Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hot-Wire the Creative Process--sweet!

Lots of good strategies for keeping those creative juices flowing. Mainly geared for web/print designers but some apply to all creative processes.
1. Don’t doubt your creative powers. Believe in yourself! And if you’re going to question your creative ability, do it later. But when you have a project to do, tell yourself you can do it.
2. Buy Eno/Schmidt’s Oblique Strategy Cards for inspiration.
3. Don’t pursue eureka—just start designing instead of waiting for the perfect design solution.
4. Overwork the conceptual. It’s all about the concept. Better a good concept poorly executed than a poor concept well executed.
5. Blitz—give yourself a fake tight deadline and try to work very quickly. When time is up spend lots of time tweaking.
6. Plunder (pre-Bauhaus) art history—book of Kells, moko (Mauri tattoos), Paul Rand logos, Brut (art for mental patients) Try autogenerative software like n-gen (contextual design templates) and designershock (helps create fonts).
7. Work in layers—create 10 layers and then delete the top 5. Create 20 more and delete the middle layers. See what you get. Try a different combination.
8. Create your own website that is not public. Experiment and publish semi-publicly. Fail early and fail often.
9. Spend some time clearing your head—get away. Spend a few days totally immersed in the net looking for inspiration. Need to do both from time to time.

The key is the design process—the best solution isn’t preconceived but arrived at through exploring and reworking ideas. Don’t just focus on the final solution.

Balance the 5 layers of design context:
1. General aesthetics
2. media constraints
3. audience needs (ultimately the most important)
4. client needs (what designers often put first)
5. ethical considerations (is your work in-line with your principles?)

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