Is Good Design the Result of Formulas or Uninhibited Creativity?

  • by Shala Graham
  • 0
  • 0

Should you stick to established design ideas and marketing formulas to get results, or turn your creative team (and artistic inspirations) free and keep working until you find something you love? In other words, does design come from inspiration or structure?

The answer really depends on what you’re trying to achieve:

Follow a structure if you have established branding

You don’t want to start from scratch, or let creative ideas take you on a wild goose chase, if you have an existing branding effort or style you’re trying to match. In other words, there isn’t much value in reinventing the wheel, especially if donors, supporters, and the public already associate you with an established logo, font, or color scheme.

When starting over, give your design team a few guidelines to work with

If your nonprofit is new, or your branding needs a facelift, then it might be a good idea to start over. In those instances, your best option is usually to give your design team a few guidelines or starting points to work with, and then let them dazzle you with their ideas. Some might stray from your original vision, but they aren’t likely to be too far from what you want or need if you’ve given some initial thoughts.

Place a priority on what your supporters like

In the end, good design isn’t really about the people who create it, but those who view it and respond to it. If you have donors, volunteers, and others who see your messaging regularly, solicit their opinions and feedback. Knowing what they like, or don’t like, can help point you in the right direction.

Don’t be afraid to play and experiment

If you aren’t that enamored with the designs you have, or just want something “out of the box,” tell your design team to unleash their creativity and see what happens. Occasionally, the very best marketing and branding ideas come from left field. You might not like everything your team generates, but they may blow you away with an unexpected concept.

So how much of a structure do you need to give your design team? The bottom line is that it really depends on what you’re trying to achieve, what sorts of artists you’re working with, and how much time you have. Going for the extraordinary often takes a lot of failed attempts, but the results can be breathtaking, too, so talk your options over with your creative team to set the right goals and expectations.

If your nonprofit has design, branding, and marketing pieces that aren’t impressing donors and supporters, now is the perfect time to call the team at SW Creatives. Reach us at 301.891.0111 to see how our creative minds can help.