I read an interesting article today and thought I would share it’s contents with my readers. I won’t copy the entire article because just like any article it had it’s ups and downs. The article itself was from a magazine that sadly isn’t in print today and by far has been the most informative magazine I have ever read on the subject of design. The article was titled “Rebellion – The recipe for conceptual brilliance is research, reason and a dash of nonconformity” and the article is by Marty Neumeier. It was published in Critique – The Magazine of Graphic Design Thinking back in 1996. Now I realize that was years ago but the bulk of the article still holds true today. The article basically states, that in a world where design has been watered down by everyone thinking they are a designer because they own a computer and can run Photoshop, there is still money to be made by true designers. Why? Because the money doesn’t come from the “art”, the money comes from the creative concept. While Ma and Pa Kettle can certainly put a place a photo and a tag line on a business card and call it design they still lack the creative skill it takes to get into the mind of their customer and relate to the world around them and their business will suffer because of their lack of understanding. The article states that the more conceptual designer will be the designer who prevails and wins more clients, why, because his/her concepts are not only beautiful but also help communicate, help sell a product or even help a client have a better image. A strong concept is described as “an idea so bold, and so clear that nothing can knock it off course It not only hits the target, it obliterates it.” Einstein compares the generation of an idea to a chicken laying an egg: “Kieks! auf einmal ist es da.” or Cheep! – and all at once it’s there. The equation for a good concept is described in the article as a formula (Problem + Fresh Perspective x Intuition = Concept) In the incubation stages of a good concept the mind takes several thoughts and ideas and combines them into what we would call a concept this process can only happen after the mind has thoroughly wrapped itself around an idea. The unconscious mind can’t work its magic until the idea has “ripened”
If you are the impatient type and do not want to wait for your idea to fully “ripen” there are creative exercises to help speed up the process. Try this one out next time you are in a crunch for a great concept: Write down as many words as you can think of that describe what you are trying to conceptualize. List colors, feelings, names, places, letters, animals, geometric shapes and anything else that pops into your head. Now choose two of those words at random and mentally combine them. Try the same exercise using picture and word combinations. These exercises are called combinatory play.