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The Creative Process by Pat Floyd

Advertising / Culture / Design

I was recently in a client meeting presenting logos and the client asked about a favorite logo. “How did you come up with that?” they asked. My answer was, “Beating my head into the concrete for days on end.”

This particular logo was defeating me. I was losing a battle because I just couldn’t seem to come up with something beyond the ordinary. Although ordinary is easy, easy is boring. For me, I stare at great logos for hours. Then, I create okay logos for hours. Then I create more. Then I delete most of them. Then I create more. I then end up with a few logos I’m happy enough with to show to the team. In this client’s case, there were definitely a few good options there, but I really needed one more solid concept; so, back to beating my head into the concrete.

What’s funny about the creative process is after thinking you’re never going to come up with a logo that will please yourself, the answer is easy. It just pops into your head like a random thought fairy. Most of the time, like this one, I wasn’t even exactly thinking about the problem. But when I did, it was a rush to get it out of my head and onto the screen (I’m a digital doodler- many designers will sketch every idea first, but I find I can do it faster and better going straight to Illustrator).

Creating the logo in this case took maybe 30 minutes after deciding on a direction. The road to get there, however, took hours and dozens of failed attempts. You just can’t stop at the easiest solution. Keep thinking. Keep doodling. Keep daydreaming. I can’t stress this one enough.

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