People often ask us, “How do you come up with ideas?” The short answer is years and years of practice with sorting out good concepts and bad concepts. Along with a shameful amount of coffee. The longer answer is that each time we’re presented with a new challenge or project, each person on the team dives into their own head and starts building a list [or pile] of every idea that wanders into their minds. Some of us jot that down, or sketch it, or give it a quick design work up. At the beginning stages, the most important thing we do is realize that creativity, branding, advertising, and interactive design all start with a concept first. The best concepts are those that capture attention from the start, and then show themselves to have deeper meanings and connections over time.
Once we all feel as though we’ve taken our own brains as far as we can, we come together and share what each of us believes to be our very best ideas. We’ve already “edited” ourselves to eliminate concepts we know have been done before, those that are off-target for a given audience, those that are just too complicated (or too expensive) to execute, or those that are one-dimensional. Knowing those things are all part of the years and years of practice part. What usually happens while we’re sharing is that one concept sparks a new, or complementary idea in someone else. One of us might have an incredible idea for a logo, but there’s something about the shape or color that inspires another team member to create a tagline. It even happens sometimes that two or more of us were all thinking in the same direction and snap – a bunch of components of a brand, sales campaign, or website all come together at once. It’s awesome when that happens. When it doesn’t, we work our best ideas until the snap happens. Or, sometimes we go back to the drawing board. This might all happen dozens of times on a single project before there’s anything to show to the client. Once our OCD heads are in love with an idea, then it’s finally something worth getting off the ground and in front of an audience.