How to Find Your Own Design Style

Find Your Style

Hey there, I’ve been interested in Graphic Design and blogging for a while now and have even downloaded Photoshop. But I feel like I can’t really be original enough, everything I do is either inspired or adapted in some form. How did you start off as a graphic designer? Any tips?

Thanks
May

Hello May! 🙂 I know exactly how you feel. Finding your own style is really tough. Luckily, one of the joys of being a designer is that you don’t have to find just one style and stick to it.

Experiment and try on new styles

That’s how I started out. I found styles I liked by other people and designed my own graphics/layouts with that style in mind. Just make sure you’re only inspired by styles and not copying a design completely.

The web design world is always changing. New trends are constantly coming in, and old ones are on the way out. Not every single design is 100% original, but that’s okay. You make it original in the details. For example, there are HUNDREDS of designs that use the “flat UI” style. It’s no longer an original idea. But you can still find an eye-catching and ‘different’ flat design. People do the same style in different ways, even if not completely intentionally.

You don’t have to stick to “your style” forever

You don’t have to have a single, signature style and call it a day career. I certainly don’t! Just look at how my own style has changed and evolved with trends and my preferences:

Neopets Design - Creatures of the Deep

Graphic/illustration heavy (with Neopets!)


AEvans Arts Site Design #3

Graphic heavy (again) with a focus on space art.


Creative Whim Site Design

Going for more of a “Web 2.0” look. Fewer illustrations, more textures. Heavy on the gradients.


Creative Whim - Space Design

Back to space art, but with a more “Web 2.0” vibe. Very Apple-esque with those gradients.


Creative Whim - Flat Web Design

The exact same design but with more of an updated, “flat” feel.


Eliza - An elegant feminine theme for WordPress

Simple, feminine, clean.


There’s not really a single, defined style here. Sure, within each of those styles I created 5-10 other websites in that same style. But the point I’m making is that my style has changed—and that’s perfectly okay! We all go through phases, whether it’s clothing phases, food obsessions, or hobbies we become addicted to for a few weeks/months before moving on. Style can be the exact same way.

I believe experimentation is the best. Fiddle around with different styles. When you find one you really like, you’ll find yourself automatically steering towards it next time around. Design like that enough, and it will suddenly be “your style”.

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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12 comments

  1. In “On Writing Well”, William Zinsser advices to focus on your writing skills and forget all about “style”. He says if you focus on your style, you’ll probably write poorly. On the other hand, when you write well, style comes naturally: “style” is just our way to use our skills. I find the advice relevant for almost everything: writing, drawing, design, coding… Skill first; style will emerge along the way.

    1. That’s excellent and totally true! Don’t worry about sticking to a style, just let it flow and it will happen on its own. 🙂

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