Most designers will tell you that they have a routine way of working their way through a brief. It usually begins with a trawl through Behance or Pinterest, a mood board or two and then a few quick sketches in a tatty coffee stained notebook.
Maybe there’s a brainstorm session with the wider team or maybe it’s a solo task, but more often than not, we stick to our normal work flow. Browsing a range of Pinterest boards helps to get the creative juices going, but is this actually limiting you from thinking up fantastically intuitive and fresh ideas?
Same old, same old
Looking at design for design inspiration can lead you to producing work that could be repetitive. There’s no doubt that using trending colours, fonts and styles leads to slick and clean design and it really is comforting sticking to what is safe - but are you just reiterating what you’ve already seen? The familiar scrolling through endless aesthetically themed boards might actually be having the opposite effect of what you intended. If you have time on your side, and the deadline isn’t looming, and panic hasn’t spread like wildfire through the studio then give this a go…
Break open new ideas
Change up the process. Flick through those lovely ‘coffee table’ books that your CD has laying around or take the team out for a 15-minute photo walk around the block. It doesn’t need to start online - take a moment on your commute into work to see the world around you. There’s inspiration everywhere and it can hit you at any time – notably when you least expect it. The smallest, strangest detail you notice on the phone box next to that panini shop underneath your office, could be the birth of a solution to that tough brief you’ve been avoiding. Perhaps this daydream type of inspiration hunt doesn’t work for you, so where else can you find waves of tasty ideas? A lecturer at my university preached about the importance of art history and its influence on design. The city is filled with galleries – A.K.A real life Pinterest. But do not worry, an understanding of art history is not necessary– just a pair of curious eyes, an open mind and that tatty, coffee stained sketchbook. A world of inspiration is right there waiting for you, so maybe it’s time to minimise the internet window and open the door.