Design books aren't exactly 'cheap' and even for me, I've collected all my design books over many years. The Victionary books range from $25-35 typically if you order from Amazon. And although that's not a huge investment, it's not like I can order new design books every month. It adds up! My bf got me a free subscription to Vogue magazine a while back, and although I don't actually read Vogue, fashion is another form of design and it's something that motivates me as well! Magazines are much cheaper, so if you just need some visual inspiration, you'd be surprised at what you can get out of fashion magazine publications. And there's tons of those. (I'm actually subscribed to Glamour, Vogue, Elle, and Elle Decor! They're usually like $15/yr! It's so much cheaper to just subscribe than buying it off the stands.) As a designer, I look for elements of aesthetics that I feel that I could incorporate for my design works. If you're only bound to graphic design books (or whatever your design field is), venture out! Fashion, interior decoration, and culinary magazines all inspire me! Look beyond the content and scour for visual ideas that you could potentially use. 

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