Designs Inspired by Nature

10 April 2013

Designer Sarah Ebersol explains how she’s inspired by birds and trees, how designers are like casting directors, her rigorous color testing methods, and the value of getting a bird’s eye view.


>> I like to find inspiration in nature like birds and sunsets, or flowers.
>> You know?
>> I go outside.
>> I take a walk in the woods, or I go to the zoo.
>> I mean I can stare at a blade of grass for like hours.
>> Or, just look into a trash can.
>> I mean, when you’re looking at a layout of a comment section, you’re
>> not really thinking, did this designer lay on a bed of leaves all night?
>> But you feel it, you know?

>> I’m

>> like a casting director.
>> You know?
>> Like the pixels, they’re coming to me.
>> And they want to be in my movie.
>> Where I’m like, you’re Pantone 217 and you’re the star of the movie.

>> And then there’s, there’s Pantone 817.
>> And I’m, like, go get me a cup of coffee, you son of a bitch.
>> For the past seven weeks, I’ve been going over 7,000 shades of blue.
>> Where I have narrowed it down, I’ve got the tropical storm blue.
>> All right?
>> Then there’s electric cyan, right here.
>> Then we have the cornflower cerulean.
>> And then this one’s my favorite.
>> This is the Elizabeth Hasselbeck blue.
>> I think it helps to get a different perspective,
>> you know, look at it from a different angle.
>> Sometimes I’ll just, I’ll crawl really slow, like I’m an ant.
>> And then I take that information, and then
>> I put it into something like a text box.
>> You know?
>> And I think you can really see that when you’re looking at that form.
>> You can tell like, oh, this designer it, I can
>> tell that she was in the mindset of a bird.
>> And she flew on top of that object.
>> And when you’re a bird up in the air looking at
>> your screen, all of a sudden all the clutter is gone.
>> You know, it’s just, it’s just the screen and you.
>> And you can’t get that when you’re sitting at a chair.
>> You just can’t.

>> You have to be a bird.
>> I mean, if you want inspiration, don’t look at a computer.
>> Go outside.
>> Look around.
>> You know?
>> Find the nearest tree.
>> I promise you.
>> You’ll be inspired.

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