I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Spanish pharmaceutical posters from the 60sMy friend Winston recently showed me a Flickr set of Spanish pharmaceutical posters from the 60s. The design work was just beautiful, putting the contemporary staid look of today’s pharmaceutical companies to shame. I never realized Flickr’s potential as a source for both joy and design inspiration until I saw this eye-pleasuring collection.

In the craze to become ever more productive, we may avoid looking at pretty pictures like these. They seem superficial, ephemeral, and more nostalgic than useful. We have more important things to do, we’d say. But let’s not forget the goal of becoming more productive: to make time for joy in our lives. Often, the right kind of pictures inspire us to think about actions, helping us to imagine desired states that are different from our existing ones.

So the next time you practice the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack, take a few moments during your play time to enjoy Flickr. If you really need your productivity fix, here are some useful things you can do in Flickr aside from using it as a source of inspiration:

  • Free photos for projects
    Many people on Flickr release their photos with a Creative Commons license, allowing you to use their images for non-commercial purposes or if you attribute the original artist. Now, you have a source of photos that don’t look like lame stock photos. Check out Flickr’s Creative Commons library.

  • Create your own stock photo library with friends
    Get your classmates or colleagues together and agree to share photos to create a common stock photo library.

  • Get feedback on your work
    Besides photos, you can also post images of your personal projects to get feedback from your immediate contacts or the whole Flickr community.

  • See what tools and settings others used
    Flickr propertiesNext to many photos on Flickr is a little link that says “More properties”. Here you’ll find a slew of information about the photo including the camera and settings such as exposure, aperture, focal length, ISO speed that the photographer used. This is great for budding photographers to learn what certain settings look like.

  • Find a new haircut
    When I was looking for a cool new haircut, I turned to Flickr to find pictures of mohawks and mullets.

  • New ideas for GTD
    Flickr is filled with photos of people chronicling their implementation of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology. It’s quite fascinating to look at all the variations and hacks that people are coming up with. Check it out!

What’s your inspiration and how else do you use Flickr? Post a comment and tell us!


  • Enrico De Majorca

    gravatarAug 26, 2006
    2:57 pm


  • Andrew Faulkner

    gravatarSep 4, 2006
    12:41 pm


    I often use flickr for inspiration too. So much so that I added an inspiration gallery to my site:


    Flickr provides good feedback on your own designs too inmy opinion.

  • Inspiratie

    gravatarNov 12, 2007
    12:44 am

    […] Si daca tot vorbim de inspiratie … iata inca o sursa. Si inca una. […]