Starting a new design can be a very daunting prospect. There you are, sat in front of a blank Photoshop or Fireworks canvas, knowing that your client wants something fresh, unique and professional. Of course, you don’t want to give them anything less. But the clock is always ticking away in the background.

It’s common for web designers to feel a little anxious when starting a new project. After all, developing a solid design (that will meet the client’s brief) will inevitably involve several false starts. And with time ebbing away, the last thing you need is a ‘designer’s block’.

So how do you ignite that all-important inspirational spark? The traditional approach would be to research the competition to see how they are presenting the message that you are designing for. This will be one of the most important stages of your preparation.

Also, have a look at various web galleries and draw some inspiration from your contemporaries. Sites such as thefwa.com and bestwebgallery.com can really get you thinking outside of the box!

And why not venture away from your PC to have a think about nature, animals, people, places, shapes, buildings, products, cities, music and whatever else floats your creative boat. By drawing on non-design inspirations, your mind will open up to new, invigorating perspectives.

Do you have any particular ways in which you like to kick-start your design process? Then why not share them with our readers?

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