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 & Creativity: Switch Perspectives

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One great way to think more creatively is to switch your perspectives. Try looking at things from the perspective of a child. Or a superhero. Or a rock star. Or your favorite movie character. You can choose anyone — dead or alive, real or fictional, human or not. Just pick someone and step into their shoes for a minute to see things through their eyes. Another word for that is empathy.

You can also switch perspectives physically. Try walking into a new room. Or taking your work outside. Or maybe lying down to think. Or simply standing up for a while instead of staying seated.

Anything that causes you to see things in a new way can ignite your creativity. So give it a try and see what works for you!  

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 & 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!

Visual Thinking & Creative Lettering Design: Capital C

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I'm really big on creative lettering. That's partly because I like to draw letters. When doing graphic recording or illustration work, I've found lettering appeals to pretty much everyone. If there's too much text (regular writing) people lose interest. If there are too many pictures, people get lost. Fun, fancy, creative lettering is the middle ground between pictures and text.

I did some creative lettering practice a little while ago. I set a timer for 2 minutes and drew as many different capitol c's as I could in that time. (I may have gone over a little, I don't remember!) Here's what I came up with - plenty of different ways to draw a common letter!

Visual Thinking: Creative Lettering Design

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Visual thinking is about communication. It's not about art. But sometimes, visual thinking and art do overlap a bit. Especially commercial art or graphic design.

Sometimes, whatever you're thinking about may not be so visual. Or you may not have time to draw something that truly conveys the message. Or it might take a more complex image to get the real meaning across. Or you may be working with others who didn't understand the picture you first drew. That's where lettering comes in.

Most people think visual thinking is all about pictures. And lettering doesn't really matter. But every mark on the page becomes part of the visual. That includes the letters! If you draw the letters, instead of just writing them like you usually do, they take on a whole new meaning. And look. They become as much of the message as the words themselves.

Whether your message is big and bold or soft and dainty, make it obvious with your letters!

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Variety is Key

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Visual thinking is all about using visuals to help you think better. And if you're going to think about something, it's got to hold your attention. Maybe even grab it in the first place.

Great big blocks of text can be pretty boring visually. And if you're not interested in the content, your mind will probably wander. Probably far, far away from the content, too. And that doesn't help you get stuff done.

If the text is a bit more visually interesting, though, it will hold your attention. When there's stuff to look at, people will look! And if they're looking at words, they'll read them, too. Even if they're not interested in the content. The visual appeal draws them in.

 

Visual Thinking: Have a Supreme New Year!

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Want to be a more visual thinker by this time next year? More creative? More productive? More confident? And a better communicator, too?

Then make this the year you dive into visual thinking! By visual thinking, I mean drawing out a picture to help you think better. Not drawing to create a great picture to hang over the couch. Physically drawing out the idea in your head makes it much easier to work with. Then, you can really flesh it out because you can see what's missing. And what you can get rid of. Or maybe you'll decide it's not such a great idea after all. If it just stays in your head, you'll always wonder.

The act of drawing your ideas can help you think more creatively, too. It makes you look at things in new ways. And figure out how things fit together. When there are gaps in your drawing, you'll naturally brainstorm ways to fill them.

Once you have a clear picture of whatever you've been thinking about, you'll be much more confident about doing something with it. You'll be able to explain your idea or information to others much better. And they'll understand it more quickly because you've explained it so clearly. If you're fuzzy about it, they will be, too.

Not sure where to start? Email me and I'll give you some options!

 

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Use What You Have!

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There's a myth floating around that creative people are not so practical. Truth is, the most successful creative people are really highly practical. They think about what can be accomplished with what they already have. And then use what they have in new ways.

One of those things is time. The great thing about visual thinking is that it doesn't take much time. It's quick and simple. And that frees up your time to really accomplish things.

Even one little picture makes a huge difference. And there's no need for it to be fancy. Just keep in mind: The simpler the drawing, the more you'll have time to draw. And the more you practice, the faster you'll draw!