Like everybody (well I hope its not just me) I get stuck in a rut with graphic design. Another brochure to design – what the XXXX do I do with this one. I don’t know which is worse:

a) when a client gives you a brief so tight that you wondered why they bothered calling (you know that dreaded moment when they hand you a piece of paper onto which they have nicely (not) laid it out in word to show you what they want or worse still have physically stuck text and pictures on a bit of paper).

b) when they have no idea what they want and just say I want it to look nice – sort of corporate – yes that is your complete design brief however much more information you try to extract from them its just not happening.

So your stuck what do you do?

That is my constant dilema – Its weird I can go for weeks everything flowing nicely then bang, I have absolutely no idea what to do, and everything I do to to be honest looks terrible. Working alone for myself I don’t really have many people to bounce ideas off either – a couple of designer friend will always try to help on messenger – but of course they are busy trying to work too.

One thing I have found does help is to go back to the basic old spider diagram brainstorm – including doodles too. Sometimes this throws up something new you hadn’t thought of before. A useful site which helps if you are using words of are looking for words containing certain letters is . It gives you rhymes, simlar words, words which sounds the same useful for thinking up brand names too. Another similar but more interactive (but you have to pay) thesausrus is

Another thing I find useful is to create moodboards – if of course you have the luxury of the time to make them. I usually buy a load of magazines and cut up any other leaflets etc I have collected, cut them up and pase them on to A2 mountboards to try and give the feel I am looking for.

Looking through design books is always useful to keep up with trends.

Sometimes I find it best to forget about a job for a while, especially when a concept rather than layout is required, sometimes you can get the best ideas whne you are driving or in the middle of the night I guess because you are relaxed. I know its sad but occasionally I keep a notebook by my bed in case I think of any ideas in the midle of the night.

So what does everybody else do for inspiration?