Friday, May 27, 2011

Creative Process: Format | Sketches & Word Clusters and More!

Once you've defined the purpose of your design project, you need to consider what "format" the project is going take. Format is any surface on which the elements of your design will be placed. Will it be in printed form or digitally presented, or both? If printed, perhaps it may be a brochure, poster, postcard, business card, flier, etc....  If it's for the web, maybe it's a graphic for a website, webpage, or eBlast? Having an idea of your parameters, such as size and shape, will help you in the next step where the creative process of ideation begins.

Once format is determined, you can move on to quick sketching and doodling thoughts and ideas on the project. You should sketch based on the format in mind, be it a horizontal platform, circle, or whatever shape has been established.The key to doodling is not to censure yourself, but to let your hand sketch away as your brain thinks out ideas. It doesn't matter at this point if some of your ideas do not work. The idea is to allow your mind, your thoughts to filter through and let it go onto paper. You never know when one sketch will lead to another idea and another. It's good to do about 20-30 mini doodles/sketches.

Besides sketching, I also like to do word clusters on a project. It helps me form verbal cues about the project and its message. I usually end up with a word list that I want to investigate further in the gathering of elements and images process.

From here, I look over my quick sketches and choose 2-3 I think are possibilities for my layout. From these sketch selections, I expand upon each one with even more sketching. This aids me to formulate those ideas I'm going to further research.

With 2-3 ideas on hand and my word list, I now begin the gathering process of images, elements, illustrations. I will go to image gallery websites and do searches from my word list and will peruse books, magazines, websites... anything visual to give me a reservoir to choose from for ideas and elements I may possibly use for the project. I usually place all my gathered material elements: symbols, line drawings, photographs into a special "ideation" folder. In this way, when I ready to begin my layout ideas, I have elements to work with.

These steps of format, doodling, word clustering, further sketching and then gathering are an essential part of my creative process. Unfortunately, many skip this step and immediately attempt design on the computer. I cannot begin a layout on the computer, until I've gone through these exploratory steps. This part of the process ends up sparking my creativity, at the same time "grounding" me towards 2-3 ideas I will pursue for the design project.

Below is a link about how sketching and doodling elevates your thought process to produce original and creative ideas for design. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment