One Squiggly Line Blog

Hand-drawn pictures can make things clear, simple, and fun in blogs, too!

Visual Thinking & Creatvity: Make the common new

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We look at letters every day. Online. Text messages. Street signs. Starbuck's coffee cups. Letters are everywhere.
When we see things all the time, we often stop really looking at them. Common things can become invisible.

When that happens, it's a great time to get creative with them. That causes you to look at things in a new way. Explore them from a bunch of different perspectives. Really look at them. See them in a new light. That's where a lot of new ideas are often found — sitting there right in front of us, in plain sight!

Visual Thinking: Words vs. Images

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To many, the term visual thinking means pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Maybe some charts and diagrams, too. And possibly a few mind maps thrown in for fun. 

While pictures are a big part of visual thinking, words are also a big part. Words can be really powerful. Pictures can be very powerful. And when you put the two together, the message becomes even more powerful.

Check out the drawing above to see more specifically what's involved with both words and pictures. 

Check out One Squiggly Line's About Visual Thinking page to learn more.

Visual Thinking, Creativity, & Lettering: Time constraints

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Need a quick way to be more visually and creatively productive? Set a time limit! That way, you're more likely to stay focused. Since there's really no time to critique your work, you won't! It may not be perfect, buy you'll keep going and make whatever you did work. That builds momentum and stamina to see things through. And finishing things leads to greater satisfaction and confidence. All of that carries over to whatever you tackle next. Maybe that's why innovation comes from chaos instead of void...

Visual Thinking & Creativity: From random to unified - find the link!

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One great way to come up with more creative ideas is combine things in new ways. Often, the more random or unrelated the things combined, the more creative the idea seems to be. But in the eyes of the creator, those things probably aren't so random or unrelated after all. Where most people see randomness, the creator spots a clear connection, a unifying link.

Unifying links can be found between pretty much everything, if you look deep enough. Visuals can make those links much more obvious than words alone. Try it out with the ten things pictured in the image above: Apple, airplane, airstream, art, arrows, almonds, apricot, automobile, avenue, atmosphere. Need a hint? The answer is in the picture - four times!

Visual Thinking & Graphic Recording: Wedding Showers

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Graphic recording is most common in business meetings, conferences, and other events. It's great for more personal occasions, too. Like weddings or wedding showers, as this drawing shows. Not only is this a great way to remember an important day, but the advice of friends and family, too!

Graphic Recording & Creative Lettering Design: Word Clouds

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Word clouds are pretty common these days. They're usually computer generated with standard fonts. If you want your word cloud to really have impact, hand lettering is the way to go!

Hand-lettered word clouds can be created from print materials before or after and event. Or for a report or website, for example. They can also be created live as a different way of graphic recording. No pictures, only words. Words that are carefully drawn and designed to create an impact greater that just a list or something computer generated.

If you relate better to words than pictures, a hand-drawn word cloud can be a great bridge to reach those who are more picture oriented. Experience the impact yourself - contact me to create one for you!

Visual Thinking & Creative Lettering Design: Lowercase B

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Drawing some letters is a great way to warm up your creative and visual thinking skills. That's what all these lowercase B's are about! I set a timer for a few minutes and drew as many different lowercase B's as I could in that time.

Setting a short time frame keeps you going. There's no time to evaluate what you just did. So you don't. You just keep coming up with ideas. There's plenty of time to evaluate things once you're done. The same is true whether you're drawing lowercase B's or thinking up ways to save the world.

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Design, Don't Write!

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Fancy lettering is great. Simple lettering can be great, too. If you think about each letter as a part of a design instead of just a plain old letter.

One way to turn simple letters into a design is to switch up the sizes. Make some of the letters bigger than normal. Make others smaller. Switch up upper and lowercase, too.

The only rule here is that whatever you end up with is visually interesting. And you'll most likely want to be sure people can actually read the message, too!