If at first you don’t succeed… try a little patience

It’s very satisfying when your idea translates perfectly into beautiful artwork for your poster, leaflet or social media post, but it isn’t always that easy. We’re willing to bet you sometimes spend ages trying to wrestle an idea onto the screen, but it doesn’t quite work. And more than likely you suspect the design you were working on an hour ago was probably better, but you can’t quite remember how it looked. Sound familiar? Persisting with an idea just means…

  1. You get very stressed and spend much longer on the project that you’d intended
  2. You give up trying to remember what you did earlier, and compromise on something similar-ish thinking “that’ll do”

It doesn’t have to be this way

When approaching a design for your marketing material there are a few things you can do to minimise stress and wasted time:

  1. Use pen and paper: Sketch out a basic plan of your idea(s). It doesn’t matter how good you are at drawing, just uses boxes, lines and shapes to represent the various elements. You’ll very quickly get an indication of how much space you’ll roughly need for each part of the content and more importantly, you’ll be able to see which ideas might work. Doing it this way is far quicker than evaluating ideas on the computer
  2. Iterate: Play around with the elements and proportions and if you’ve got several ideas, put each one on a different page in the document. That way you’ll be able to review the ideas together (you might want to print them out) and no idea is lost. If your software doesn’t allow you to create separate pages, then create different files for each idea – you can delete the rejected ones later
  3. Stop!: Don’t persist with an idea if you’re struggling to make it work. Work on some other ideas instead and come back to the tricky one later. You’ll probably see a solution you hadn’t previously or realise it’s not as good as some of your others, so you can discount it
  4. Don’t discriminate: Try not to reject a design until you have something better to replace it with. Good designs can come out of flawed ideas, and in general rule, you should compare designs against each other and make selections that way.
  5. Go round again: If you’re still struggling – go back to point one and get the pencil and paper out… it’ll save a lot of messing about

These methods don’t just apply to design either – they can be used (and adapted) for almost any creative problem.

If you’ve found this article helpful why not sign up to our Design Tips emails and get them sent straight to your inbox? And if you find yourself getting regularly stressed, why not contact us to see how we could help? We’d be happy to advise you.

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