Writers who design; designers who write

In the advertising world, there are many writers who are also wannabe designers and designers who are wannabe writers. In fact, I know quite a few designers who can (and do) write some amazing copy. I also know copywriters with a great eye for design who can whip up a mean writer's rough. I like to think of myself as being in - or at least edging into - the last category.

My design leanings case in point ...

Above: Cropped shot of my hat design on the Henri Bendel website.
The winning design, to be announced next month, will be manufactured and sold at Bendel stores.

From pencil and watercolor paint to an electronic newsletter wireframe I just did for a client ...
... and hundreds and hundreds of writer's roughs in between, I've found that it's good to think creatively in BOTH words and pictures. If I'm stumped on coming up with a headline or a copy approach for a new assignment, I start researching visual images or formats. Taking out my pencil and pad, I start drawing ... what if it looked like this? What would it say? How should I say that? And viola, a concept evolves. Sometimes it's even stronger than if I had started thinking in just words alone.

Next time you get blocked creatively on a project, try thinking in the opposite of what you normally do. If you're a writer, try to draw the solution; if you're a designer, try to write down some options. Think outside of YOUR box. And watch what happens!

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