How To Be A Creative Sponge

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How To Be A Creative Sponge by Jon Hicks - Oct 2009 - see http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/how-to-be-a-creative-sponge-2 where the pdf is also avail for d/l

Text of How To Be A Creative Sponge

  • HELLO!

    x

  • JON HICKS HICKSDESIGN

    Good morning everyone! My name is Jon Hicks, one half of the imaginatively named Hicksdesign, a creative partnership based in Witney.We work on everything from print to web, but probably most well known for the Firefox and Thunderbird Logos.

  • Text

    Although these days I work as Lead Designer for Opera Software, working on Opera Mini and desktop

  • HOW TO BE A

    CREATIVESPONGE!

  • How do you do it? How do you get the ideas to actually design something??"

    Mr F from London

    "

    Well of course, there are many different ways that a design actually gets done, but today Im here to look at just one.

  • Designers need to be visual leeches, constantly cataloguing and recording information like a camera thats always snapping photos"

    Jason Santa Maria

    "

    As designers, were constantly looking for ideas. We can never switch off.

  • It seems to me that if you're a designer, then design runs through your veins. You can't stop looking at things through your designer eyes. "

    Ben Terrett, The Design Disease

    "

    "

  • Visual Leeches ?

    Creative Magpies

    Visual Vampires

    Creative Sponges

  • CREATIVE JUICES!

    mmmm!

  • The 3 stages of the Creative Sponge

    COLLECT!CATALOG!CREATE!

  • COLLECTWhat do we collect and where from?

    Collecting is the core activity of a Creative Sponge

    What, how and where?

    - What do we collect ?

  • What are we collecting?

    Its not just InspirationIts not just IdeasIts FUEL

    All this visual collateral is nothing without a catalyst to kickstart the creative process.

  • Things Ive collected always have relevance at some point later on"

    Georgie Bean, Interior Stylist

    "

    The temptation is to only collect the things that interest you, but this is will hold you back.

    Collect even the things you dont like.

  • Sources to collect from...

  • observing lifeKhoi Vinh

  • Doodles from your headDoodles and sketches

  • Book Covers

  • Magazine layouts

  • Found Typography

  • Images taken directly from the internet

  • Related: comic | cute | decorative | funny

    Related: comic | cute | inline | outline | sassy | shadow

    Let the creative juices come to you - for free. Sign up on Type Foundries mailing lists, and they will send you regular doses without you having to lift a finger

  • T-shirt companies like Threadless

  • Packaging

  • clothing labels and tagsHow about more obscure items like clothing labels?

  • Leaflet racks are an all-you-can-eat buffet

  • Experiment with your camera

  • ExperimentationTry taking pictures through glass

  • ...OK, you get the idea...

  • ...except websites!

    That is, everything except the thing youre working on. Avoid sub-conscious duplication

  • CATALOGWhat is your trusted system?

    Just like GTD, the creative sponge needs their own trusted system.

    You can actually have more than one system!

  • Designers are magpie-like creatures. If we see a style or approach that we enjoy well absorb some of it, sometimes consciously, sometimes not"

    Michael Johnson, Johnson Banks

    "

  • YOURHEAD!Your head is the first place you store stuff

  • Analog Spongery

  • SketchbookSimon Collison keeps beautiful sketchbooks

  • The blog Print & Pattern keeps meticulous ring binders full of the resources she finds.

  • or a boxI just bung things in a box

  • Digital Spongery

    Your maybe more likely to use digital spongery

  • I used to use iPhoto a lot.

  • But now there are special apps like Littlesnapper

  • Personally, Im using Evernote the most at the moment

  • Sources

    Collectors

    Cameraphones are one of the best collectors! Material is collected by, and synced between, desktop and mobile client.

  • I can often remember text in an image, which is quicker to find than tagging images

  • Social Spongery

    Designers collections need not be shut away in sketchbooks and boxes, but can be collected, tagged and sorted, ready for everyones use. I love this kind of open source design collecting.

  • FFFFound!

  • IMG Spark

  • Ember

  • Flickr is still king

  • No interpretative dancing with explosives please

  • CREATEHow do we use these collections to create stuff?

  • Modern Art is rife with collections turned into new work.

  • Eduardo Paolazzi and Peter Blake are just 2 examples of artists who collect things and apply them directly to create new art.

  • The Fear !

    How do get past the blank sheet of paper?

  • Collecting things stimulates

    the brain. It helps you think of

    something fresher. "Wieden + Kennedy

    "

    Collection itself is a stimulant for ideas

  • The Fear !

    But sometimes not enough

  • It needs a further catalyst

  • CREATIVE CATALYSTS

    Deadlines! Change of environment Go to Bed Peace & Quiet (go for a wee) Take a shower

  • Mind-mapping

  • Cheese is an excellent catalyst of course

  • Critique it!

    But lets look at examples of catalysts that directly use our collections.

  • Original 2012 bid logo

  • Final 2012 logo

  • But are these really any better? Why?

  • Moodboards

    But lets look at examples of catalysts that directly use our collections.

  • I can has moodboard?

    kthxbye!

    Moodboards have a bad rep, mainly because of this man

  • A MoodboardThis is where your collections of design collateral really pays off. Once assembled, common colours, styles and type emerge, such as the reds and royal blues here

  • Another MoodboardHowever, ask someone else, and you could get a completely different feel / outlook - green and blue

  • Why Moodboards?

    1. Concentrates on the concept/mood

    2. Stimulates conversation with stakeholders

    3. Quick to make4.Clients can make their own!

  • Spot Design Patterns

  • Reuse, recycle, but dont

    reinvent the wheel unless

    necessaryBrian Christiansen, UI Engineering

    Design is not always about originality

  • Anyone that subscribes to Chris Messinas Flickr Stream will know that he likes posting screenshots. A LOT of screenshots. Its hard to know why, until you take a step back and see the bigger picture.

  • Its a collection of design patterns

  • Pattern Tap is an excellent resource for patterns

  • Sampling colours

  • =

  • =

  • Finally, a couple of my own examples...

  • Hicksdesign logo

    =+

    From a painting seen in an art gallery, and a button configuration on a camera, to logo

  • open doors student site

    =

    From Threadless T Shirt to Website.

  • Soak up everything, you

    never know when you're

    going to need it"Jon Hicks

    "

  • http://delicious.com/jonhicks/sponge

    SOAK IT UP!

    http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/be-a-creative-sponge-2

    http://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtypehttp://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtypehttp://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtypehttp://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtypehttp://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtypehttp://del.icio.us/jonhicks/geeknightwebtype