The ensuing struggle to complete your latest design project continues; your ideas are dry, stifling or just plain nonexistent. And every tick of the clock reminds you of the fast approaching deadline. Every designer has encountered this dilemma or will at some point in their design career.
In his book titled Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills, David Sherwin tackles these challenges and constraints with career-building and personal challenges. Each of the 80 challenges in the book acts as an inspirational exercise and learning technique to help you find new and effective methods to solve those design problems and develop energizing and efficient methods for maximum design creativity.
The 80 different challenges presented in the book cover a range of seven areas including Foundation, Execution, Materiality, Instruction, Observation, Innovation, and Interpretation. In addition, each of these areas covers a variety of applications and skills in the different design disciplines such as photography and typography, advertising and marketing, branding, editorial and film, interactive media, product design, store design and wayfinding, type design, and video and motion graphics.
Each assignment has basic and advanced level challenges and is ultimately designed to push your creative thinking and brainstorming techniques. If you have a favorite type of design, there is a challenge for you to generate new ideas and practices. And for your least favorite design projects, these challenges will give you a new method of thinking and applying your skills to drive you towards a new found appreciation and likeness for those types of designs. Every challenge has been built to enhance your skills and bring out your best design talents. Amateur and experienced designers alike will benefit from this book!
Sherwin provides these beneficial ideas for creative designers:
- Creativity takes practice
- Failure is necessary and resilience is a path to success
- Process is a lifelong process and is more important than the final design
- Repetition rarely leads to design intuition; being pushed outside of your comfort zone increases your design skills
- Having less time to work on a project can often lead to more creative results
- Design skills are grounded in a designer’s intuition
- Creativity thrives under constraints
These challenges are well thought out and fashioned to build your design skills and heighten your wisdom. These creative activities will serve as confidence-building techniques that will expand your visual aesthetics and business strategies as well as help you move towards solving the toughest design projects. They’ll also serve as tried and true investments to your personal design portfolio! Each challenge is provided with time limits, areas of focus, challenge instructions, additional methods to enhance each particular challenge, true tested results, correlating images, and detailed explanations. A bonus teacher’s guide for the classroom and corporate use is also available for free.
“Your design process consists of the living, breathing flow of actions that you take – some conscious, some unconscious – as part of solving a client problem.” This book encourages all designers to think fast and think creatively. A definite must for all designers’ libraries!