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The Faintest Ink is Better Than the Best Memory

The Faintest Ink is Better Than The Best Memory

If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you might remember the scene where Paul gets really drunk and forgets his ‘big’ idea. By the time his meeting rolls around, he has nothing. Later, he regretted not writing his idea down saying, “The faintest ink is better than the best memory.” Is this actually an old wise proverb? Probably not. Should we take the advice anyways? Absolutely.

As a designer, whether it’s a commute to work, a hike, or a big vacation, I’m always inspired by everything going on around me. If I take the time to look up from my phone or stop reading my book, I tend to notice lines and shapes, people and relationships, and color palettes. Being in the advertising industry, observing the world around you is so important, it’s basically our biggest client. Having a photo or a note to look back on really helps, you never know what could be the inspiration for your next project. Not in advertising? Reminding yourself of what inspires you can keep you motivated with your day-to-day life and interests.’

1.  Many artists and designers are inspired by the world around them. Just to pinpoint a few famous pieces:Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie was inspired by the fast-moving New York streets and the city’s grid-like structure.

2.  Architect, Santiago Calatrava, designed the Milwaukee Art Museum to resemble the shapes and colors of Lake Michigan. He even used the shapes of the sails on the boats to inspire the “wings” of the building, which can open and close.

3.  Boston’s own Zakim Bridge was designed to echo the shape of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.

4.  Jorn Utzon, the architect of the Sydney Opera House was always inspired by nature and influenced by bird wings, clouds, and shells. The final shape of the top of the Sydney Opera House was actually inspired when he was peeling an orange.

We are all inspired by the world around us in some way. Take a moment on your way home and be present. Don’t forget to remember something that inspired you.

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