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Music an Inspiration for Design?

Music and art seemingly go hand-in-hand.

In the early years of my career, I had a difficult time adjusting to the thought process of a designer. I’m a hands-on learner, and developing design ideas is more of an abstract art. Being able to recognise a good design versus a bad design was never the problem, but creating unique designs was for me much like an artist trying to draw purely from memory that doesn’t have that capacity.

Instead of giving up, I fought to find my own way through the thick fog that clouded my vision of what was truly standing in my way: a lack of a methodical design process. As soon as I realised where I went wrong, I dove into figuring out how to do it right.

I started finding inspiration in ways that I never would have thought of. I quickly got sick of thumbing through the old soiled books, notes and cliched samples and it's like. Instead I started looking at the world in a different light. One of the most inspirational things for many people is music, for designers especially.

But how can music specifically bring design inspiration?

Movies use a soundtrack to enhance the visual experience: sometimes even to unfold the script and often to create or develop the mood. Ballets use music in combination with visual cues such as movement, make-up, costumes, or props to set the theme. They create a story without words, which breaks out of the box storytelling methods and relies on other senses to let the story unfold.

Music affects everyone differently, but it is obvious that almost everyone uses music to somehow set the mood for the task at hand.

Instead of getting into the heads of successful designers, we should be getting into the head of the audience we’re designing for. There are many ways this can be done, one of which is music. Relying on senses other than your vision can evoke an emotion, a feeling which is to be conveyed through a design.

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