Tip #12: Don’t be afraid to copy

No one ever came out of the womb an amazing designer. Hell, no one even ever taught themselves design. We all have teachers. We all have mentors. They could have died a hundred years ago—or we might not know their name. Someone designed everything you see. So any influence on your work comes from a mentor.

Don’t be afraid to copy your mentors.

Here’s an example of my latest poster (left), inspiration #1 (center, Princeton University Press), and inspiration #1 (right, Wikipedia) :

Copy other designers

There’s  an entire book on this: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. If you’re having hang-ups about copying, I recommend reading it.

P.S. There is a difference between copying and stealing—at least to me. I would suggest creating everything from scratch—like painting a still-life, you can look at your inspiration, but don’t literally use its pixels or whatever.

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