So I have been writing for a few months now, and the constant thought in the back of my head is “am I doing this right?”

Which as a designer I feel is a thought that plagues us alot. “Am I designing this piece correctly?” or “Is this how ‘insert name/company here’ does it?”

While there are some big merits to that, and we can always learn from other creators in our individual space. I fear that not letting our selves break rules that have been so firmly planted in our minds, holds back our creativity. When it comes to questioning our skillset, I definitely hear about imposter syndrome one hundred times more than someone questioning how successful a daring idea will be. Now while those might be on opposite sides of the same coin, I wish that those groundbreaking ideas were more common. Even if they are bad! That means at least we are trying to push the boundaries of design instead of just going with the flow of what we think is supposed to be current and relevant.

Now I'm not giving an excuse to have a cultural fallback on your work and make it look outdated. But if we can put some more challenge into what is being created, and not just settle for the regurgitation of the same idea over and over. Now just because glassy-looking panels are all the rage, doesn't mean we can't abuse the concept. But how do you take it to the next level before the designer that writes your favorite design journal posts about it?

I will never forget, years ago, when myspace was booming and we were seeing bizarre ideas widespread on the internet for the first time. Someone put up a computer idea that looked like a house plant. It used the pot of the plant as the main housing, and one of the leaves was a mouse and so on. I thought it was so clever and unique.

Obviously, it didn't take off, because we don't have house plant computers everywhere. I mean not even Wish has them (which says a lot), but the idea has stuck around in my brain for a long time. So whos to say that a terrible concept won't end as an inspiration years later? We just never know where we will land if we jump off that diving board of inspiration.

I like to apply this type of design thinking when I open up a practice project, to see where my mind will take me. There are plenty of deleted files, but some fun things that I end up keeping for my private drive. I'm not saying to risk your job on some crazy wacko idea, although keeping them around for a meeting one day might just work in your favor.

Creating a daily process of exercising your brain like this, might just lead you to that new version of a glassy panel or the new Helvetica font. Guess we will never know until we put in those reps, and pick the fruit that comes from that field.

-until next time-