Yesterday I saw an illustrator friend of mine Mark who has been working on some ideas for my blog design (well, the header).

I was intrigued to see what he had created because of our first meeting. In the first meeting we spent more than an hour chatting about what I enjoy doing workwise and the things I have done. Oh, and I said I needed a design for my blog that would also act as a business card design, avatars etc.

At the end of that first meeting I asked Mark what he needed from me in terms of what this blog is about and what I use it for etc, thinking he needed as much information as possible to get started. He told me he had more than enough to be getting on with and that too much detail would be too much for him to compute.

Fast forward to today when he showed me his design ideas. He described how each one had come about and that he likes to work with word/idea associations to develop ideas. I could see how every idea had developed.

I really liked the ideas and how he worked creating them. This process felt very different to the type of briefing and commissioning of designers I had done in my previous corporate roles.

In those roles the brief was so important that the designer was given little scope to get truly creative – in many senses the job was just a case of filling in the dots. In some instances committees of people were involved in the brief which complicated things even more.

I know why design briefs can be very tight – brand guidelines etc – but these become self-imposed restrictions that only serve to stifle the creative process. 

I have really enjoyed working with Mark and would advocate giving creatives space to actually get creative – that's their expertise and probably not yours.