Brainstorming Workshop: Design

The brainstorming workshop was a great display of new ways to push typography to its limits, make mundane pictures and graphics look extraordinary and overcome the common issues that come with having bland art or content.

The title was a little misleading. I thought I might gain some perspective with an exercise about brainstorming or something of the like, but it ended up being a presentation of other news and magazine works. I still felt like I gained plenty.

Robert Newman (Fortune, Real Simple, Vibe, Entertainment Weekly) and Kate Elazegui (art director at New York magazine) discussed some great ways to think outside the box with problem designs and work with a tight budget and small staff. Speakers put emphasis on owning a consistant voice during your creativity, but not being afraid to try things outside the box.

Keep scrapbooks of covers, photos, graphics and interesting patterns and use these when you get stuck.
Run odd photos and graphics in a large, tightly-cropped format.
Don't be afraid to use type as your main element on a page.
Spruce up portraits of people your publication normally runs by toning them differently or cropping in on certain parts of their bodies.
Oh, and don't forget to keep your old rejected designs. Your editor might just have a change of heart once he or she forgets it was ever an option.

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