‘How do you design?’ is one of those questions I have been asked numerous times and still can’t really answer.
All creative people whether designing a poster or composing a musical piece will follow their own methods and processes. And there in lies the beauty of creative thought: every designer given the same brief will create an end result that will be unique and individual, even if there may be similarities that fulfil the brief.
No matter the artform, research; experimentation; trial and error; practice; struggle; ‘writers’ block and technique are all ingredients of a creative process.
Added to this are two key ingredients I believe that are more important than all the others:
1. Edit and refine: the instinctive and considered ability to distil and remove many various components used throughout the process down to the quintessential elements needed for the final piece.
A finished piece of design when presented to a client may appear simple, the process to get to this honed point however, is not. As the saying goes “less is more” and it is far easier to gild the lily, not to mention it takes conviction and courage to present simplicity to a client.
2. Talent: that X-Factor that sets Mozart and Beethoven apart from other composers, and frankly you either have it or you don’t.
Yes you can study the principals of design/composing/writing/interpretive dance etc, and yes you can and yes you should practice, practice, practice, but in the end talent is key.
There are millions of things I do not have a talent for, such as writing. I know how to write and put sentences together, still no matter how many hours I spend reading step by step books on how to write novels, and how many hours I sit typing at my desk I know I will never be a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.
Instead I tell stories through graphic design using my own design process with a touch of talent.