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How to survive creatively as the only person in your office

If you’ve ever been on a team, you know it can be fun and encouraging. You have a collective of different minds with different thoughts and points of view. It’s almost like there’s no end to the ideas, and brainstorming flows effortlessly. So what do you do, when you have to go it alone? How can one mind come up with enough different ideas to actually brainstorm successfully?

THE IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH:

The first thing you’ll want to do is research the industry the logo is for. You want to know as much as you can about it. How else will you be able to think up all your brilliant ideas? I suggest first looking into the actual place and figuring out their way of working. Then look up the competition and see what they do similar and different. Make notes of everything you think of, especially the types of logos you see. If they’ve already been done, you don’t want to do it.

It can also be helpful to look into the names or anything interesting about the company. Maybe you could play off the name, or maybe do something ironic and funny? Look up words and find the definitions to get a better understanding of what you’re working with. Don’t be shy, after all, it’s only you.

CONSIDER BRAINSTORMING?

Brainstorming alone can feel restricting. I mean, you’re only one person with your own thoughts. First write down anything and everything that comes to mind when you think of the logo you’re designing in about 25 minutes. The weirder the better. These are ideas that unique and clever logos are made from. You can also try using a mind map.

MIND MAPS:

I personally think one of the strongest tools for creative brainstorming is a mind map. Most of you may know it as a spider diagram. One site that allows you to use this is https://bubbl.us/beta/ but nothing beats pencil and paper. You start with one central idea or title, and go outward from there writing down major information about the central idea. These can be extremely effective at organizing your thoughts and ideas easily.

SKETCHING:

Sketching out all of your ideas is another great way to figure out your path to greatness. Get all the ideas out, even if they are the same. Try to get 5 unique ideas out, and then do variations of those. Anything goes in this brainstorming phase. If ideas just aren’t flowing, here are some other ideas.

MUSIC:

It’s already been proven that music can stimulate your mind, so why not give it a shot. Try thinking about the logo and listening to your favorite music. If that doesn’t work, try listening to an online music station. Sites like imam, jango, pandora, etc. have random stations that play, so you’re bound to hear different things that can help your thinking process.

THE WEB:

Take to the internet to get some ideas. Remember that the whole reason the internet exists is to transfer information from one place to another easily. Some sites I look to are:

These places can help get those brain cells moving. Read what others are saying about design. Try not to think about the trends that others are using. Just think about ideas for the logo that you will be designing. Get involved and try to critique other designers’ work and read critiques from other designers. You can teach yourself by teaching others.

ELIMINATION:

Now that you have managed to get some ideas down and sketched, get rid of at least the first 5 unique concepts. Everyone would have thought of those ones, so you’ll want to be more creative than that. Your best ideas will show uniqueness and relate to the company. If you’d like, try to rate your ideas from 0 to 5 based on how well it goes with the company your designing for. Shoot for those 5 star ones. If you don’t think anything is working, try brainstorming again.

REVISIONS:

You’ll want your ideas to be as simple as possible without losing the point. Logos aren’t meant to be as complicated as the ideas they spew from. If you want to design a clever, awesome logo, you have to think really hard. Your brain must get the workout of a lifetime. After you get your pretty logo designed, try submitting it for critiques across the web.

FINALLY:

It takes at least a month to get great inspired ideas. All the time, research, and brainstorming you do will definitely pay off. You will have a great portfolio piece too. Remember that you can’t look at this as work. Think of it as expanding your knowledge. Research suggests that brainstorming in a group can be counter productive because of all the people together talking. So don’t give up when you’re going it alone. You can be more productive and come up with more solid ideas and concepts all by yourself.

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