When all you have is a Hammer...

You treat everything like it's a nail.

We love our computers, as designers we’d perhaps be mad not to. They can make the design process faster and more efficient. They allow us to achieve the things that are in our heads and even surprise us sometimes too. Despite this, the best solution to a client’s brief is not always found by heading straight into the digital world. You might have to look for different tools...the right ones for the job.

There have been many times here at Deadpixel Creative that we’ve used real, hand crafted objects in the real physical world to produce design solutions. We’ve hand cut wood, Grown bacteria, (pretty grim but it provided a great solution!) folded and screen printed metal, and even spent a whole day searching shops for a scarf for a rubber duck.

Going that extra bit further to produce something unique and unusual can result in design that engages and connects with people. We’ve never been afraid of trying a new technique or using a new skill to help our clients create something that they weren’t expecting. We’ll probably learn something new along the way too, so sometimes we’re on the journey of discovery as well.

A great recent example of using an unusual production technique to create something engaging, was Computer Arts Magazine’s cover which used thermally reactive varnish that changed from opaque to transparent when heat is applied. The response to the cover was that people not only appreciated the concept but also found themselves dedicating time to interacting with it and posting images on social media. Imagine then, that you produce something that creates such a response in people that they want to share it with others. A piece that generates genuine buzz. It doesn't have to go globally viral like a video of a sneezing Panda, but the value remains even if the ripples extend only within your target market. In purely practical terms it can create a memorable experience associated with you and increase awareness for your business or your message.

Of course we’re not suggesting that you need to create something so wacky it would be a budgetary disaster. Some clients wish to push the envelope as far as possible, while others want to work within the arena of more established conventions; using ideas combined with process to create something unique that is also practical to produce. 

Simply using different materials can have a profound effect upon the person interacting with them. Small things such as a change in paper stock, the use of a special finish or unusual fold can give a piece such as a brochure an entirely new feel and generate a different emotional response. We have found that something as simple as using a foiled printing technique to express a conceptual idea has paid dividends for our clients and created a genuine connection with their audience. This is where exploration into the use of experimental design can pay dividends. If we seek to push beyond the edges of the everyday methods of visual communication we can engage with people by creating unusual and therefore memorable pieces of design.

Sometimes the solution is simple and traditional, there’s a reason for the continued use of tried and tested methods of communication, but fortune favours the brave and brave design can be a powerful tool. Our clients have thanked us in the past for challenging their preconceptions of what they thought they needed; offering alternative solutions and working outside of a one size fits all ethos. Could you benefit from a little bit of creative thinking? Get in touch for a chat.