How can you always have new ideas for your designs? We are creative, our task is to always generate new ideas to give life to new projects, both personal and commissioned by our clients.
Always generating new ideas can be difficult sometimes, because sometimes we find ourselves in the situation of not knowing where to start, or our creativity is a bit blocked. It happened to you, didn’t it?
Well, in this article I want to help you with a simple list of 6 methods to always generate new ideas for your projects, following an almost infallible process that will allow you to be one step ahead.
Let's get started!
Table of Contents
1. Collect as much information as possible
When you need to generate new ideas for your designs, it’s good to start by gathering information.
For this first step I highly recommend you to use the Notion app, which is free and through our link you can also get $10 in credits to use if you want to increase your space with a premium account!
The more information you collect about the project you need to work on, the more you will have a clear picture of what is needed to create your design.
There are many ways to collect information, the most important of which are:
- Create an effective project brief: in this case I suggest you read the article 45+ Questions to Ask When Designing a Logo where I tell you which are the best questions to ask the client (or to bring in the case of a personal design project) to create an effective brief.
- Find inspiration from the work of other designers: in this regard, you could for example visit sites like Pinterest, Behance and Dribbble to see what other designers have created before you about a particular project.
- Do a careful market research: this is also an important point because every design must have a relative market research. A designer needs to know what the trends are, what the competitors are, how to position himself in the market, which “tone of voice” to use to convey the message.
2. Collect summary information (brief)
The most important step in gathering information is the “Brief”. Once you have gathered as much information as possible by doing market research, looking at the work of other designers and interviewing your client, you can proceed with the summary of the “key information” and produce your brief.
When you get to this point in your process of generating new ideas for your designs, you can start working on your design by following what you have collected step by step.
Below I will write down what information you need from the client to create (for example) a Brand:
- Company Details
- Design Preferences or Necessity
- Target Audience
- Timing and Budget
Following this schedule you can formulate a series of questions to ask the client (or to ask yourself, if you are working on a personal project or a personal brand) and, from here, create your final brief!
3. Turn everything off and move away for a while
That’s right, you got that right! Here it’s time to take a breath of air, forget about the project for a while to let your mind breathe. Here you can have great inspirations that can lead you to the solution of your problem, to the initial creation, the one that starts from the mind, the one that starts the next step: giving life to the idea.
You can go out for a walk, put on your headphones and listen to some music (which sometimes also gives you the right inspiration), or anything else that can take you away from your work for a while.
Why is this step very important? Because in this way you can eliminate the problem from your conscious mind, and let your subconscious mind work on this project!
You will see that, as soon as your conscious mind has detached itself from the problem that makes it think so much to find a solution, you will be able to find the solution with your subconscious mind, in the form of an “idea“!
4. This is where the idea comes to life
This is where the idea takes shape! You’ll see that all of a sudden, an idea will come to you. This idea comes from your subconscious. Now is the time to give birth to it.
You have to go back to your workstation and write it down, draw it, sketch it, put down all the characteristics that the idea has.
Don’t worry if the idea isn’t good, because it can happen. When you have made the first draft on paper (or on your drawing software) and you see that it is not what you expected, you don’t have to get down.
What you have to do is keep working on that idea, evolve it and improve it. Because your job now is to make that idea, a “good idea”!
So we’ve come to the definition of how to bring an idea to life, after practicing the alternative “brainstorming” steps. Surely you’ve come to have created a concept that can work, after a bit of work and reasoning, well!
5. Give shape to your idea and show it to the world
After having given birth to the idea and sketched the concept it’s time to work on the details.
Let’s take a practical example: you just received a commission for a logo design job. You have studied the brief together with the client, you have made your summary brief and you have taken a break waiting for the “right idea”.
Then, when it arrived, you got back to work and put your concept on paper, trying to make it as clear and defined as possible.
Here you came, then, in the actual design phase, to present your idea to the world! So prepare a presentation, design this logo and use mockups to make it realistic and attractive to those who will see it.
This is the focal point of this paragraph: expose it to the critics! This step can be done either before delivering the draft to the client or afterwards.
I suggest you to show it to the critics first, in order to have constructive feedback on which you can work before the presentation to the client. The “criticism” can be done by your social media followers, or even more simply by a designer friend of yours, your parents, or anyone who can judge your work.
6. Accepts all kinds of criticism
Pro Tip: always gladly accept criticism! Don’t take criticism personally, always remember that they are important feedback that you need to improve your work and your career as a designer.
This is an element that I felt the great need to communicate to you because too often (and it happened many times to me too) a designer feels sorry or offended because he received bad criticism about one of his works.
I know very well that a designer is very sentimentally attached to his or her work, but this is about receiving “feedback” to constantly improve himself or herself. Always accept them, don’t be offended by people who give you bad feedback!
- Collect as much information as possible and then create your own brief summarizing the most important information.
- Detach yourself from the problem and the project for a while so that your subconscious mind can create the idea. Then get to work to bring your idea to life and show it to the world.
- Always accept all criticism knowing that this is all feedback that will help you improve yourself, your career and your projects.
Now you have a clearer idea of how new ideas are generated! If you liked this article, I suggest you read the other articles in our collection as well.
How do you create new ideas for your designs? What is your process? Write it in the comments below.
Thanks for reaching here, I’m truly excited to see what you will create with these guidelines.