The use of examples serves a critical role in creative design practice, but details of this process remain an enigma. This is problematic for both the understanding of design activity as well as for developing more effective design tools. In this paper, we report results of a study that understands and compares how designers (N=11) utilize, manage, and share examples to support the creative design process. The domains studied were Web, graphic, and product design. Our study shows that examples are a cornerstone of creative practice and are utilized for many reasons throughout the design process. Since examples are pivotal to the success of a project, more effective tools that support retrieval, storage, and dissemination of examples are needed. This paper contributes understanding of the benefits and roles of examples in the design process and implications for the design of more effective tools that support example usage.