Sometimes it is really hard to get to working, or to get the right inspiration for one of your design works. The best idea’s also do not originate by hard-thinking and trying to get the right solution by forced thought; but they rather arise like a blinking spark on a sudden moment.
However there are some tricks and techniques, which can help you along solving designing problems, or starting up a design when you have no idea to do what. In this article we’ll look to some interesting designing techniques that can help you in your Graphic or Product Design, and I’ll add a few tricks I use by my own. Designing itself can be very intuitive, an I rather want it to be so, but when having an Artist Block, Creativity Techniques come in very handy!
What vision do you have? What do you want to achieve? To keep your work personal, you can form your own opinion about your design. For example: ‘I want to create a logo that reflects the origin of the company, but also their compassion for sustainability and ecology’. This marks your purposes of designing, and makes clear why you are going to make it.
This is a very associate way of thinking. You are not allowed to go for a solution yet, for example I am going to make a wood-like background for this company its website, because the company offers great wooden furniture. No, just speak everything out you are thinking about. This is very powerful in groups, because one can associate things based on things one other speaks about. In this example of the furniture company keywords could be chairs, woods, branches, leaf, monkey, brown, tables, forest, and everything that associates with a furniture company.
This is a very nice method to get some structure in what is something about. Draw a keyword in the middle and directly start making associations with that keyword, and go on and on. If you are designing a party poster for example, you could use ‘party’ as a keyword. Below is an example:
I find this method greatly inspirational because with one keyword I get many more words in return, which I can use in my designs.
This method can either be to get inspiration on forms and composition of your design, or on colors, textures and materials. This is also great for 3D Computer Graphics, because this can give a quick visual impression on how you want to make things look like, what material, etc. Below is an example of an collage (based on the 1970′s).
This is very useful and even neccessary if you are designing (for a specific group), and if you have a specific problem. If for example a company which is specialized in care for other people wants you to make a new logo, because their current one is too old fashioned and not representable, it is good to ask the following questions: 1. What is the problem? The current logo is old fashioned and does not represent the company. 2. Who has the problem? The company, but also the visitors of the company its website. It is good to know your public! 3. What are the goals? For example: to make a new breathtaking logo which represents the company and is loved by older people. 4. What are the side-effects to be avoided? For example: Using to much font, a too detailed logo. 5. Which actions are admissible? For example: We can interview the company on what colors and forms they like, visit some of their public, do some research on the mission statement of the company, so that the logo will be representable, etc. This also drives your design into a certain direction, and certainly will give enough information to get to work on your design!
The methods described above are sometimes somewhat too scientific, and we need to be artistic. So here are some other tricks I use, when I am out of inspiration.
Just take a paper and start sketching some doodles, or just what is coming in mind. This can help you in the composition and the forms of something you are going to make, and this is also great for logo design, by starting of sketching some ideas and choosing the best to reproduce digitally.
Take a walk
Go outside, take a little walk just around the corner en enjoy the fresh air, and look around to all wonderful things outside. The rewarded Senz Umbrella, which can be used in stormy weather, was invented because one of its inventors was walking outside after a tempest and saw a lot of broken umbrellas thrown away in dustbins. Walking around eases your mind, get you off the work for a few minutes and works relaxing, and sometimes even inspirational.
Ask a friend
Or parents, or sisters, or neighbors. This can help you think out of the box, out of your own mind, because you are going to ask for the opinion of someone else. For example, where do you think about when you hear the words furniture and nature? They can come to a lot of words and sometimes even solutions which you can incorporate in your designs.
This was my selection of design techniques and tricks I use, when design graphics or products. In the future I’ll add some Photoshop tutorials, where we’ll use some of those techniques.