What other things...?
Can't find a creative answer? Ask a 'what other' question?
Photo by Kate Ausburn on Unsplash
Another day, another creative problem.
But however much you stare at said problem, you just can't figure out how to solve it.
You're digging for ideas, but all you're doing is digging in the same place. A creative hole. Then you remember the first law of holes: when you find yourself in one, stop digging.
So you think, "I need a bit of lateral thinking here," then you step to one side to begin working on another hole.
But fear not dear reader, there is another way - or rather, there's the 'what other' way. Specifically, you need to ask some What Other Things questions.
Let's say you're trying to come up with a new design for a website. And let's say the company logo is two intersecting circles.
You've not been given much of a brief for what the client wants (happens more often than you'd think), but the client wants some first concepts - loose ideas, if you will.
Where to start? You know where. With your what other things... questions:
What other things look like the company logo?
There are several other brands with similar 'overlap' logos - like Chanel or Mastercard. You could dig into the background and thinking behind their design. What other things were those brands trying to represent? In the case of Mastercard it was collaboration between banks for this new (at the time) payment method. That history lesson might spark off an idea or two.
What other things can two intersecting circles be seen in?
Venn diagrams. Gender symbols. Mathematics. Solar and lunar eclipses.
What other things intersect?
Roads. Common evolutionary ancestors. Stripes on flags. Train lines. Veins on a leaf. Colours on the spectrum. Humans and nature.
What other things does intersect mean?
1. To divide (something) by passing through or lying across it.
2. To meet and cross at a point
3. To share a common area
What other things can be used to describe the word 'intersect'?
Okay, okay - that's a convoluted way of saying 'what are some synonyms of intersect?'
Just play along.
There are many more what other things questions you could ask. Just keep stepping to the side. Avoid the temptation to dig holes. But be curious about each new thing you discover.
Something will eventually resonate as you keep asking the questions - a word, an image, a colour, a concept. And you'll learn a lot along the way (Google will get heavily used, I assure you).
Be patient and other things will appear. That's because you simply asked what those other things were.
Want more like this? SIGN UP for the Faster Ideas newsletter and get creativity, inspiration and interviews in your inbox every Wednesday.