Designer Inspiration: Space Dinosaurs

Designer Inspiration: Space Dinosaurs

Please welcome Jake, a graphic designer, as he writes about what inspires him.

I am a story teller. I like to stretch the truth and I like to create new worlds. This skill of mine takes me in two directions: it gets me into trouble and it helps me think of fun designs – one such design being the Space Dinosaurs.

Space Dinosaurs

I am an illustrator at heart and when designing, especially for children, I try to rediscover my roots in picture books, comic books and cartoons.  This may sound like a lot of hard, tedious research but I assure you it’s necessary for the job. I believe sequential art is one of the easiest forms of communication to understand. This is why things like comic books and animation are so accessible to children.

This is where the design/illustration process starts:  I spend a lot of time drawing comics and doodling on my own and I have an arsenal of fun drawings filed away.  The first place I always go for inspiration is me!  Sometimes I’ve come up with an idea in the past and hadn’t realized it.  In this particular case, the idea came from an old school project. I should say, when I’m stumped I like to go to illustration blogs and web comics, my favorite blog being  Each day different illustrators are featured with their work and discuss their inspiration and technique.



I knew right away that the best thing in my mind as a kid was a dinosaur, so that was the first place I went.  I searched through old files and sketchpads looking at dinosaurs I had drawn in the past and found this old gem.


 Perfect!  A dinosaur in space! I don’t know what I was thinking when I drew it years ago, but if I was a kid I would love it… in fact, I love it now!  However, it just wasn’t cute enough for me, and I like to cute things up.  ”Cutening” happens with shapes and colors.  I keep my basic shapes big, my colors bright, and I don’t give the details too much room to shine.  This way everything stays simple and clean and the simplest of ideas – dinosaurs in outer space – is the first thing that the viewer connects with.

The layouts of these Vistaprint Valentine’s cards are the best when it comes to telling a story.  I was able to create three little scenes for the dinosaurs to explore.  To keep things fresh, I treated the Valentine as a title sequence to an 80’s television show, showcasing the characters doing what they would on a casual day – conquering a planet with love, lounging in space and then a group shot.  There must always be a group shot.

So, in short, I get inspired by 2 easy steps – think like a kid, remember cheap sitcoms and viola: space dinosaurs.

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About the author
Kirstey is a graphic designer on the Vistaprint creative team. She is inspired by color, and by other people’s creativity. In her spare time, she loves to garden, walk her dogs and surf.

8 Replies to Designer Inspiration: Space Dinosaurs

  1. Andrea says:

    Excellent post and dinosaurs Jake!!!

  2. Victoria says:

    wow! what a great story. i love reading about what inspires artists. it’s great that you can relive those fun fantasies you had as a kid! you have such great talent – what an awesome design! i also love the idea of those little cut out cards – reminds me of being in elementary school on valentine’s day! well done.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love space dinosaurs! You should expand the line – would love a party invitation for a birthday party! I would scoop up in a second!

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  5. Maritza says:

    Highly descriptive article, I loved that a lot.

    Will there be a part 2?

  6. Wonderful site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious.

    And of course, thank you to your sweat!

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