Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Ways to Generate Creative Ideas Under Pressure

I often find myself in the position of having to come up with creative ideas at the drop of the hat. Here's some helpful tips for those times when you need to be creative ASAP.

  1. Sketch first. It's easy to overlook this step because it's so much easier to jump on the computer to find quick answers. But, sometimes the answers look too much like the software is dictating the design decisions, rather than good ideas.
  2. Explore the trite and overused. Sometimes the trite and overused ideas are ones that resonate best with the audience. By not rejected them out of hand, you may find a fresh take on an old idea.
  3. Don't waste time mulling over decisions. It's best to come up with ideas rapidly, than to edit at this point. It's about quantity, not quality. Save the editing for later when you begin to select the best approaches to show the client. Then the client will make changes anyway. It's a law of nature.
  4. Refine your selections, but add a twist. What I mean is that when you start to refine a design idea, make sure to not just do the idea. Force yourself to add something unexpected, but appropriate. This keeps the design fresh, and your brain functioning.
  5. Get rest. It's funny how better your ideas will flow when you rest. Take a nap if you have to, unless you are at work. If at work, then take time to listen to music, read something unrelated, or take a brisk walk. The point is to let it go for a while (as time permits).

Happy designing.


  1. great tips. Sometimes being under pressure can close the mind to creativity. These tips could be very helpful when this phenomenon arises.

  2. Thanks, Tyler. I agree. Unfortunately I find myself under pressure quite a bit these days.


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