We’re just going to put this out there, and you can do what you will with it: We’re sick to death of Web 2.0 designs that were once trendy and cool, but are now flat, ugly, and completely complacent. Where, we might like to ask, has all the innovation gone? Is no one looking for outside ways to fashion up some new, web-oriented designs?

Sure, we’re complaining, but we’ve also got the ideas to back it up. If you’re looking for a creative way to spice up your next digitally based design, why not look for sources closer to home? There are loads of options for unique graphics simply laying about the house. Don’t believe us? Then peep our top tips below for some stellar bits of inspiration.

  1. Chalk: We’re absolute suckers for chalk art, and though we aren’t good enough at it to move to New York and make it our day job, chalk illustrations are a fantastic (and cheap) way to add immediate spice to any design. If you’re stuck on how to include a bit of copy in your next design, ask yourself if a bit of colored chalk might be just the trick. If so, grab a chalkboard and get to sketching! Use a variety of colors, and be sure to do things with the medium that you simply can’t on a computer screen: Smudge like crazy, include additional elements like hands, etc. Be creative, and let the interesting showcase shine through.
  2. Paper: We aren’t necessarily suggesting you invest your next project’s budget in paper mâché, but paper cut-outs are only one of the ways in which you can spice up a digital design using paper. Flick through your favorite magazine and see if you can find any interesting tit-bits that might spice up a design. See something you like? Feel free to cut it out, scan, and mangle it to the point where it fits, but isn’t quite noticeable. Is this legal? We aren’t lawyers. But if you do your job right, you can fashion incredible paper designs out of almost anything you can cut with scissors.
  3. Household Objects: Finally, consider using just every day riff-raff in your next design. How about those coat hangers in the closet? Could they be photographed and shoved into a corner to achieve that effect the piece was missing? What about the tiles in your kitchen, or the carpet underneath your toes? Everything is an inspiration if you look at it the right way!