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Nicholas Olsen
Nicholas Olsen
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 19,342 Points

How do you come up with design concepts quickly?

I work in the production department of a large church. We frequently need graphics for announcements, powerpoint presentation, social media, etc.

The graphics designer we had on staff has stepped down and now the responsibility has fallen to us to create the graphics.

I'd really like to help but the most difficult thing I've found so far has been just coming up with an ideas. I literally have an hour (perhaps) to put something together and I'm getting stuck on just generating ideas.

What advise can you give me for this situation? What techniques are there for generating ideas quickly?

1 Answer

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,148 Points

Simple, design without a filter. It's also one of the hardest things to do, but it's so critical. What I mean is generate concepts or ideas without letting yourself stop yourself in the middle of a concept. Flush it out all the way through.

Let's say you're target is to design a fly for a piano recital. When generating ideas for the flyer, you come up with a theme of dinosaurs battling space aliens.

Probably not going to be the winning concept, but flush the whole idea out anyway. Maybe that idea feeds another idea, which feeds another, and so on. Also flush concepts out quickly in this stage. A few minutes or so to scribble the idea down is all. If it makes the first round of cuts, spend more time on flushing out more details. Don't get caught up on the details off the bat, and don't discount an idea too early.

My background is in product design. I had a professor who made us flush out insane amounts of early concepts. If I was designing an ergo chair, he might want 150 or 200 difference concepts for this one chair in 24-48 hours. You didn't have time to discount an idea, every idea had to be sketched and presented to meet that requirement.

It forced some really healthy habits. Because the end product was almost always the best of each of those 200+ concepts in one.