creativity (remix)

Working as an in-house designer there are times when my designs can get a bit static. Of course this can happen to any designer working anywhere... but when you're in-house... and you're working for one brand... it can sometimes feel a bit repetitive. The brand style guide can be constraining when you have to stick with eight colors, three typefaces, and one visual aesthetic... when you have to make sure everything is "on brand".

If your design team is a smart one—while developing the style guide—you all left a bit of wiggle room so no one gets stuck using the same visual solution over and over again. If you're a smart designer... you know rules are meant to be broken... so you'll always push the envelope anyway. But that's another story. 

What I want to talk about today is feeling stuck. Or, after working on landing page after email after landing page—you realize that to come to a successful solution you're relying on the same little design trick that was successful seven, five, and two projects ago. You love it and it works... but ugh... can't you come up with anything different?!

So how can I break away from the broken record of repeating what worked for my designs the last three times again and again and again. Well designerds, I'm still figuring out, but I do have a first step. Switching up your daily routine can really help you mix it up creatively.

You can do this a bunch of ways... eat something new and totally crazy for breakfast, work from home or a local coffee shop instead of the office, or maybe take a different route on the way to work. But my favorite way to switch things up is to change up the music I listen to.

Instead of turning on the same old playlist... or flipping to that same station... listen to something you've never really listened to before. I'm not talking about a new album by one of your favorite artists... I'm talking totally switching it up. Going from alternative to classical... or from classic rock to merengue. Giving your brain different melodies and lyric concepts to focus on will break it out of its robotic state and hopefully refresh your creative outlook. 

If you're not someone who listens to music while you work... try it in the car or on the train during your commute. I promise you, flooding your ears with a whole new sound will start to refresh your creative brain.