How to be creative in a short space of time

This question has come about as a follow on from @Scott’s “How do you break out of current creative mind sets?”

I work in a (smallish) company that produces all it’s in house content such as email newsletters, web image (banners, flyers etc) and I am the only person that does these jobs.

As it is a company that sells IT hardware, there are a lot of flyers that get sent out to customers and also numerous banner changes on websites every week regarding promo’s.

Because I work in an office as the only “creative” I don’t have the luxuries of sketching or using mood-boards etc as these flyers and banner are sent out fairly quick.

I have managed fine working here for just over a year but sometimes I feel like I get mental blocks as I find myself repeating a lot of older “styles” I used on previous flyers/banner.

What I would like to know is:

How, in such a short time-frame can I get more creative with my work without using creative planning methods?

Any tips greatly appreciated!


The best “instant breakout” I know when the mental molasses pours itself over my creative idea machine is to make something deliberately grotesque. I mean really, truly awful. Shocking pink background. Giant headline in Comic Sans. Turn all the text sideways. Wreck the kerning. Set the product name in the ugliest grunge font you have.

It only takes a few minutes. There’s a point where you know you’ve exacted a suitable revenge on the corporate world, and can turn back to the project in hand with a fresh view and a happier frame of mind.

A less intense but equally workable version of this is to pick a completely inappropriate genre for the piece. How about a high-tech product flyer done like a gangsta CD cover? Or a saccharine-sweet Valentine? Again, 5 minutes is usually enough to break the logjam, and it’s sometimes surprising what inspired ideas will suddenly be obvious that were unreachable a few minutes earlier.

This works for copy writing, too, if that’s in your domain. It’s amazing what writing “Immerse the Mk. IV gigabit router in lighter fluid, light with a match and chuck it at the idiot in the next cube” can do for your mood.

Source : Link , Question Author : SaturnsEye , Answer Author : Alan Gilbertson

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