Creative Thinking: Unlocking Your Design Muse
We’ve talked about the implementation of creative ideas a lot on this blog, covering everything from website design to the construction of the perfect logo. However, one thing that we haven’t really covered is where the ideas come from in the first place. It’s all well and good to have 1000 brushes installed on photoshop, or know the exact border-image ratio to make a promotional offer pack a punch on a website, but lacking the ideas to feed into these digital miracles is the equivalent of investing in the most advanced production line in the world with no concept of the product you intend to make.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to spark the creative fires, and ignite an inferno of ideas that are sure to set your web presence and graphic materials apart in terms of originality, elegance and vision. Here at greensplash, we pride ourselves on our creativity. Here are some of the things you can do to optimise yours:
Seek out new experiences
Naturally, it is important to look at the leaders in your chosen field, be it website, branding or print design. However if you exclusively look at the work of other web/graphic designers for inspiration, your work is likely to end up highly derivative. In order produce something unique and original, you need to draw inspiration from a variety of mediums. Take a trip to an art gallery. Look at some classical architecture. Eventually, you’ll find the ideas you absorb from these alternative forms influencing your graphic or web design choices for the better.
Analyse, Analyse, Analyse
When looking at a great design, it’s important to take the time to understand why it works. If you look at the actual technical construction of the design, in terms of colour palette, layout, etc, then you’ll find it easier to isolate the elements that make the design brilliant and incorporate them into your own style, rather than directly copying.
Visualise your Target Audience
Understanding your audience is key to ensuring that your creative endeavours don’t ultimately end in disappointment and mass disinterest. However, it can also be great springboard to greater heights of inspiration if considered early on in the project. Taking the time to understand your audience, their motivations and desires and the message you wish to convey to them can force you to think in unusual ways, meaning that you’re all the more likely to start generating unexpected and unique ideas.
Keep a Pad and Pencil with you at All Times
In an ideal world, our moments of inspiration would coincide with the hours we spend sitting in front of an open Photoshop or Dreamweaver file. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Inspiration tends to strike when you’re away from your desk, and has completely faded by the time you return. Therefore, it is imperative to keep a notebook and pen with you at all times, and note down those world-shattering design thoughts as and when they occur.
Understand your previous work
The key to developing work of higher consistent quality is to analyse your previous efforts in the most self-critical manner humanly possible. Look at your work with a critical eye. Make a list of what works and what doesn’t work. Study this back. Apply the lessons learnt to your next project. Improve.
Ensure you get your rest
Sleep is vital for a variety of reasons, but purely in context of this topic, you’re unlikely to be particularly creative if all you can think about is going to bed. Make sure you get over 6 hours sleep a night – any less and your decision making capacity is compromised, making any kind of creative endeavour an uphill struggle.
Avoid Repetitive Viewing and Reading
Whilst to some degree this is repeating the first point, it is a point worth reiterating. If you’re watching the same TV shows or reading the same author every night, you’re not feeding yourself enough new ideas to spark anything original. Even when you’re sitting on your couch at night, make sure you’re exposing yourself to new ideas rather than soaking in the same old ones.
The Internet is a Fount of Creative Inspiration
So you may be reading this thinking that all this going out and finding inspiration in galleries and panoramic scenery is a little much to ask after a hard day at work, and you would be right. However, resources such as www.stumbleupon.com allow you to rapidly access unusual and inspiring content direct from your laptop. You’ll be amazed at what kind of ideas fifteen minutes of effective browsing can inspire.
These are some general ideas on methods to get the muse working in your favour, but bear in mind that everyone is different, and you will find your own ways to become a waterfall of unique, creative thoughts.
Having trouble getting the muse to sing? Why not have the greensplash genies work their creative magic for you? Call 01606 884 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about our web design, graphic design and branding services.