Learn about resources inside and outside of the design arena that are rich with inspiration.
- I love to think of the gathering phase of a project like stocking up on possibilities. It's a bit like overstocking your kitchen with ingredients so you're prepared to make anything that comes to your mind. We may have a very specific idea we'd like to pursue, but we may also veer off on a tangent based on a whim and that's exactly what we're going to consider next. Just how do we generate solutions that speak to our objectives, but have the serendipitous nature, or stray from the cliche to the astonishing? We can also call these solutions unpredictable and to get to that stage of creation, we've invented a number of mechanisms to make this happen.
Methods created to let you drill deep into an idea, to expose possibilities that may lay dormant way below the surface. I like to start with words since they're a quick way to build chains of association, or pathways that lead us to where we never expected. Word mapping lets you record those ideas in a useful reference tool. Let's stick with our shopping center, Clifton Square, for example.
I might do a variety of these and for this one, let's just start with the word shopping. Now, know that this is a bit of a word association and that every map will be as unique as a thumbprint. You might find the time to do several of these using different keywords like we discussed early. Once you lay down the first word, you might start building out around it with satellite words that associated.
Here you can see I used words like bag, cart, cash register, and market. Pretty expected links and I guarantee, your words would have been different. Then, from each of those words I may build off one or more thoughts associated with that word. Many times I've tried to name nouns or things because I'm looking for visual solutions in the end, and tangible elements will translate.
Not only will this start to populate a robust visual resource for you, but I think you'll find the further you push a string of words, the less expected the associations you create. Shopping took me to baskets. Then, to wicker. Then, to cornucopia. Then, the harvest, which reminded me of a harvest moon or shocks like corn shocks in an autumn field. Not positive that will find me a solution, but look at this one.
My firsts leap was to market, then to signs, and wrought iron like the decorative ones that used to hang outside of stores. That led to the store's door, and that to bells, like the ones that would ring when a customer walked in. Not sure it would have gotten there on my own, but I like the visual idea of what those bells look like and I could see that as a great vintage launch point for a shopping center in an old Victorian home.
I'll giveaway here one of my most visited sites as onelook.com. It's a great multi-dictionary tool, but it also has a function that lets you feed it a word and it returns related words. A bit like the world's best thesaurus that doesn't know when to quit. It not only delivers synonyms and antonyms, but every related word it can imagine, and the deeper you dig, the more unexpected and richer the possibilities.
- Gathering words, images, styles, and fonts for inspiration
- Solo brainstorming techniques
- Sketching the logo
- Creating logos with depth
- Adding additional value through symbolic storytelling
- Preparing to present your design to clients
- Helping clients understand your logo designs