Why You Need a Swipe File

If you’ve ever started a project and have spent hours just trying to come up with a good idea, you probably weren’t using a Swipe File.

What is a Swipe File?

A Swipe File is a collection of logo designs that you have saved because they have either inspired you, or sparked an idea that you can try in your future logo design projects. The logos in your Swipe File could have been found anywhere – the important thing is that you they are saved into one place that you can access at any time for instant inspiration.

Why you should have one

The main reason to use a Swipe File is that it’s an amazing tool to get ideas from when you’re stuck. If a logo is in your Swipe File, it must be pretty good or have some effect that you can use for your own projects, else it wouldn’t have caught your attention in the first place. Just looking at amazing logos an be enough to trigger ideas that you can work from.

Using a Swipe File will also improve your skill as a designer. Consistently being around the best logos changes your standard of what’s good, what’s not, what works and what doesn’t. As your standards increase, so does the quality of what you create.

How to get started

Below I will list the apps that I’ve used that work really well for creating Swipe Files. You can experiment with what works best for you, though keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to use apps to create a great Swipe File as you can even use magazine cut outs if you want to – it all comes down to personal preference and there is no one best way.

  • Your Phone’s Gallery (Mobile) – Probably the most widely used. You don’t need to download anything, and you can easily take photos and screenshots from your phone and they will go straight to the gallery
  • Evernote (Mobile and Desktop) – Lets you attach photos to notes and sync them between devices
  • Trello (Mobile and Desktop) – Originally a to-do list app, Trello can be a good way to save and sort the docs in your Swipe File
  • Journey (Mobile and Desktop) – Online journal. An unorthodox method, as because it is a Journal app it does not have the option to sort your files in any order other than by date. However, if you do want to sort your files by date, then Journey is a great app to use as it has a clean interface.

Closing note

A Swipe File is an amazing tool for not only giving you inspiration, but also improving your mindset as a designer. You should be constantly improving your Swipe File by adding new amazing logos that you come across.

If you already use a Swipe File, what’s your favourite method to use?

One Reply to “Why You Need a Swipe File”

  1. As people that seek to learn more about visual language, I think it’s really natural to keep some sort of reservoir of images that inspires you. I didn’t realize that I do keep a looser version of a Swipe File through instagram and pinterest, but now I feel like I know that I really should organize and collect logo inspirations.

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