On Your Mark, Get Set, Design!


“Can you have this done in an hour?”

“The client needs it YESTERDAY”

“I need three solid ideas by the end of day…”

If you are a graphic designer you can relate to this. Designers are challenged everyday with coming up with creative ideas and solutions fast. But that’s what makes our jobs exciting.

Here are a few tips to help you create, design and execute your ideas in a short period of time:

Focus. Turn your phone off. Close your email. Create a space where you can be relaxed, inspired or however you want to feel to improve your creative process. You don’t want any distractions to kill the moment and slow you down.

Find Inspiration. To get your mind going with ideas have an “inspiration folder”, a folder that has a collection of ideas that you know will inspire you and spark your creativity. Or if you prefer you can also bookmark any websites that inspire you. I have a bunch of bookmarks, such as blogs, portfolio sites, etc… that I know I can count on for inspiration.

Start Sketching and Exploring ideas. As soon as you get any ideas, start sketching them, and try to get as many as possible down on paper. Start thinking about what the layout will look like? What color scheme will you be using? What will be more prominent on the page? What style typography would you like to use? What type of imagery treatment will you be using, photography or illustrations? All of these questions will eventually be answered by your design.

Search for Images. Support your design with great looking photos, backgrounds, icons. Download different ones, and in different styles that will help make your design unique.

Now that you have the creative going, the ideas down on paper and the images, it is time to put them all together and make them work. Pick the most promising ideas from your sketches and start by laying them out using your preferred design software. Don’t worry about things being perfect, that will stop you from being creative; just make your ideas come to life.

Next time you have to rush to come up with design ideas just remember to rely on the resources you already have, to let your creative ideas flow and to not over think your designs.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs

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