Ifeanyi Ekperi

The WOW Logo Designer

How to Overcome Creative Block

What the heck is Creative Block? Just like writers experience writer's block while they are trying to churn out pieces/articles for their various works, creatives also tend to experience some hitches and glitches trying to get creative and it is termed CREATIVE BLOCK.

As GoodTherapy puts it:
Creative blocks, or barriers to inspiration, can be described as the inability to access one's internal creativity. Those in creative professions—writers, musicians, performers, artists—are often more likely to be affected by creative blocks, which can last for days, weeks, months, or even years.

What I think is responsible for this is not just the lack of inspiration, but also the inability to defeat INERTIA. Some creative complain mostly of creative Bloc only at the starting stages of their work but seem to be full of ideas whenever they finally get their hands dirty and get to work.

You know that moment when it feels so impossible to be creative? Ya, we suffer it too. Fortunately for us, top Graphic Designers and creatives suffer same, so we're not the only ones to ever suffer through this problem.

So whether:
  • You are looking for ways to overcome creative block.
  • Inspiration on how to do defeat creativity block as a Graphic Designer.
  • Just get rid of Creative block in workplaces

Here, we'll be covering the top 10 things to do whenever you experience creative Bloc or how to overcome creative Bloc as a Graphic designer and creative.

Want to beat creative block?.....

Start the project already!
Just start it. Allow it to be bad. It doesn't have to be perfect at the first touch. Just boot that computer and pour whatever is upstairs.

Make it bad, there will be time to fine-tune it but for now, Start it, the idea is to just get started and beat Inertia.

When you start the project with little or no inspiration, it allows you to me to beat Inertia and at the same time, you must have created series of inspiration that will keep you going for the project.

Put every single idea down
Don't let those ideas escape, whether they are suitable for the project or not, just put them down, design them and leave them.
They don't have to be compact, just design them in bits. It might be how you want the words to be styled or a kind of picture container you want to use or a cartoon illustration. Whatever, just design them as they come and leave them there scattered. They'll be time or arrangements but for now, we want to break that Creative Bloc.

Leave them there, walk away.
Sometimes, you just need a break. It's normal to stare at your computer blankly without knowing what next step to take.
Just leave everything and walk away or relax - take time to recharge the neurons in the brain. Go do something else - flip through a magazine, go watch cartoon with your kids  or whatever, but just walk away. You'll be back.

But don't forget to go with a book and pen, inspiration is spiritual and can strike anytime.

Just one more Job - I'll take it.
"Grab the next job. In most cases, what you need to defeat this creative Block is just one more Job."

You might be less inspired working on one project, but ones you flip over to the next project, you'll just experience an unimaginable, magical inspiration coming through and this can help you finish both the former and the latter in no time.

Take projects, accept more. It strengthens your psyche and kicks the brain up knowing you have much to do and maybe with less time. That brings us to

Embrace deadlines, that might just be the medication you need for that creative Bloc. It sounds horrible knowing that you are hours away from getting a job done and you've not even done 40% of the project but trust me, it fires up the brain to work.

That desire not to disappoint your client is a force. It removes laziness at a glance. There's no someday, it has to be today and may be NOW.

Steal like an artist.
This cannot be over emphasized. Remember it's also part of the things every graphic designer should know.
Alexander Charchar puts it this way:
“Try to recreate the work of others that you admire. Try to figure out their process secrets, how the work is put together. Writers do this – they retell the stories they love, musicians rewrite the music they love and want to hear. It’s how we learn, it’s how we practice

Don't copy. Steal.

It makes you create your own version of what you admire. Recreate it and inspire someone else.

Did you miss me?
You can't force creativity but here's what you can do - miss it.
No. Wait.

Forget about the project for some time. Don't think about it and when you finally do, open it and ask 'did you miss me?'
Funny right, it works, you'll find out that it actually misses you and of course, you miss your craft.
When passion takes center stage, creative Bloc leaves. - Ifeanyi Ekperi

Do it anyway!
Sometimes you have to let your passion speak for itself and do it's thing. Passion likes being tried, allow it to fight for you.
As much as step 7 is a great resource for you, remember you might have a deadline and those fancy things might not work for you unless you put in the hours. Do it anyway.

Scared of not knowing what to do next? Do it anyway, sit there and do it. Force it out - it's in you.

Just check there - over there!
At least you are not an epitome of knowledge and inspiration. You might just need a little push to get over that creative Bloc.

Just check that designer out, he might just have a little inspiration for your project. Don't spend time surfing around the net, be specific and go for what you really want - inspiration.

But this might not work for some people because, looking for inspiration is just another form of procrastination. Just go get to work. Sooner or later, the ideas will flow.

