Fire up your design

Image by Andy Potts

Timing is everything

Several designers including Jeremy Jones of Digital Marmalade, and Marc Diamond suggest that setting your own deadlines, even when they are artificial, can aid creative focus. Jones says that a bit of pressure can work wonders in forcing you to come up with ideas, while Diamond says that if there’s no urgency, creative juices aren’t likely to start bubbling. True inspiration often needs a nudge.

Or, do as Emlyn Firth, Senior Designer at ISO suggests, and leave it to the last minute, drink shed loads of coffee and let the adrenaline kick your ass on the all-nighter.

Creatures of habit

Jonathan Himoff, CEO of Rezzable, feels the biggest danger to creativity is behavioural routines and has found that encouraging staff to work from a completely different space, even if it is just a park or a coffee shop, can often aid the thought process. Designer Kurt Smith feels that by daily changing one little aspect of your routine, no matter how mundane, can help to challenge yourself without ever knowing it. On the other hand filmmaker/artist Colin Kennedy finds that a morning routine, like running a bath and flitting through the challenges in the coming day in his mind, will help inspire him and shield him from creative troughs.

Image by Resn

Get sociable

Not many designers would need an excuse to kick back with a few drinks in a social setting, but try doing this with the express purpose of creating ideas. Establish such events as ‘creative beers’ to help stop the discussion wandering into general chat about football, house prices and iPhones.

Bring in people outside your immediate creative circle like planners or client’s friends to give a different view. Seek opinions – getting as many people as possible to critique your work and ideas is always a good step. However always take a positive attitude and keep the discussion moving.

Use tools

Make sure you have drawing and writing materials scattered around your house and take them with you wherever you go- you never know when inspiration will hit. You can also make use of digital tools, like digital artist and Gridiron creative director Angie Taylor. “I’m addicted to Autodesk SketchbookX on my iPhone which lets me draw with my finger when I’m on a train or bus,” she says “I love the fact it’s hard to control as it creates a sense of carelessness that’s quite refreshing. I can’t be anal, it forces me to let go and become more creative as a result.”

Thanks to

Andy Williams, Resn,

Andy Potts,

Jan Ligaard, ICON 22,

Damien Smith & Emlyn Firth, ISO,

Dino Burbidge & Eugene Reisch, Digital Outlook,

Damon Mangos, Delete,

Angie Taylor, Gridiron,

Jeremy Jones, Digital Marmalade,

Colin Kennedy,

Marc Diamond,

Jonathan Himoff, Rezzable,

Jim Rawson, Digital Design,

Chris Berridge, Block Interactive,

Jim Radford, The Moving Picture Company,

Paul Kennerley, The Mill,

And all at CenSta,

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1 Response

  1. Sam Billings says:

    Great tips they are very common though every good designer would know about all of this stuff but really good for designers that don’t use much of their brains, I would really recommend this piece of content to everyone related to the industry.

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