Generating ideas: 7 things you should know

So, you have an idea, that’s fantastic, but try and find a few more, challenge yourself and don’t settle for just the one.

It won’t do you any favours being loyal to one design, whoever said ‘three’s a crowd’ was lying on this occasion.

When you have a few ideas… ‘oh what, you don’t know how to find the ideas?’ Read on my friend.

First things first

Firstly, you will need a brief, which is a sentence or two (or bullet points) telling you what you are trying to achieve. Once you have a little bit of structure this will help you come up with your ideas.

Idea explosions

One persons’ treasure is another persons’ junk’, so never dismiss or underestimate places where you might find ideas and become inspired. Look to see what is down the back of a sofa, get on your tip toes to see what is on the other side of that tall wall. Don’t live with your eyes closed.

Once you have opened your eyes and begun to question the world around you, ideas will be popping into your mind whilst you do the most mundane tasks. Washing up will become a bit more fun erhh?

Try to ensure your ideas are meeting your brief or at least could do with a little tweak. Unless you have all the time in the world to develop your project you will need to be smart with you time and stay focussed.

Artistic license

It is here where the fun really starts… So, you have your ideas, now you get to flip them on their heads and exhaust them. Push, pull and kneed your ideas until they are morphed into better versions of themselves. Don’t panic these new exciting versions aren’t the final polished idea. You still have a bucket full of artistic license to throw at your idea later.

If you are struggling to push your ideas onto the next stage grab a friend (not literally) and call a family member to get some extra input and suggestions.

Remember though, there are no rights or wrongs and if your best mate tells you that your favourite idea resembles something in the toilet, don’t be disheartened- you are dealing with opinions, do what you want to with your feedback- take it on board, develop your idea or throw it in the bin. Don’t become flattened by your feedback, embrace it, and move on.

Drive your ideas forward

Once you have a collection of developed ideas, some stronger than others, that’s fine. Begin to analyse them and have fun. Side line the ideas that you are lacking passion for, or the ones that don’t answer your brief. Don’t bin them completely, they just might become useful later.

Question the ideas some more, give them the attention they need. Look at them from different angles, photograph them and put the on your PC. Change some of the elements to test them. Work through one idea at a time.

Keep up with the ‘blue sky thinking’, anything is possible, there is no need to follow the ‘rules’, question everything, ‘why does it have to be that size or shape, what would happen if I….’.

Don’t worry about too many details at this stage, don’t panic about colour just focus on forms and the messages you want to convey.

What’s next

Once you have narrowed down a few ideas focus on bringing the to life. Don’t forget to get feedback from other, fresh eyes will notice details that you have become immune to. In the next stages you will look to refine your ideas and start to consider some of the finer details such as fonts and colour.

Chasing your tail

Now don’t worry if you find yourself going around in circles this can happen at this ‘ideas’ stage, but if you do feel like you can’t progress beyond this stage contact an expert to get help with bringing your precious ideas to life. You have done some amazing work, by getting someone onboard you can sit back and enjoy your ideas evolving into reality.

Well done you! Time for a cuppa, I’d say.