Disconnect from the world
I mean literally, yes. Distractions can cause creative Bloc. Worries and thinking of unimportant things and events that  doesn't concern the project make you lose creative focus. To beat this, disconnect.

Play some cool music, your best tracks or inspirational talks - just try that which works best for you to disconnect from the distractions and get back to work.

Clean up!
Have you heard, cleanliness is next to godliness? Ok, that not it .

Clean up you work area. Just try arranging stuffs up or even going for a shower.
Some people actually get inspiration from the restroom. It oozes like incense, you might try that next time to beat that creative Bloc.

What’s the best method of defeating creative bloc that you’ve ever heard?

Happy designing!
I Care!

How a professional logo should look like

What does this word 'logo' mean? Do I really need it?

Yes you do! If you are asking the above question. A logo is a Brand identity that represents your brand even before your client gets in touch with you, they interact with your Logo - your identity.

Imaging you are walking down the road and a police man walks up to you and requests for a means of identification to ensure you are a legal citizen of that country, what would you show?

Your Identification Card with your photograph affixed to it right? Nice.
That's exactly what a Logo is to your brand - an identificator.
Your logo is the identity card that qualifies you to be a citizen in the Brand country .
IYour Logo is your Brand's face, make it look tush

Whenever you see an apple with a silver colour, what comes to your mind? Apple Inc or iPhone/iPad/iMac.

How should a logo look like?
During the years, we have had a lot of developments in all industry and the logo design industry is not left behind.
What is called a logo has revolutionalized and in 2018, one of the new trend is making RESPONSIVE LOGOS.
The above logos shows logo revolutions in the 21st century. That's brings us to the crux of this post, what makes a good logo?
A logo should ideally embody the following characteristics - the Logo design principles:

A logo should be simple enough that you could draw the logo from memory. A simple logo stores faster/sticks to the memory more.

In this day and age, a logo has to scale from the 32x32 pixels favicon that lives in your browser tab to gigantic billboards that live to the next of highways. Not only that, it has to be recognizable at any scale as well.
Some graphic designers create logo without thinking of scalability, when it's time for favicon, they either compress the logos and make it look awkward or they just crop the beauty off it 樂.

I already touched on this a little but if your customers/clients cannot immediately identify and relate to your brand from your logo then your logo has failed in it’s purpose. Think a logo as the face of a brand/company.

This relates to scale but again your logo should look great in any medium, be it on a digital or physical publication.

Finally, a logo should be relevant to what you do but it also does not have to be dead obvious about what you do.

Apple doesn't resonate that Apple Inc produces apple butter it amplifies the name Apple, the icon represents the brand name in total.

Of course, a logo does not necessarily have to follow all of these characteristics but these are good guidelines for logos that is recommended, if you like, the golden rules of logo designs.

Your logo should look great because it's your brand face. Nobody want to use an ugly, awkwardly taken photograph on an Identity card, same applies in logo development.

Not all logos are winners and some are more interesting than others. But the purpose of a logo is not to be interesting, it purpose is to be the face of your brand and company, it must symbolize and reflect what you do, what you are - please do not make your logo lazy while trying to make it simple.

In summary, I will leave the following quote from Paul Rand, a graphic designer who designed logos for ABC, IBM, UPS and countless others:
"A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.
A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of a logo can be almost anything."

I rest my case on how your logo should look like / principles of a good logo design.
Like I always say #BeYou100percent.

I Care!
Don't forget to share, sharing is caring.

Advise for a beginner Graphic Designer

One of the best things about creative professions is that there is no set time to join the bandwagon. You can become a professional at any time as soon as you set your mind/heart to it.

This is not an exhaustive list of advises for beginner Graphic Designers but you'll surely want to keep this handy as you journey on.
It is never too late or too early to start learning about graphic design. Design is about solving problems and it happens everyday.

There is only one way to truly improve your design skills. Keep practicing. Duplicate. Make lots of work and work more.

Improve Daily:
There are things that gives you goosebumps. They are designs you fall in love with at first sight. Grab them, redesign them. Create your own concepts of the designs.

When I started out, I followed a lot of Graphic Designers I liked their work, I would just try to replicate what they have done. They were my source of inspiration.
Note: Don't forget to probe why these designs were done the way they were done. Always try to understand why things were designed the way they were. That would help you get insights to the concepts used.

You have a taste, explore it.
Designing isn’t just about opening your Graphic Design suite and adding shapes together. It has gone beyond that.
You must find design in every part of your life. Designing is a way of life. Designs are borne from the mind, from imaginations and from experiences.

In your quest to designing from your own perspective (to suit your taste), you need to disrupt the process and make your designs match your taste.

