Bringing a Creative Mindset Home from Design Conference

After our designers returned from the Circles Conference, they immediately identified several takeaways that they shared with the whole NB team to start implementing in our creative process.

First up…hands-on creativity: cutting up magazines for mood board collages, sketching out images playfully before committing them to the computer, and taking creative mind breaks to provide mental space for new ideas.

This essential process of disconnecting from keyboards and screens yields creativity that will surprise clients and give renewed excitement to designers. Why? The paring down of technology is a step closer to vulnerability—your emotions can come through the thickness of a line or the dent of an emphatic period.

This hand-drawn mentality takes some courage.

Baltazar Pazos-Villarreal, CTO at Bethel Music

Although eraser marks and misplaced lines can make designers scared to seek feedback from early iterations, NB’s designer, Sylwia, caught ahold of the idea to let go of those fears in order to engage in authentic design.”Our brains respond differently when we put pencil to paper,” Sylwia notes. “The mechanics of the action alone create a neurological pathway that we do not get from working on a computer. This means, that as a digital generation, we have moved away from a lot of untapped potential.”

“Ideas do not live on the internet.” This simple but telling statement came from Jo Skillman, art director at Black Sheep Agency and a speaker at Circles. “Find them somewhere else,” she implored.

In a field that requires so much time spent on computers, researching, drafting, perfecting, it’s empowering to hear the value of stepping away from what feels like a mandatory tool: the internet.

For us at NB, this means marathon collage sessions to envision a new direction for a client’s project, or playful brainstorming (like a quick game of Scattergories) to give us new perspectives on approaching solutions for clients.

Tad Carpenter, one of Circles’ headlining speakers, emphasized the importance of play within a scheduled time. “It removes limits and is not about the end result,” said the designer/illustrator of Carpenter Collective, “but rather the exploration and inspiration you get from it.”

It removes limits and is not about the end result, but rather the exploration and inspiration you get from it.

Tad Carpenter, designer/illustrator at Carpenter Collective

The Circles Conference provided the perfect set of circumstances to learn about intentional play and deliberate time away from screens. In Texas, away from their work computers, Megan and Sylwia had thoughtful discussions on how to present designs to clients, how to leave preconceived results at the office door, and courageously inviting vulnerability into their creations.

They came home ready for a new daily design plan: sketching by hand for early drafts, finding inspiration in unusual places, and mindfully taking breaks from routine tasks.

“Those things you love? Love them louder,” encouraged Jo Skillman. Our designers brought home this manifesto from Circles. Applying it to their work at NB has allowed them to create from a happy place without expectations, and then use those vulnerable first drafts as stepping stones building to the final client presentation.

Interested in courageous creativity?

Contact us to get started

Back to top

Novak Birch

Important Notice

Microsoft has officially depreciated Internet Explorer versions 9 and lower.

In order to keep our website lean and free of code that merely hacks unsupported versions of Internet Explorer, we are no longer supporting IE 9 and lower. We believe in pushing web technology forward and so should you!

Download a better browser ›