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  • I always find it interesting to see how other designers move through the creative process. So what's yours? Thumbnails, mood boards, procrastinating until you have no time left and you just have to sit down and design?

    In an ideal situation (one with a decent amount of time for concepting), I generally do quick thumbnails, sketch out in more detail any elements I may need, scan things in, then jump on the computer. Of course once I'm on the computer, new ideas often pop into my head so some of my final pieces often bear no relation to my original sketches. But I do think that sketching helps me ease into the design process. I also get a lot of pretty bad ideas out of my system that way!


  • I always start with a word list, so for the holiday challenge I had a huge list with words like jolly, mistletoe, santa -- all things holiday. It warms up my brain, I think. Then thumbnails/sketches until I get something I think is workable; then I just dive into Illustrator and hope that what I have in my head can be translated (well) to AI. Sometimes it can't, which is frustrating, but the process of trying will sometimes bring me down another path and lead me to a different and maybe better design anyway. Oh and I sit on designs for a loooong time. Close it down and look at it again in a day or two with fresh eyes.

  • My process is exactly as Ellis described hers...except I rarely sit on a design, as you can tell by my often too many versions...I need to work on that!

  • Love the idea of a word list, Jill and Kim! I'd forgotten I used to do that when I was in school. I think I might try that again. I've also found that, although it sucks to completely lose a design, sometimes when I have to recreate something it's actually better. I wonder if I could incorporate that into my process? Sort of pretend that I've lost a design that I loved, and see what happens when I recreate it just from my memory?

  • Yes - I love the word list...I usually start with words associated with my subject (like "Easter" for example), and then try to add words associated with those words to get some more creative and less used ideas, like if "hop" is on the list, I might add "hip hop."  I also write lists of song titles, bible verses, popular phrases - anything that might be associated with the subject.  I also find that googling different phrases/words and seeing those search results sometimes helps you to "chain" new ideas from your current list.  If songs are on my list, I look through the lyrics to find new words.

    Oh my gosh, Olivia - I doubt my re-creation of a design would be better...but, maybe that's something I should try! :)

  • Kim, you should try it! You might be surprised. But of course, don't actually delete the original :)