The Creative Process

The Creative Process

By Paul Gilliam, Creative Director, Think3 Marketing


Part 1: an idea

I’m often asked about my creative process and more so about where ideas come from. This is seldom an easy question to answer and rarely has the same answer twice. So let me try and explain how I arrive at an idea for a project.

I feel that the base of a good idea is understanding more than just the project but the product, the company, and the goal. I try to think outside of just the “project” when I first speak to clients, asking questions about the company’s history, the company’s goals, the company’s values. I also look into the competition and what they are doing in the same space. Are they succeeding? Are they doing something bigger and better that we need to outshine? Do they have content that we can “one up” to show why we are the better option? By finding the answers to these questions it gives me a deeper insight into what the client truly wants from an end result and what will resonate with the customer base they have and want.

After getting as much information as I can about the project and the company behind the project, I give the information time to “simmer”. For me, letting ideas flow and bounce around off one another in my mind starts the refinement process. This also gives outside influences time to work themselves into the process (this is one of the most important steps). I feel many designers get an idea in their head right away then run with it. While this is great for a quick turnaround, and sometimes you really do “strike the nail on the head” often it closes you off to other ideas or refinements to your idea that could improve it. Allowing outside influences into your project helps to keep it current, on target and fresh. I have been struck with inspiration from movies, radio, my daughter, a car ride, shopping for pants, and many others.

Unlike many designers I know, I don’t put ideas down on paper until I have narrowed them down in my mind. I’m good in the Adobe Suite, but I can do it all much faster in my head, so if it doesn’t work there I don’t try and beat it out on “paper”. Once these ideas coalesce into something more firm, I move them to paper. This is where a project really starts to come together, and if the idea is strong, and the message is clear, the act of creation is much smoother.

At Think3, we think beyond they visuals, pushing creative solutions that not only “wow” in the visual spectrum, but drive a message that is refined and targeted to deliver maximum results. Check out our website to see how we can help you redefine what targeted marketing and design is about.

Now that we are moving to paper stay tune for “Part 2: a layout”.


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