Wednesday, 1 February 2012

That first step - Conquering the blank page

Getting started is the biggest challenge of any job I am doing. “Just do it” pops into mind when I stare at a blank page on my computer screen for too long. I wonder if that is how Nike came up with their slogan? Note to self Google later. There is nothing more depressing than a blank page; I have my brief, I know what the client wants, but that blank page is showing no inspiration.
Brainstorm! One of those amazingly dull exercises I was made to do in school has actually stuck with me so far in life. I apologise for any attitude I gave my previous teachers of this being “dumb”, turns out I was wrong – you do know what you’re doing. I jot down a few buzzwords that spring to mind from my own knowledge of the industry, but if it is something new, it can be quite limited so I move on quickly.

With my new found buzzwords, I find researching my subject to be a massive help to getting over the hump. So I flick off the blank page and jump on Google to start searching the industry of the client I’m working on. I look at examples of their competitors what they have done and start thinking about how I can do it better, (That’s the best thing about being second or freshening yourself up; your competitors have set a bar so you know what you need to beat). Researching the industry helps me to understand who this company is, what they do and the people they are looking at selling to. There is nothing more important than knowing your company and who they work with when working on their design.

After seeing who is already out there and what they are doing this gives a good indication of what I should be aiming for, so I start now researching into great ideas for the project. Whether it is a logo, business cards, a website, brochures or anything else; type it into Google and see what comes up. Often the best of the best does which gives great inspiration!

Now that I know who the company is, what they do and who they are after; I know their competitors and have seen some great examples of design work thanks to trusty Google, (I do read reference books I swear, but Google is just so readily available it would be a crime not to check it first) it seems a lot easier to overcome that blank page now. Even if I am just making colour swatches or drawing doodles at first; things start to develop and after milling over and over, a final design that sings off the page finally comes to light.

Once you start the creative juices flowing it is hard to stop… So on to the next project!

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