Go offline to find inspiration

In our modern world, where technology rules, it’s sometimes nice to do things old-school, especially when it comes to creating and working through ideas for branding projects.

Recently, we went to WordCamp Europe where we had a number of interesting conversations with developers from all over the world. Ironically, one topic we all agreed on is that we feel too much technology is not good in our lives and that sometimes unplugging yourself is good for the soul.

No doubt, technology makes a lot of things a lot easier. However, it can make too many decisions for us. Some of our rituals and habits are being substituted by technology and it feels like control is taken away from us as Artificial intelligence takes over and learns our behaviours. For example, switching the light off yourself when you leave the office may help you “switch off” from work for the day, and there is joy in unwrapping a vinyl and putting it on a turntable ourselves rather than allowing Alexa to decide what we listen to.

At a start of a new design project there is the temptation to log onto your computer, trawl Behance, Instagram, Pinterest, Dribble etc. for inspiration and start some digital mood boarding right away. However you can end up hopping onto trends and get blinkered by what everyone else is doing.

Franzi looking at paintings in Berlin's National Art Gallery

So, for us the search for inspiration and ideas often starts far away from a computer and technology. It starts with pencil and paper. We scribble ideas down on paper as quickly as they pop into our mind. Mindmapping, doodling and sketching helps the creative process flow.

We love going to places that inspire us away from a computer, phone or tablets and often collect ideas and inspiration when we are travelling, roaming museums and galleries. We love photography and capture anything that resonates with us. Ideas can even spark when reading novels and here, at Studio Brand Up, we even have our own playlist full of great songs that inspire us.

We love to get really tactile and dust off paintbrushes, watercolours and acrylics, doing collages and calligraphy to get the creative juices flowing. And if we hit a creative block we lace up our trainers and go out for a run to clear our heads.

This disconnection from technology helps us during the early stages of our branding projects to come up with ideas that are fresh and unique, to look at things in a different way, helping our clients to really stand out.

About Franzi Scheithauer

Franzi is Creative Director at Studio Brand Up and specialises in brand strategy and identity design.