12 Creativity Tips from Design Business Insiders

As part of AIGA’s ongoing partnership for In-House INitiative with leading creative staffing agency The Creative Group on the Creative Team of the Future program, we’re excited to share the results of our annual investigation into what sets the country’s most innovative companies apart.

We weren’t surprised to learn that creativity is the lifeblood of the most successful—and satisfied—people and teams. The freedom to innovate is what allows designers, writers and other creative professionals to avoid career stagnation and invent the future both for themselves and their companies. But how do you sustain a creative edge? We surveyed and spoke with hundreds of designers and creative practitioners around the country and came back with 12 tips for maintaining peak creativity.

Give clients what they should have requested.
Did your client ask for something you think is a bad idea? Or not the best solution? “I’ll give them what they’re asking for and then I’ll give them what they should be doing,” says Allan Peters, associate creative director at Target. “And I’ll keep giving them the second option every time to push the idea forward.”

Don’t wait for a creative brief.
If you want to innovate, don’t wait for the juicy projects to hit your desk. “You’re not always going to get the brief you wanted,” says Peters. “Identify the problem and try and fix it. You have to put it on yourself to rock out some good ideas.” Then sell those big ideas to your boss or team.

Always create multiple solutions to the problem.
True creativity means exploring more than one option to any design problem. “The more you push yourself to do three or four different versions, the more you’re going to have to get creative,” says Scott Kirkwood, editor in chief at National Parks magazine and senior director of publications at the National Parks Conservation Association.

Read all 12 creativity tips at TCG.