A problem solved becomes a pleasure!

The anxiety of making the first mark on a blank canvas has been a cross to bear for artists since before the dawn of all Creation (now there was a blank canvas to wrestle with).

To the unprepared designer, fear of where to begin looms large. "Who's idea was this?" you rhetorically whimper. "I could have just snugly settled into the family wholesale fruit and potato business straight from school, but no… I had to play with TYPE!

While this game is most certainly never boring, starting work on a problem is not always blissful, and rarely will a brief have you doing backflips up and down the hallway. It’s frustrating at times and it’s tempting to put it off in trying to make sense of it all, but the professional designer knows that while some ideas will pop up like corks on a lake, others need some inner version of a vigorous sports massage to bring them to favour. To trust in this process is successful thinkingso the problem becomes a challenge. Don't put it off—pull it off!

Designers like to scribble. Emptying the contents of your brain onto a notepad is like cleaning out a handbag. Whatever you’re doing, scribbling down thoughts will stimulate the creative flow. On your lunch break? Keep scribbling. In the loo? There’s paper in there! Find ideas to add to your ideas.

After a not unreasonable duration which swings between euphoria and self-doubt, several of your doodlings should 'ping' into preference. These you will circle and tick (that's what I do anyway) and, following further frenzied biro fine-tuning, it's time to shovel some more coal into the iMac and click away wholeheartedly at that now 'come hither' blank screen.

It's excitement evermore when you know what you are doing. When preparations all fall 'jam-side-up' into place it’s Showtimethe rush of smug satisfaction and sense of fulfilment are like a warm wind teasing your curls. A problem solved becomes a pleasure. Phew. Time for a beer.

Postscript: In the world of graphic design and advertising, it is not uncommon to have a deadline of a matter of minutes sprung upon youyou may not have time to work wonders, but before you begin stabbing fiercely at the keyboard with hatred shining on your face, do say to yourself: it takes as much time to design something well as it takes to ‘bang it in’ for the sake of getting it done. Uphold your values, always.