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Graphic Design Brainstorming Ideas

Sometimes it can really be hard getting started on a graphic design project. You've got designers block, and it can be quite frustrating. Well, there are some things you can try doing before you even design anything. Let's take a look at some simple techniques to help you with some graphic design idea formation. : )

For Starters

So many new graphic designers want to jump straight to the computer and start working on something. But doing this really boxes in your mind set, and usually results in something that is off and misdirected. Always start a project with a paper and pen. Write down some questions and answer them...

  • What is the message? If the company has a phrase it uses over and over again, write this down. If not, write down what the company does.

  • Who is the target audience?

  • What specifics did the client mention?

full sailGraphic Design Idea Kick Start

Once you've answered these questions, then it's time to move on to the brain storming. Nope. Not on the computer yet... ; )

Have a big sheet of paper at your disposal, and a pen or pencil. Write down the message of the design along with the name of the company, and draw a circle around it.

Now the fun begins. (maybe I need to get out more)

Quickly start jotting down words outside of the message circle that relate to the message and company name. Anything that comes to your head. Even if it seems a bit silly. Don't worry about spelling. That's not the point of this exercise. Don't worry about erasing. Try and organize words into their own little areas as you write them. The key here is to be spontaneous and let your brain bubble over with ideas. Keep on writing stuff down until you feel like there is nothing left in the well.

Now it's time to go back and review what you've written down. It might look scrappy and disjointed, but going over these keywords that you've come up with should give you some kind of foundation to work from. Start circling things or phrases that you like, draw lines to similar thoughts or themes, and cross out the fluff. See which thoughts work with the information you know. You now hopefully should have some ideas. Or at least a foundation to build on.

The Scrapbook

One thing that all graphic designers should creating when they have the chance is an idea scrap book. The concept is this. When you see a logo in an old magazine that you like, cut it out and put it in a scrap book. See a great looking layout for a table of contents? Cut it out and put it in the old scrap book. See a great looking website and like the visual style. Print it out and put in in the scrap book. Keep the logos in one scrap book, layouts in another, and so on. Choose a scrap book where you can add, remove, and switch pages easily. Leaving space around the cut out gives you room to comment about the design if you wish.

I am in no way condoning the copying of someone else's work. There's no room in this industry for a rip off. But there is nothing wrong with getting a general graphic design idea here and there from other people's work. Everyone is influenced by others in graphic design. If someone says that their work is 100% their own and have not taken ideas from someone else in one way or another, they are fooling themselves.

So collect as much as you can when you see something good and effective, and pretty soon you'll have a great resource to refer back to time and time again when that graphic design idea just doesn't come.

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