As a designer, the worst thing I hear is “I don’t know what I want but I’ll know it when I see it.” Designers are unfortunately not mind readers, so we need a bit more direction – this will also save you money as the designer will be able to craft the look and feel the first time and lessen costly redesigns.
Design inspiration is everywhere. Don’t think you need to look at “design” books or magazines only. Look to fashion and entertainment publications. They have great page layouts and ideas which translate to flyers or poster designs. Home decorating or the fashion industry can give you ideas of colour schemes. Look to textiles for interesting background patterns. Make notes of any type styles or photo effects that you like as well.
This will get you off to a good start. With the expertise of your designer and their input, you’ll have a finished product that will achieve the goals you have set for the piece.
Where is the strangest place you have found design inspiration? (Keep it clean, this is a business website!) Let me know in the comments below.