Deadlines and that Designers’ Block
Writers have been known to hit a wall when nothing seems to work. Ideas don’t flow through and when something does come in, it doesn’t translate well onto paper. The same phenomenon has been known to strike graphic designers as well. In fact, for graphic designers, this might be more common if you consider their work culture and environment in most organizations.
Image Credit: Andy Mangold
In almost every case of designers’ block, you will find that coming up with ideas is extremely difficult. Nothing seems to come to mind because all you can see is the brief, the product/service/brand and the blank canvas that keeps getting “blanker”. Now, all this would be perfectly fine if there wasn’t a deadline hanging over your neck.
The fact is, when under pressure, designers tend to start thinking “execution” instead of thinking “inspiration”. Two hours of brainstorming might seem wasteful if you aren’t confident of finding something out at the end. Most designers, especially those who are affected by pressure, tend to overlook these inspiration-based exercises and focus on delivering work. Unfortunately, the output will always be sub-standard in such a case.
Eventually, it is a toss-up between brainstorming and just getting down to it. In every case, brainstormed ideas will always be better than what you force yourself to make. Yes, it gives you lesser time to create your design but eventually, you will find that the time you spend brainstorming will save you a lot of execution-time.
Image Credit: 123RF Stock Photos
Lateral thinking is a graphic designer’s best weapon. Thinking along unnatural or unusual lines opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the graphic designer. However, time pressures or unclear understanding of the brief may hamper the ability to think laterally. In most cases, designers focus so diligently on meeting the deadline that they choose inferior ideas and substandard execution.
Constantly training your brain to think laterally, in almost all circumstances, is a great way to tackle those tight deadlines. The thing is, if you are in the habit of thinking laterally, then no matter how short the duration is, you brain will automatically direct you in the right direction. Staying on top of the game, in design, is exactly the same as that for a professional athlete. You train so hard that everything comes naturally, like instinct, when the pressure’s on you.
Every day, there are thousands of little things that need to be done, ten clients to be handled and more design-related issues than our mind can fathom. However, tackling all of these, within their deadlines, and coming out alive at the other end requires a lot of stamina and mental strength. However, at the end of such a day, when your boss suddenly hands you another urgent task, do you shut down?
In the average scenario, you see mediocre work, poor execution and horrendous ideas. At times, even the best agencies of graphic design in Brisbane, New York, Paris, Barcelona and London end up producing work they refuse to lay claim to. However, that not only has a lot to do with the kind of hours we work, but also with the amount of time we spend in thinking about it. If you think that ten different projects, on graphic design, are not monotonous, think again because that’s what your brain is telling you.
Step away from the computer. Take a walk, talk to a loved one or just grab a bite to eat. The moral is, get your mind off of work and when you are taking a break, make sure it is a break in the true sense of the word.
These are just a few things that hamper the way we think under pressure and if you think that designers’ block is a serious illness, you haven’t tried it all. Frankly, if you want to become the best at something you do, you need to recover from the lows that hit you in professional life. Outsmart your designers’ block and then prepare yourself to take on the world.
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