Some 20 years ago, my first school was one of many schools that were entered into a competition.
It was run by one of the big kitchen roll companies – I can’t recall which one.
Basically they wanted us to do a special design for some limited edition packaging.
Yep, instead of using a design firm they decided to skip costs and get eager kids to do it…
Being a creative nipper I was excited by this. But, back then, creativity to me meant that you had to try and be as far outside of the box as possible.
I didn’t think practically or subtly. And so my design looked like it had been put together by Andy Warhol after an acid flashback.
In terms of the client brief and brand it didn’t fit.
And, of course, I didn’t win.
But my best friend did. He had come up with a fairly simplistic (yet polished) design and they lapped it up.
I jealously watched as he won a shedload of plaudits and even nailed a newspaper interview.
Nowadays he channels that skill as a design engineer.
And, after learning a lot, I eventually got a break as a copywriter.
There’s a lesson here for us all. Creativity is about connecting things and sticking true to what your client or your audience will respond to and want.
There’s no such thing as simple. Not really, anyway. It’s just about having a good idea. Whether that idea is plain and conservative, or rainbow coloured – it’s about what fits.
That’s what creativity is. It can be simple. It just needs to fit the purpose.
(Photo credit: Daily Express)