Creating original visuals, to my mind is an endless struggle. Our saturated medias force us to constantly come up with new offers, new messages, and new visual content. Getting noticed becomes harder and harder.
But even harder than that – thinking of and making truly unique and original visuals.
The inspiration for this blog post came from the feedback survey for my free e-book. Lots of people mentioned, that this is an issue.
So I decided to do a little research and put my ideas to get you covered. Luckily, there are some tips and actionable advice how to come up with creative, unique, never-seen-before and original visuals.
This post will be useful for those who are:
- Graphic designers;
- Creative directors;
- Working in Marketing and PR and have to provide ideas and manage the creation of visual content;
- Advertising professionals;
- Small & medium business owners who take charge of all their marketing activities;
- Social media account managers who create and post regular content;
- Anyone who is learning the world of visuals, studying advertising, graphic, and commercial design.
Here we go.
Idea No.1: Combine Two Boring Things Together.
This is one of the easiest ideas.
Imagine two wildly different boring physical things that represent your brand, business or activities. And then try to combine them together.
The end result must be something absolutely eye catching. Or even better – something that makes the audience stop and THINK for a while. If you get your audience look at your visuals – what can you ask more?
There are essentially two ways to do this in practice:
- Combining the two items in real life and doing a photoshoot;
- Using the magic of graphics design software (like, Photoshop).
Whichever path you decide to choose, consider this idea. But remember, make sure that the end result is still relevant to your business. You don’t want to have babies in the pilot seats to represent your financial services business for mothers. 🙂 Or maybe you do?
Idea No.2: Add Limitations. Do It Deliberately.
We might imagine that complete creative freedom is a good thing. Some of us know how marketing professionals or graphic designers tend to argue about the limits in the creative brief. And we might assume that by giving complete creative freedom, we will come up with something mindblowing and super original.
Not really. The fact is that complete freedom is bad. You can end up lost in the world of possibilities, tools, and solutions. And at the end – nothing. Either the end result will be something totally not understandable or it will look like the same as everything else.
So try adding limitations. Do not be afraid of them. A healthy dose of limits sparks our minds and evokes the brain to come up with creative solutions. Limitations help to have some sense of direction. And look for detours.
If someone forbids you to use the door, how can you get out? Well – try windows 🙂 You see – creative solution to get over limitations.
You can add limitations to basically every ingredient of visual content:
- Limit the number of colors to use (for example, stick to just 3 colors);
- Limit the space;
- Choose only one font;
- Get rid of photography;
- Ask to incorporate one obligatory element;
- Limit the shapes you are using, text directions, styles etc.
I really liked the previous branding of Alitalia – the Italian national airline. They absolutely stood out with their simple, yet elegant visual content, that apparently was heavily limited to use particular colors and just a few of them. No photos were used. I loved it. Truly unique and original visuals.
Unfortunately, they have been a victim to the current trend of airline visual design. Alitalia today looks like just another legacy airline.
Idea No.3: Follow the Trends.
Ok, this might be pretty obvious. But most of somehow fail to exploit it.
You can get inspired by other artists and designers ideas to create something original for your own business. In general, that would be borrowing the idea, but the actual content can be truly yours.
For example, currently, there is a hype about using double exposure images. Given the fact, that you need some decent knowledge to create such photos, they seem quite unique and interesting. They are pretty original visuals. I am also seeing the rise of levitating elements in visuals. Or currently super trendy Prisma app.
There is a catch using trendy stuff. You must be an early adopter to be regarded as original. Trends usually become mainstream and at that point you cannot stand out anymore. Then you have to look for a new trend to create your visual content.
There is a warning, though. Not all trends might fit your business. Before adopting a trend in your content creation process, make sure it does not contradict your business values.
Idea No.4: Experiment to Create Original Visuals.
Well, another obvious idea.
Unfortunately, experimentation requires time. And quite a lot of it usually. There are many cases when I have come up with interesting and original visuals. All because I accidentally pushed a button in my graphics software and merged some two images or elements together. And created something original.
Also, experimentation requires some knowledge on how to use graphics tools. I have noticed that the commonly available tools like Canva, are not good for truly creative experiments. The most original visuals you can create are just some unusual layouts. Canva-like tools are excellent to come up quickly with professional looking visuals. But you will not be able to create something truly original with them.
Tell Me What You Think?
I hope I managed to make your life easier today. The challenge to create original content is something relatable to everyone, including myself. I use these ideas every day and them at least help me to be on a path to making original visuals.
Do you have other ideas? Feel free to leave a comment or ask questions below.