No time for creativity

As designers we work in quite an ironic industry. Consumers want what they want and they want it NOW, but since we are designers the product we deliver is meant to be original and creative.

Have you ever waited in the McDonalds drive-thru and gotten fed up for waiting more than 5 minutes?
I know I have.
Have you ever received a completed design brief and the due date field read ‘ASAP’?
I know I have.

With such high demand and crucial deadlines it sometimes seems impossible to fit good ol’ creativity into your design process. To distinguish where creativity comes from and how to find it plays a key roll in any designers process. For many designers as well as myself I find creativity in the early stages of my research, not on my blank canvas. I find that my creativity is what I get when I decipher my notes and doodles. I think the biggest mistake designers make is missing their window of opportunity that comes with research. Instead, they spend valuable time focusing on the development of a design and creating 5-6 drafts of rubbish that they can’t deliver to their client because it “doesn’t work”. Creativity if often missed and seen as a miscommunication for designers who don’t use an outlined process.

Is your process creativity proof?

Here are some examples of great design processes.

David Airey – My brand identity design process
Jacob Cass – Logo design process of top logo designers
Stop design – A design process revealed
Selene Bowlby – 6 phases of the web design and development process
Smashing magazine – 6 steps for building successful websites

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3 Responses to No time for creativity

  1. Niki Brown says:

    I think the biggest factor in my work process that helps creativity is TIME! (which probably conflicts with ASAP work) I try to always build in time for projects that require creative solutions. Its so important to have the ability to take a step back and give a project some breathing room and come back at things in a fresh manner.

    I just did this with a project that I’ve been working on and didn’t touch it over the weekend. I came back monday morning, fresh and found a solution!

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  3. Nice one Niki. Sometimes a project just needs a pair of fresh, rested eyes. I find myself juggling multiple projects at once because it is easier for me to leave a project, work on a different project and then go back when my brain has had time to recalibrate.

    I find that if I spend a good amount of time on research and inspiration I spend less time fishing for ways to make my work gain creativity as I already know what direction I want to go in as a result of well-rounded research.

    Thanks for sharing your process!

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