Wow, what a question. There’s so much I love about design. Coming up with creative ideas, developing creative ideas, sitting down in a comfy chair with a nice cup of tea and pretending I’m thinking about creative ideas. I guess therein lies the answer: creativity. That’s one major part of what I love about being a graphic designer.

I should explain what I mean when I say, ‘I love creativity’. Because if I don’t you could assume anything. You may go away thinking he likes painting teapots or he loves nothing more than waltzing around the streets of Bournemouth admiring the colour of people’s socks. So, let’s squash those erroneous assumptions (although there is possibly some truth in the teapot decoration), and let me qualify exactly what it is I love about the creative element of being a graphic designer.

I love Creativity

Coming up with Ideas

A lot of the time, when I’m wittering on about creativity I’m talking about generating ideas. Loads of them. I love coming up with different ideas. Same brief. But loads of ideas that all share the common theme of answering that brief. It’s great for me because it’s one of the things that makes my job so much fun. It’s brilliant for the client because it gives them the ability to make an informed decision about which idea they prefer, and therefore which direction they would like to see the project go.

Honestly, throughout my time as a designer, if I took all the ideas I’ve ever come up with and put them into a sock, well, let’s just say you’d need a pretty big sock. And each idea would have to be shrunk down to the size of a grain of sand. Let’s make them different coloured grains of sand. It’s a much nicer image. Maybe I should have thought about this metaphor a little longer before employing it but No! I’ve chosen a sock now and by golly gosh, like the other sock (socks coming in pairs after all), I’m going to stand by it.

Yes, lots and lots of ideas. I’d say an average of ten ideas for every project of which I usually choose the best three to show my client (you can read more about the actual creative process and presentations here). And I love coming up with the ideas. I think it’s because I have to let my mind wander. I may sit in the garden or go for a walk or get on a plane and go travelling for two years. Ok, I only did that last one once and it was a very long time ago. I still worked as a graphic designer. And I still came up with loads of ideas. As well as getting quite a good tan. I’m in Bournemouth now. So the tan has gone.

Finding solutions to problems

Thinking creatively allows you to come up with novel, sometimes innovative ways to solve problems. Because you are continuously allowing your mind to generate alternative ideas, instead of trying to force just one idea to work, you find yourself in the enviable position of being able to choose the solution you feel works better than the rest. This is helpful in creative projects as it means the client never feels shoe-horned into one answer to the brief. You always feel like you’ve explored all answers and have actively chosen the best one.

I love The Penny Drop Moment

And no, I’m not talking about a hole in my pocket. Although I do own several pairs of trousers with just that problem. No, I mean the moment your audience gets an idea. I love it because it’s powerful. When someone looks at something and figures out a hidden message they feel clever for having worked it out. It is an effective way to get your audience engaged in a positive way.

Below is one of many illustrations I’ve created for Mind Rocket. If you figure it out, let me know in the comments below. Mind Rocket is a brand I created so I had somewhere to explore my twin passions of science and illustration. You can see more of the illustrations in the Mind Rocket case study.

science illustration design

I love Working with Creatives

Every so often a project comes along that is too big for just little old me. Either that or it requires skills outside of my expertise.

I recently had the pleasure of working on a series of short films for Sol, a fuels client based in the West Indies. As well as the general wonderfulness of winging it over to Barbados (it’s a tough life sometimes), I had to sit down with a director and a DP (Director of Photography) and take them both through my storyboarded idea.

The meeting proceeded to get very animated with each of us jumping up in turn every so often and saying things like, ‘And we could shoot it like this…’, before someone else would take the creative baton and run with it. There was so much energy in the room you could have powered the Duracell bunny all the way to Mars. We were literally buzzing. When creatives click, magic can happen.

The List Goes On

There are many more reasons I love being a graphic designer but I’m pretty sure you have your own comfy chair and nice cup of tea to be getting on with. So, off you go now. Go on. See you soon.