Follow the Yellow Brick Road : How The Wizard of Oz Has Helped Shape my Creative Process
As a child I re-watched The Wizard of Oz over and over again until my family was probably sick of it. There was something about the characters and the surreal world that they find themselves in that drew me back time and time again. When thinking about my own brand and renaming, I kept coming back to the idea of the creative process being a journey and not just a destination or end result. I believe design is about so much more than an end deliverable. Although what you might receive from a designer might be a PDF or a new logo, it is the creative approach or the journey that you take to get there that helps you to end up in the right place and get to the end result that’s right for you and your brand.
While the ‘yellow brick road’ in a creative sense doesn’t lead us to The Emerald City, in this sense, it leads us to a more meaningful and visually engaging brand. The road leads us on a creative journey in which all of the different ‘characters’ or, for the sake of this analogy, ‘creative principles’ have their own input along the way, therefore adding to the story, and ultimately, the end result for your brand.
Thought – Having an idea at the core of what you do.
Everything has its place and is there for a reason. Whilst I believe in the importance of beautiful design, it also needs to be functional and have reason for being the way it is that is beyond purely aesthetics. Sometimes this meaning can be subtly woven into the concept in a way that is not immediately apparent, but it’s there. This ultimately helps add to the overall feeling someone gets when they interact with your brand and it feels as if it has been well considered and executed. Often the best ideas are simple, which is why they are hard to come up with. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity of thought, it can help a design to have maximum impact and maximum ‘aaah I get it’ or ‘that’s clever’ when people see it.
Heart – Caring about the process as well as the end result.
This, in my view is such an important (and non-negotiable) part of the design process. I work alongside people who have businesses that I genuinely believe in. When people are passionate about what they do, I am passionate too and will put everything into delivering the client the best result. The power of emotion in design is also hugely important. Design can be used to conjure up emotions or nostalgia within people, helping them to resonate with your message or offering. Ultimately, design is consumed by people, and people have and are led by emotions, which is so important to consider when designing for brands. Sometimes you can’t put into words why exactly you like the look or feel of something, you just know that it works and feels right.
Courage – Being brave enough to be bold, different and stand out.
In a world that is becoming increasingly saturated with businesses who are all putting out content and hoping to gain consumers attention, don’t underestimate the importance of standing out and bringing something different to whichever market you are in.
I don’t believe in following trends just for the sake of it, so through thoughtful design, I hope to help create brands that stand-out and grab people’s attention for the right reasons. This doesn’t mean your brand has to be the loudest in the room, or even bold in its aesthetic, but it can standout and have real meaning and impact without always shouting from the rooftops. I also believe it is important to challenge my clients through the work that I deliver them. I will often offer a concept that is more ‘out there’ and different that what they might expect, and I have found this is often the option they end up choosing. Being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing, and design is no different. It shouldn’t always be the ‘easy’ or ‘safe’ choice, sometimes it should be the option that makes you think ‘that scares me a little.’
Home – When it just feels right.
This is what Dorothy seeks and is ultimately a feeling that isn’t quantifiable in design terms. When you know, you just know. It’s the feeling when you know something looks and feels right for your brand and you don’t necessarily know why, it just does. It is a combination of all of the tangible elements such as: colour, type, style and shape that all work in synergy to create just the right feeling for your brand.
This is the feeling that I seek to create for people - that gut reaction that somebody has just ‘got it’ and completely understood you and your business. This is why often as creatives, our first concepts are the best ones, because they have come from a place of realness and immediacy when we really understand a brand. Ultimately, I want to create that feeling you get when you get home, put your feet up and think ‘this is where I’m meant to be.’
My whole business was born out of a gut feeling that I had to just go for it, so I really work hard to bring that feeling of ‘this feels right’ into the work I produce. I understand that people’s businesses are so close and personal to them, and I want to do that justice through what I create, whether that’s through developing their branding identity or creating some social media designs.
If you would like to being your creative journey with me (not to The Emerald City, but to a more meaningful and visually engaging brand), feel free to get in touch, I would love to talk to you about how we can start building your business together.