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Creating The Ideas

Ashley Goetz

At every step of the learning process I find myself stopping and looking back, realizing how much I thought I knew, was really nothing at all. Suddenly on a Friday afternoon, accepting the fact that I am a good designer in my head. I can see all the great work that I am capable of creating, but those are in actuality the ideas, the beautiful thoughts, bits and pieces, that are floating in my head. I have entire sketchbooks in there, books, paintings, amazing pieces that should win awards. So then, we must create.

There is a thin line between intimidation and inspiration, organization and chaos. These opposing elements coexist and spur each other on equally, effortlessly. It's the fear of being too much or not enough that lies in the balance of all design. The equilibrium. Ockham's razor is a principle that is a necessity for good design. A principle that creates great design.

Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. William Ockham
If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments where one suffices. Thomas Aquinas

The simpler solution is usually the greater. As designers, we often forget the beauty of white space, the effectiveness of simplicity, and the emphasis in singularity. We tend to clutter design with many great elements, taking away from each of them as a whole.

Focus is the key to the design process. You cannot be productive creatively if you are not focused. This idea does not only apply to the process, but to the design thinking, ideation, creation, and implementation, as well as the environment you work in. It applies to everything, even your life.

Sean Zindren, of Zindren Design is one of the most organized creatives I have ever met. Sean and I met in January of 2007 and have been working together for only a few weeks. In this small amount of time, I have learned more about simplicity and organized design than I have in the past three years.

It all starts with planning. You have to create a plan and a time line for your project, no matter how small of a project it is. Next, you have to follow it. Break it down to the day, to the hour.
Make the clutter organized. Every step of the project should be beautiful.
Get inspired by the pro's. Make a collective inventory of your inspiration. Then use it as a footstool.
Be intentional. It has to be "cool" for a reason. If you are meeting with a client, you need to have an answer for every "why" from the font to the color to the page size.
Don't neglect any detail. Don't underestimate the power of a grid system. Use your guides.
Don't forget simplicity. If you can take it away and it still works, it's unnecessary. Less is more.

Inspiration for the day: Simplicity in action: