As graphic designers, we have a lot of tools at our disposal to produce creative solutions. And we’re always adding more. Everything is synced, streamed, and scalable to whatever challenge we’re up against. But despite the introduction of new tech and new techniques, more often than I’d like to admit, I find myself falling back on what I know worked before or using a trend that’s defining what design should look like right now. But with this approach, the problem only reveals itself with time—a finished project I was super stoked about two years ago can suddenly look stuck in a time capsule. It becomes a design mullet.
When your daily job is to “be creative” it can start to feel like squeezing out toothpaste from an empty tube that should have been tossed days ago. Our layout go-to’s and color palette safety nets can help us out of those hard to reach places, but eventually we need to push out of our own design boxes. But here’s the thing: I believe there is something that we can all do to help move us in the right direction. Something to add a few more brushes to our tube of creativity (I promise, that was the last toothpaste reference). Simply put, just stay curious.
Creativity isn’t an on/off switch. The only way to go left when everyone else is going right, is to first look left and wonder “what’s over there?” Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
The more questions we ask the more we learn. The more we learn, the more we try new things. The more things we try…well, you get the point. Curiosity also shows us what else is left to discover. You never know what you might stumble on that takes you in a completely fresh direction.
So go forth and let your curiosity lead you. Learn a new skill, practice an obscure art, investigate everything. You do you.
Now we want to hear from you. What are you curious about and how has that impacted your work?