Creative Thinking Techniques

This is one of the 12 creative thinking techniques we learnt about.

Re-framing Matrix

This is a creative thinking technique used to look at problems/issues with a product from different perspectives. It does this by using a simple four grid format with a box in the middle where you would place problem.


The next step would be to write the 4 Ps down.


The words are Product, Potential, Planning, and People. You could use whatever words fit better for your product but these 4 words are the correct way to use this creative thinking technique.

This technique could be very useful for a Graphic Communicator. Say, for example, I had just created a poster for an event. If I then put it up online and it wasn’t grabbing peoples attention or people were saying they couldn’t understand a curtain element. I could use the Re-Framing matrix to solve these problems.

Here is an example I have made for this hypothetical situation:re-framing-matrix-100

After trying to use this for a poster I feel it would be better for interactive products like websites and apps.

The other Creative Techniques are:

  • Brainstorming
  • Mindmapping
  • Forced Analogy/Random Word
  • The checklist
  • The 6 Thinking hats
  • Picture Association
  • Scamper
  • Lotus Blossom
  • Attribute listing
  • Metaphorical Thinking



First Things First Manifesto


The  First Things First Manifesto was first written in 1963 then published in 1964 by, a significant designer of the time, Ken Garland and signed by 20 other designers, architects, and photographers. This manifesto is a fight against commercial and corporate design, reminding us that design has more place in this world than trying to sell crap. Design can be used in better ways e.g. spreading information or giving directions.

Talk of this manifesto moved fast and in time was picked up by The Guardian which lead to Garland being on the BBC news. It was the published again by a group of new authors in the year 2000 it was at this time that it was labelled The First Thing First Manifesto 2000


I feel that this manifesto is very important to remind young people what design really is and what it can do. Some times we forget that Graphic Design can be used for useful informative purposes instead of getting people to buy crap! Although in this day and age the industry can be very competitive because of internet and social media. Designers may feel that advertising is their route into the industry. There are so many more interesting and useful projects we could be working on than the newest ‘pooper scooper’ or any other consumer crap there is out there in the world.



So today we were given our last brief for this term. The brief goes like this,

designboom is the web’s first source for the best of architecture, art, and design. In a hypothetical world, in December, designboom is bringing seven of the best and most renowned graphic designers in the world to the city of Cardiff, the glistening capital of Wales. The event will take place in CHAPTER Arts Centre in Canton, Cardiff and it is your role to design the accompanying piece of printed ephemera that will be used to give people an insight in the designer’s practice and personalities.

I want to make it clear that this is HYPOTHETICAL! This is not really happening it is just an exercise for us to learn.

So I set about doing some research into Ephemera, I’d heard this word before and used to know what it meant but had forgotten.

The actual definition of ephemera is:

Definition from Google: “things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.”

“there were papers, letters, old boxes—all sorts of ephemera”
  • collectable items that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.
    “Mickey Mouse ephemera”

My definition of printed Ephemera: Leaflets, Magazines i.e. written or printed things not meant to be printed.


Here are some interesting pieces of Ephemera I have found:

After looking up Ephemera I feel i have a better idea of what I would like to achieve for this brief.

Type specimen brief: Gill Sans Context

Gill sans has been used in many contexts. It is perfect for corporate logos, book covers, and signs. Gill Sans was used by Edward Young in 1935 on the iconic Penguin Books Jacket Design. This put Gill sans on bookshelves all around the globe.

Other uses include:

  • e Harmony
  • Monotype Imaging
  • United Colors Of Benetton
  • BBC
  • Toy Story



Type specimen brief: Gill Sans Classification

Gill Sans falls under the Humanist classification. Humanist classified typefaces are based off of Roman Capitals, which you can clearly see in Gill Sans. Humanist type faces often contain much difference in stroke widths within each character. In Gill Sans this difference is mainly scene in the descenders and ascenders. Gill Sans is, quite obviously, sans serif typeface. There is not a serif version of this typeface.