The creative process is associated with bursts of inspiration, brainstorming and an unbridled avalanche of ideas. These elements are indeed part of it, but - as in any work - it is worth following certain best practices so that the results of our actions are not only impressive, but also effective. What mistakes, made in creative work, should be avoided?
Read the overview, which was prepared by Agnieszka Mikolajczak, our Junior Copywriter, and comments from LUCKYYOU's Creative Execution experts - Agata, Mona, Natalia, Ola and Kacper.
1. Research? And who needs it?
One of the most time-consuming parts of the creative process is research. For some, it can be downright frustrating. Especially when we already have dozens of ideas in our heads for a juicy slogan or key visual. For this reason, it is often overlooked. This is a very serious mistake, because we have to remember that what we create for the client is not our masterclass, but a response to the needs in the brief. It's difficult to create something that delivers results if we don't know the industry, the context or whether someone before us hasn't already come up with a similar idea. Research is a foundation that should not be neglected. Especially for new projects and those requiring good contextual knowledge.
Creating creative without prior research is a risky game, in which the loser has to face a sense of disappointment - and, after all, nobody likes disappointments! That's why, in order to avoid them, it's worth creating a solid knowledge base and then checking whether the slogan we have created has been duplicated, even before we add the whole narrative to it. By doing so, we will save ourselves unnecessary frustration and gain a sense of confidence with a green light to act. Therefore, despite the need to spend more time on the project, with research practice we will always be in a winning position!
2. Know what, but don't know why
The creative process is not a voyage in search of unknown lands. It's work that has a specific purpose. It's worth making it clear to yourself, because otherwise all creative work may end up in the trash, however creative it may be. We will approach a task whose purpose is to support recruitment differently from creating an image campaign. We should also remember that we speak to people through text and image, and in order for our messages to be understood and well received, we need to think and speak like our audience. Defining personas or target groups should come before we let our creativity run wild.
Everyone likes something different, this is no secret. The trick, however, is to find a message that will reach potential customers. Understanding the audience, their habits, preferences, language and environment, helps us better identify with them. The more precisely defined the target group, the more accurate our associations, and consequently, when designing, we can use bolder treatments that create character and are memorable.
3. It's not enough!
One of the biggest roadblocks to creative inspiration is fear of failure and judgment or excessive perfectionism. We want our work to be the best it can be, so it's common to reject ideas that aren't perfect at the outset. This is a mistake! It's worth writing down everything we come up with. Let's remember - creation is a process. From dozens of lousy slogans or underdeveloped graphic concepts we can take a whole handful of inspiration, which will open up new layers of ideas in our heads and allow us to come up with the one perfect one. In the creative process, silly ideas don't exist!
In the creative process, we often use trial and error, conduct a process of testing and verifying what will work best. That's why it's not worth rejecting the first ideas or sketches at the very beginning. It's best to work with the "quantity to quality" method, that is, initially generate as many ideas as we can, and then conduct a kind of casting and choose what suits us best.
4. it's important that I like it
There are times when we come up with an idea that we are so pleased with that we smile to ourselves. We feel that the wordplay or graphic metaphor used is brilliant. We want to let it out into the world right away. Self-confidence is very valuable, but another confidence we should take care of is that our work is understandable and will reach the audience. After all, it's not just for ourselves that we create. Consultations with the team, corridor tests or other forms of checking the quality of one's work are very important. Especially when we use ambiguity, metaphors or other creative procedures to make the message more attractive.
Just to be clear - the fact that we are smiling while thinking about our ideas is not a bad thing! The results of creative work should evoke emotions, without this they often turn out to be uninteresting, unoriginal or simply misguided. But! It is also very important to be able to communicate your projects, both within the team and in front of the client. It is useful to be sure why our creation took the form it did, and it is good to know the answer to the question: how do the assumptions we made in the process answer the problem at hand?
Head of Creative Execution
5. The sooner, the better
When a client is waiting for our work, it's very easy to fall into the trap of rushing. One part of the creative process that is often forgotten due to time chasing is the final proofreading. Yes, it's important to hand in the project on time, but it's even more important to avoid mistakes - linguistic, factual or technical. Even the best specialists make mistakes - we are only human. So remember to check the project again before sending it to the client. Sometimes it's worth asking another person to do it. A fresh eye can spot something we didn't notice.
When one is in a hurry, the customer is not always happy. There are situations where it seems that the speed of creating a text or slogan is crucial. In most such cases, however, you end up with a lightning-fast written copy coming back to you with corrections. Thus, the final time to complete the entire task is as much as it would have taken to create the copy without haste.... and without leaving a poor impression on the client, who notices the mistakes we made. That's why it's always worth spending an extra few minutes on proofreading - preferably done by a second person who will look at the text with fresh eyes.
6. Once this, once that
If you've been working on one project for a while, or are continuing someone else's work that has already been done in part, you need to keep an eye on consistency. It's worth recalling what has been done before, so as not to stray from the main idea, style or message. Creativity and new ideas are great, but consistency is just as important. Starting work without knowing or refreshing yourself with previous materials is a big mistake.
Continuing creative work without reminding yourself of what has already been done and how it was done in a given topic is like watching a movie from the middle. Completing a production won't make sense if you don't know its beginning. It is the same with creative work - without checking what came before, what was the brief and the intention of the communication, we will deviate from the purpose of the creation, and our client - like the viewer of the aforementioned film - will not understand the final message. That's why it's worth taking the time to recall and implement anew, so as not to get lost in this whole creative process.
7. Just complete do the whole project and go for a break
Rest during the creative process is no less important than the work itself. When we are overtired and ideas don't want to pop into our heads, stress sets in - that we won't make it, that we can't do it, that it won't come out the way we wanted. The biggest mistake at this point is to work hard until we finish the project. However, it's worth giving yourself a break, going for a break, drinking coffee or venturing out. It is often the case that the best ideas come to us when we are already sitting relaxed after work. So why not take a moment to relax during it? A few minutes of rest can save us a lot more time during the creative stage.
Wise heads at Harvard University once verified that about half of the time during the day we think about topics other than the ones we are currently working on. Not bad, huh? On top of that, it takes us as much as approx. 23 minutes! I think everyone would agree with the statement that it's worth using full focus and the best moments in your daily rhythm to be as creative as possible. What follows is that good planning of breaks is just as important as good planning of tasks!
Head of Creative Execution
Small changes can produce huge results. Most of the above points are not strictly related to the very stage of creating solutions, but they are the ones that most strongly influence how much fruit of creative verve we will reap. At LUCKYYOU, we take a holistic approach to the creative process, and although it will happen that the best idea is created at the coffee machine, without research or defining personas, we don't skip these elements at the proof-of-concept stage. This is what makes us specialists!