Dylan Smith

Show your hand

Bethany Heck (whose Dropmark account I often point to as an A+ example of curated inspiration) posted the GOAT Dribbble comment this week as a reply to one of her own shots.

Before I forget, I wanted to cite some sources for this, because I used the work of others to get my juices going. The concentric circle badge is a riff off an awesome element in the Blind Butcher work that Tractorbeam did a few years ago. And the layout for the orderly shot is obviously inspired by Land Design. I like to use compositions like those as a framework to force myself to write copy and make elements to fill the screen that I can then apply practically later on.

I found this notable for a couple of reasons:

  1. The average Dribbble comment just says “nice shot!”
  2. It’s rare to see a designer cop to their influences, especially when those influences are their contemporaries.

That second point is especially ridiculous, because we’re all borrowing from each other all the time. It’s rare that a design defies trends or does something truly original (and that’s fine). Generally speaking, designers move en masse.

Yet despite all the inspiration sites, social networks, mood board tools and everything else, few people ever point to specific work they borrowed from. It’s so refreshing to see someone open up and say, “I liked someone’s idea so I used it.”

Think about the last project you worked on. Think about someone else’s project you used for inspiration. Think about how much better your own project turned out because of it. Aren’t we all holding our cards a little too close to our chests?

I challenge you to show your hand. Whether it’s Twitter, Medium, Dribbble, Instagram or wherever else, I challenge you to make a post and give someone else credit for turning you on to a good idea.

My block quote styles were influenced by MailChimp’s design blog.

Now it’s your turn.

Newer Reasons to pay it forward Older How to avoid getting ripped off by a client