2Objectives Relate creative thinking to graphic design Recognize the characteristics of a creative thinkerAcquire tools that stimulate creative thinkingGrasp the role of conceptual thinkingBecome skilled at generating design concepts
3DefinitionsCreative thinking is the ability to stretch beyond the ordinary, to be original, innovative, and flexible in one’s thinking.A mind map is a visual representation or diagram of the various ways words, themes, images, thoughts, or ideas can be related to one another.Problem finding is the process of sketching or making marks that allows visual thinking, allows for discovery, for staying open to possibilities during the visual-making process; also called problem-seeking.Attribute listing is a method for analyzing and separating data through observing and identifying various qualities that might have otherwise been overlooked; it is a diagrammed list of attributes.
5Characteristics of Creative Thinkers Courage: Fear quashes creativity. Courage coupled with intellectual curiosity fuels creativity.Receptiveness: Being open to different ways of thinking as well as constructive criticism allows you to embrace possibilities and new ideas.Curiosity: The desire to know and to explore allows one to grow intellectually, artistically, and technically.Flexibility: Not only do an agile mind and flexible personality allow you to keep up with the times, they allow you to bend with the path of a blossoming idea or let go of a path that is not fruitful.Being Sharp-eyed: Paying attention to what you see every day allows you to see inherent creative possibilities in any given environment.Seeking and Recognizing Connections: Creative people have the skills to bring two related or unrelated things together to form a new combination or relationship.
6Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking Brainstorming (developed by Alex Osborn, a partner at BBDO, NY)Traditional brainstorming is conducted with a group of people so that one contributor’s thought builds on or triggers another’s, although it may even work better when modified for individual use, since there is no holding back when one is alone.An uninhibited atmosphere cultivates the flow of creative thinking.Osborn’s ChecklistAn inspired checklist technique (made up of action verbs) used as a tool to transform an existent idea or object:AdaptModifyMagnifyMinimizeSubstituteRearrangeReverse
7Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking MappingA mind map is a visual representation or diagram of the various ways words, themes, images, thoughts, or ideas can be related to one another.Mapping is a brainstorming and visual diagramming tool that is used to develop an idea or lead to an idea.You can approach mapping in two basic ways:Automatic mapping relies heavily on the surrealist strategy of spontaneous free association, trying to avoid conscious choices and allowing associations to flow freely.Deliberate mapping relies more on the natural growth of associations, revealing the way your mind instinctively organizes or makes associations.A mind map is a tangible representation of associations that may reveal an insight or lead to an idea.
8Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking While mapping software is available, the nature of the drawing process maximizes spontaneous mapping, so doing it by hand offers superior outcomes.Drawing your own map assures personalization and a natural flow of thoughts.Position an extra large sheet of paper in landscape position.At the center of the page, your starting point, draw a key visual or write a key word, topic, or theme.Starting with the central word or image, draw branches out in all directions making as many associations as possible. Don’t be judgmental; just write or draw freely.
9Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking Oral Presentation Tool: Present the Problem to Someone ElseThis tool is based on two premises: (1) talking about your design problem may reveal insights, and (2) presenting or explaining the design problem to someone unfamiliar with it will force you to organize and articulate your thoughts, which might lead to a better understanding of the problem and ultimately to an insight or idea.Solicit a friendly listener.Give an overview of the design problem.Once you finish speaking, the listener is then free to ask questions—questions to clarify points or questions that pop into that person’s head based on what you have presented.
10Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking Creativity Through Problem FindingDesigners can employ problem finding, where the process of sketching or making marks allows visual thinking, discovery, and staying open to possibilities during the visual-making processProblem Finding by Image MakingThe act of creating art—drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, collage, photography, and any traditional or nontraditional art—activates many parts of the brain.Problem Finding Through Art ImprovisationOne of the premises of spontaneous art is that it allows access to your subconscious and liberates you from inhibitions. You create images without concerns regarding conventions, aesthetics, composition, and intention.
11Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking Problem Finding Through Art ImprovisationEnjoy the process without concern about an end product or finishing anything. Choose any preferred art medium—traditional or nontraditional, nonrepresentational, abstract, or representational.Start making artKeep workingMove from surface to surface or medium to medium, as you like it.Happy AccidentsAccording to an evolutionary model of creativity, we need two processes:A process to generate things that we can’t or don’t plan andAnother process to assess what we have generated for merit.
13Tools That Stimulate Creative Thinking Attribute ListingBy focusing on the attributes of an object, person, place, character, topic or theme, product, or service, you can find an attribute that might lead to an idea.Attribute listing is a diagrammed list of attributes, working deconstructively, breaking down information into smaller parts that are then examined individually.Visual MetaphorsAn idea can hinge on a visual metaphor, suggesting a similarity between two nonidentical things.A visual metaphor makes connections between two worlds of meaning, revealing an insight.
15Conceptual ThinkingConcept generation—the ability to form/think up an idea, cogently state the idea, and then evaluate it—demands creativity and critical thinking skills.Among the many thinking skills of a critical thinker, the ones that are most applicable to designing are the ability to:AnalyzeAsk penetrating questionsIdentify and address key issuesIdentify patterns or connectionsConceive conceptsConceive a conceptual frameworkCommunicate effectivelySupport one’s viewpoint with reasons and evidence
16Generating Design Concepts Coming up with a design concept is a form of creative problem solving—the process of understanding a communication goal, brainstorming for original ideas, and evaluating ideas for merit.Six Essential Questions: The Kipling QuestionsBecoming a good problem solver involves cultivating investigative thinking.Rudyard Kipling immortalized the following questions, which can help solve problems and trigger ideas:Who?What?Where?When?Why?How?
18SummaryCreative thinking is the ability to stretch beyond the ordinary, to be original, innovative, and flexible in one’s thinking.Designers use creativity tools for concept generation, visualization, and composition. Some tools include brainstorming, Osborn’s checklist, mapping, oral presentation tool, problem finding, image-making brainstorming, spontaneous art improvisation, attribute listing, and visual metaphors.Coming up with a design concept is a form of creative problem solving—the process of understanding a communication goal, brainstorming for original ideas, and evaluating ideas for merit.Any good graphic design solution is based on a design concept—the designer’s primary reasoning.