Personally, I get ideas for type layout from movie credits and film posters (and that could just be me trying to justify my netflix & dvd habit, except it's totally true.)
|Seeing this poster led to creating these.|
Love vintage labels. Also, this movie is awesome but please don't smoke; it's stinky and it ages you.
Browsing the nostalgia section of used book stores is good, too- the spines and cover printings often use elegant type and simple line art/flourishes that get my creative juices flowing. Sometimes I'll get lucky and find a great title page, maybe with the slightest texture from the letterpress printing. (And sometimes those happen to be a first edition of a favorite book!)
Patterns and color combinations often come from fashion and interior designers. (Pinterest is good for that.) It's nice to see combinations that are often unexpected that work surprisingly well together.
I subscribe to a few designers' newsletters and some of them provide goodies (free, even for commercial use!) to their loyal readers- they take vintage elements and turn them into vector art for designers. Sometimes I'll see one and get immediately inspired to create something with it; it's wonderful! And since they've been vectorized, they're easy to manipulate and edit to fit my needs.
And sometimes inspiration comes from something that I lack or need. ("Necessity is the mother of invention.") I got tired of scrounging for papers in my purse to write snarky notes to people who can't park, et voila:
|Newly reprinted and available here.|
What about you? What inspires you?