If I find something that I really like, that I think would work for the client, but it’s already used by someone else, or it’s too old, or I can’t afford to buy it or it would be a rip off, then I look at it for a long time, look through the books, draw it, sketch over it, and then I put it away. And then the next day I sit down and draw it from memory. And then it’s different. I read a novel, and then I rewrite it the next day in my own language.
Type designer Erik Spiekermann on being inspired without ripping off or imitating. What I love most about this is how even Spiekermann, a seasoned pro with a catalog of work older than I, is still faced with the same challenges us lesser designers are in creating work that’s our own. See the full video where Spiekermann discusses owning your inspiration below.