The Fine Line between Inspiration and Replication

Art and designing is all about getting inspired by the element of universe and beautifully putting them in graphical representation. To be inspired by another designer’s art work is very natural and positive. Every designer feels the need to try something new that will take his graphic-making skills to a new level and its inspiration can come when either they see a catchy design or want to become as skilled as their fellow designer.


However, in this course of aspiration one should realize that there is a very fine line between design inspiration and design replication! To discuss it in detail let me define both the phenomenon respectively. INSPIRATION is a source or action causing the spirit to do something by a heavenly influence.

REPLICATION, on the other hand, is the unauthorized use or imitation of thoughts or creation of another individual’s original work. As an Indian advertisement designer puts it “Inspiration is a much longer route, in which anything that strikes you is evolved into a completely different product through a combination of factors that include research, your own style and sensibilities, and a conscious effort to be different and not appear as a mere clone.”

The blessed human mind absorbs what it sees and experiences and consequently gets influenced by it. If I see an impressive design work, I can’t help but be inspired by it, one way or the other. Similar happens with our designer friends that they see someone’s work and it strikes their heart like no other.


Sometimes this inspiration happens consciously; however, sometimes it gets inspired in their subconscious. Ideas are constantly absorbed, regurgitated and recycled in our mind factory. Often the result is sufficiently abstracted from the original idea to call it inspiration; sometimes the result is a exact copy of the original idea.

Personally, I think every other designer is guilty of some kind of replication, even if it occurs in the subconscious. But this statement of mine does not give liberty to the all the designers out there that they can easily replicate somebody’s design and then put the blame on their unconscious. Originality has its own value, which is no matched with plagiarism or replication (no matter how well it is done).

In short, replication or copying is a dirty shortcut, which does not lead you anywhere, but dullness of mind-power and sometimes embarrassment. On the other hand, inspiration has no short cuts; it just needs to be worked on!


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