"Every designer is unique and this is based on their own map of the design world."
Secondly, get hold of those designs you feel you don't like and reproduce them to suit your taste. Make them better.

Know your tools.
The Adobe Graphic suite is the most commonly used software package for design work, seconded by the Corel Graphic Suite. The both graphic suites are exceptionally good but most people prefer the Corel Graphics suite because of its simple tools - that makes it most used among beginners to play around with.
Master the tools. A good workman knows his tools. In all you do, keep learning, unlearning and relearning.

Innovate with your tools and remain a pro in this ever-changing profession. It takes years to master these tools, but only weeks to understand the basics of Graphics Design. Watch tutorials if you find an effect you want to replicate. There are many free and/or paid resources available at your disposal.

The Basics rocks, it shouldn't be skipped.

Typography is important: At the very minimum, know the difference between the types of fonts, along with what kerning, leading, tracking, and line-heights are. Get started by reading this.

Color Theory is important: Play around in Adobe Kuler to understand how complementary colors work together, what analogous means, why different shades of colors look better than others, etc. What each color mean and when combined, what they represent.
Colors speaks for your design and using the right combination can make your design stand out!

KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID (KISS): There is no reason to add a lot of effects and filters to just one design work. Yes, you were given a lot of effects but, that doesn't warrant you to use all of it in one piece of work.

Some of the best examples of solid graphic design work are the simplest pieces - less colours, less noise and less fonts with lots of whitespaces. Yes, lots of white spaces.

Focus on the details, know who and what you’re designing for. Target that audience, there’s no need to appeal to everyone. Know what colour and font faces suits your audience and use them. Visualize words and use industry concepts.
Not all design style fits all industry.

Flirt with your fonts. You’ll love it, and then you’ll hate it. Find another font you like. Use it, abuse it, then ditch it. Don't worry, font creators would always get us new ones 😁. It's not a crime neither is it a sin!

Steal. Like seriously, STEAL. Great artists steal. Read the book, “Steal Like an Artist.” Half of the points in this post are copied from other graphic designers who helped me learn. I use their thoughts to process mine, fill my concepts in here and make it sound ME.

That is also how your designs should be, steal, reconceptualize and make the design have a feel of You. Of course, it becomes yours.

But, note, your designs should be:
Either completely different or exactly the same, never similar.

Try to build your portfolio
Do design challenges. Offer local non-profits free design work. Don’t do spec work, it devalues the industry – but it is okay to work for free in the beginning. Not everyone deserves a free job even at your beginner level, you still have a right to say NO.

Ask for Criticism. Take it positively, keep an open mind. Be ready to be wrong. It’s the only way you’ll learn. Take note of every criticism and make your designs better.
You have a right to be wrong and so does your designs. But not always.

Talk about your work.
Be able to explain why you made certain design choices, especially when that criticism comes around.

If you have questions, ask them. Places like Reddit, quora are usually willing to answer your questions, assuming you’re not just asking them to solve your own design problem.

Learn learn learn and never stop learning. Learn from everyone. The more you learn the less you realize you know.

Listen to Mike Monteiro's talks. You may not agree with him, you may agree with him entirely. Either way, he'll give you a perspective into the design world you may not know.

You could be a great designer, but if people don't like you, or you aren't professional, you're going to have a hard time.
Be an active learner, not a passive learner.
An example of active learning is going to a library or buying books online via amazon, checking out a design book, reading it and taking notes on it. Using Mr. Google and searching for design inspirations.

An example of passive learning is asking people to tell you stuff on Reddit/Quora and never acting or doing something about it. Sitting in front of your computer with no clue of what to do and complaining of design Bloc.

It's time for you to start learning (Now with links to Amazon!) Make sure to pick at least one book and read:

Once you’re good at design, help aspiring designers.
Don't hoard your knowledge, it's for the universe - Ifeanyi Ekperi.

Graphic Design is a Business, right? Charge like you mean it.
Get some cash for your work. Be confidence to ask for a rate you deserve - it seriously works. Even if you are still a student and you feel your work or skills are pretty darn good, charge something that is on the higher end of appropriate / reasonable (still has to be appropriate with regards to the work / client).

The business side of Graphic Design (negotiations dispute settling etc.) is the hardest part of the profession to really get the hang of for us artists as we usually just want to do the work - then employ an accountant 😉.

Heads up: Did you notice how simple the book covers of the above listed resources for graphic designers is? That's what you should always take note of.

This post has been advises for a beginner Graphic Designer who want to stand out and be counted. I hope you learnt something today.

Why not help someone else by sharing this post. Thank you.

In all you do #BeYou100percent
I Care!