5 essential tips for in-house inspiration

Working as an in-house designer can be a real challenge. Here are five ways to generate creative ideas when operating on the inside.

Working in-house has many advantages - but staying inspired and motivated can be a challenge. Here are five ways of generating new ideas when working as an in-house designer.

01. Get to know the business

Without a knowledge of your business, it's hard to generate creative ideas that are applicable and effective. So spend time on the shop floor (literally, if necessary). understanding the business principles your company strives for and the market in which it operates will help you refine your work and target your creative output more clearly.

02. Experiment

As an 'internal resource' you will no doubt be in demand, but try and block off some free time - perhaps a Friday afternoon - for creative development and experimentation. Challenge yourself and your team: can you make something more efficient? Add more impact or information? Identify opportunities to improve and experiment.

03. Network

Try and build a contacts book made up of a wide variety of external agency contributors and other creatives in your local network. Go to socials and events and make contacts. Just because you're not part of the design service industry doesn't mean you're not a design professional. Learn and share.

04. Mix it up

Using your contacts, try and work with external agencies on larger projects to get an outsider's experience and point of view. You're the client and creative lead at all times, but do be open-minded and allow others to inspire you and add the resources and skills your team might lack.

05. Be a design sheriff

You should monitor your company's creative output, and update and circulate your in-house branding guidelines regularly. If you see regular misuses of the company's branding then think about what you can do to solve the issue rather than just reprimanding the culprit. Create the design laws and help enforce them.

Words: Tom Dennis

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 221.

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