Creative Sorbet: design briefs to cleanse your palate

12 September 2014

When you’re busy, it’s really easy to move from one design project to another quickly, and after a while I find that designer’s block sets in and I struggle to think creatively for client projects.

One remedy I have found to this is to expose myself (not like that!) to other designers’ work: read a design blog; look through portfolios. This helps to distract me momentarily from the project at hand, and gives my brain a break, to the point where I can usually progress beyond a blank page to a concept for the client.

The other thing I do is to work through sample briefs not tied to a client or internal project, which allows me to test my skills, learn new techniques and refresh myself. This is a little like sorbet in a meal: these little projects cleanse your design palate in anticipation of a new project.

Sample design briefs to energise your creativity

As such, I find these simple briefs I’m using/have used re-energise your creativity between projects. Creativity needs some constraint to help you focus your ideas, and a simple brief like those below helps me.

Feel free to use them too, and suggest your own on Twitter to me, and I’ll add them here.

1. Book cover for the next James Bond novel to be released
2. Beer engine clip: redesign the logo for your favourite beer, and think about its application at the bar: how would it look among other brands?
3. Football club shield/logo
4. Wall mural for a multicultural suburb of your city
5. Illustration style portrait in two colours
6. Isometric style map of your local area
7. 1920/1930s style railway poster for your city/town