• Julie Nicholls

Death of the scrapbook


Staying inspired must be one of the biggest challenges for any designer. You need to keep up to date with the latest trends, colour schemes, even fonts so that your designs remain fresh.

Back in the day (admittedly I’m going back a bit here), when I was at art college that meant keeping a scrapbook. In my loft, I have a whole load of hardback sketchbooks lovingly filled with ripped up magazines and flyers and a generous helping of pritt stick. Great logos, that killer font that you know you will never be able to find, or a quirky headline that you wished you had written are all in there. It’s been a few years since I’ve looked through them, but it really is a snapshot of a moment in time in design.

But should I keep them? Do they still serve any useful purpose in a world filled with Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to name just a few? As I looked through a few the other day, the work was certainly looking a little dated. But, inspiration can come from anywhere, so whilst some of the styling may not have stood the test of time, a great idea is a great idea, however long ago it was created.


Whilst looking through the old books did make me feel a bit nostalgic, keeping a scrapbook is so much more efficient these days and there is less glue involved. With the invention of Pinterest, I can now save, categorise and, more importantly, find again anything I deem worthy as I surf the web.

I’ve currently got 55 boards with 6,868 pins and I know exactly where to find the origami shirt mailer or the illustration of Walter White made from sweets should I need it. Certainly, couldn’t say that about my scrapbooks with their multitude of yellowing page markers spilling from every page.


Pinterest really has become a powerful tool for bringing together research for projects in a very visual way. From reference materials for pitches to website navigation and scrolling techniques, and a good selection of random hobbies I want to try one day, Pinterest is now my go-to place of choice for inspiration. Until the next big thing comes along…

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