In these future-tech times a lot of research can be undertaken by the simple (some may say lazy) use of your index finger to trawl the internet. There are millions of inspirational blogs, portfolios and Pinterest pins to get inspired by.
I believe this should only be a small part of the research for any new project. Inspiration comes from the whole wide world, not just the world wide web. Without taking into account real life, concepts based on internet research can often fall down. Your blogging community may respond well to a piece of hand-drawn type, but will your customers’ target audience? Will they find it illegible and will it scare them off?
Having recently moved to a new city (the city) I have been spending some time investigating the area and looking for new inspiration. During my knowledge quest I found the location of my local library.
I have always found libraries to be a great source of inspiration, when researching on the web you search for - and usually find - precisely what you want, or a computer interpretation based on scripts and algorithms. In a library you can jump from book to book, genre to language to dusty travel magazine. It is in this rich expansive sea of information and ideas that I find fresh inspiration can be found.
Yes you can search for and find what you want on Google, but you'd rarely find yourself nose deep in a website on knitting stitches or a mathematics blog on geometrical shapes. The best inspiration comes from looking somewhere that everyone else isn't. I say drop the 'hipster' logo templates and get down to a library. In fact I'm going to go now…