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Create Impressive Design Content

Visual engineering image

How professional designers can use design synectics to create impressive content.

Ideas fill the space in our minds. Why is so difficult to fill the space on a blank page? To actualize creative thinking is an exploration that discovers, then brings together structures in a unified way.

Creative components.

The unification of words and pictures when creating content should be meaningful, attractive, aesthetically pleasing and relevant. Beauty lies in eyes of the beholder. Analogies, whether they be, personal, direct or conflicting are the visual triggers that impels us to behold. To fill our mind-space with something distinct and interesting becomes simply a matter of employing the synectic tools of the creative designers trade.

Creative design triggers.

Creativity has any number of strands that can be entwined to stretch the imagination to develop new analogies. Design Synectics - developed by William JJ Gordon and George Prince, is a method of combining loose and diverse components into a unique web of associations, tags and links. A formal discipline that structures the creative process to prevent drift by focusing on a central activity to explore.

This creative discovery brings forth new and different elements that can constitute a solution. Synectic triggers make more of any given material and takes it beyond its original form.

Eggs in colour image

A creative way of working.

Everyone has their own ideas and opinions about what constitutes "good design". These are generally conjectures built on emotional narratives and subjective agendas reinforced by social and cultural attitudes.

Creativity does not exist in a vacuum, but lives in plain sight, and in order that we may explore this space fully and without prejudice, we have to purge ourselves of as many preconceived notions as possible within the context of the forms we endeavor to shape.

Step by step creative thinking.

From the initial sketches that should freely eminate from explorations of the problem, there are six distinct methods of catching the wave of any creative project.

  • Identify - Set the problem or task and identify the subject.
  • Analyse - Examine the subject, break it down into raw elements, classify it, give it associations, links and tags
  • Ideate - Think, fanatasize, produce ideas. Generate options, without judging the results. Let what you seek to achieve materialize from the forms being shaped. Build relationships with these ideas, rearrange them, deconstruct and reconstruct them.
  • Select - Choose your best option.
  • Implement - Transform the idea into a tangible form.
  • Evaluate - Judge the result in the context of the form, functionality, purpose of the design brief. Consider new options and possibilities that emerge, then repeat step 1.

As you ride the creative wave of Design Synectics, there a numerous principles that you can use to explore any visual idea, four of which are explored below.

Combining and joining.

Groupings that attempt to make more of the material and therefore reinforce the message.

How about a background to fuse all the elements together and also provide a consistent anchor for independent aspects of the same information? Simple colour tints to group associated material.

Combinations two image

Bullet points, 1, 2, 3, A, B C or step-by step. Extraneous objects that glue concepts or information together. Everyone has seen the "dog-eared" drop shadow to indicate a note.

Being conscious of the paper or nature of the paper being printed becomes external but still associated with the story. Tabs, binding, paper clips whether actual photographs or illustrated serve much the purpose of linking the external with the message.

Pictures displayed as in an album, a film strip or cropped at exaggerated angles act a group even if similar or disparate. Then there is always pictures of pictures.

Incongruity & contrast - A frog on a bicycle!

A frog on a bicycle image

An outsize man on a child's tricycle, immediately attracts attention. Contrasting big and small works when it's obvious. The same applies to unexpected combinations. An ant is harmless, render it at the size of a skyscraper it becomes deadly. Rats are generally regarded as something to be avoided. Put one in dark glasses, denim and a base ball cap and it becomes cool.

The extraordinary, whether threatening, playful, witty or surreal will astonish, stop, surprise, amaze and stagger. Putting together images that are unexpected or out of place creates tension. Expand the story with panoramic views that extends across the page and you envelop the reader.

Symbolise - Take a value and turn it into a image.

It's may be a cliché but it's true; a picture really is worth a thousand words. Since readers register images, illustrations and diagrams immediately, they attract more attention that any descriptive text. Engage with readers by signaling important points of information that speaks for itself. Embellish with colour, emphasize with an illustrative object or place the commentary in some context.

Signals image

All forms of direction, motion and change are best indicated by some form of image or illustration. As abstract sensations they're evoked by visual interpretation. Arrows lead us toward something, we follow the gaze of a mugshot. Italic lettering implies direction and motion, lines or blurring placed in the appropriate position conveys speed. Before and after illustrations are the foundation of persuasion.

The promise of a better future and greener grass has been portrayed in every conceivable way, even through rose tinted glasses.

For a change in time speed or quantity any familiar device that measures the appropriate value can be employed in a visually stimulating manner.

Poking them in eye with a big stick, leading them by the nose or gently pulling them towards you, however subtle you want to be in directing the audience through your story and bringing them over to your side is your subjective choice.

Add and exagerate - Colourful characters always have more personality.

Colourful singer image

Let what you seek to achieve materialize from the forms your are already shaping . Extend, expand or develop the reference subject. Augment it by developing an individual character with its own unique personality and story.

Where does it live? How it representative of the message? Why is it in this context?

Play with what you can add to a creative idea or image by making taller, shorter, stronger, weaker, fatter or thinner, red or green.

How far creativity takes the ordinary into something extra-ordinary largley depends employing all the available skills, experience and application of the designer in the publishing process.

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Studiografik Digital Design & Publishing