The Five Forces of Creativity and How They Influence The Design Process

By Aamina Suleman , Sep 2 2021
design process

Featured Image: iStock/Denyshutter

For many, creativity comes from instinct, but this is one skill you can develop and train yourself to pursue. You basically need to open your mind to be a step closer to being creative. No matter your industry, having a creative capacity helps with business management, brand invigoration, aesthetics and design of all marketing collateral like web design and social media.

What Is Creativity?

Creativity is a process of generating new and meaningful ideas. In Human Motivation, Robert E. Franken describes it as having the tendency to recognize and generate ideas, alternatives and possibilities to help solving problems. Thus, it is important to note that creativity is an integral part of business brand designing in today’s super competitive world.

Know that creativity has the power to help shape the direction of any particular business, whether it be strategic, technological, or artistic. Using creative ideas and concepts, professional designers not only guide their design processes, but also tell brand stories and express brand vision in novel and exciting ways.

The Five Forces of Creativity

There isn’t a set formula if you’re looking for one, but there are some drivers to turn the creativity nob. Let us explore these one by one.

1. Innovation And Originality

Maya Angelou

Creativity isn’t a one time task, but rather a process that works parallel with the design process. It requires one to bring novel ideas and concepts to the table. It is seen as a key element in innovation because it can spark new ideas and fresh perspectives.

In these years, we have seen some unique logo designs that have caught people’s eyes. Examples include logos of famous brands like Nike, FedEx, Apple, Starbucks, and McDonalds. They may seem simple to non-designers, but in the world of design, these brand marks have truly stood out.

Nike Logo
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FedEx Logo
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Apply Logo
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Starbucks Logo
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McDonalds Logo
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In the process of logo design, or any process of design for that matter, creativity plays a major role in helping people come up with original and inventive concepts. Of course, not all ideas are worthy of executing but the practice of creating a creative culture is healthy for the creative team. This almost sounds like a riddle, I know.

How to be creatively innovative?Keep your mind open to learn new things, not just from books but from your surroundings as well.

Techniques to Boost Innovation, Originality and Creativity

  • Brainstorming is a great way to get everyone’s creative juices flowing. A more structured version of this is Mind Mapping. It’s great to have one session that is all about thinking and generating related ideas.

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  • Use the Delphi Method that involves throwing questions at the panel of let’s say professional designers to get knowledgeable insights on a particular project.

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  • Use online moodboard tools to drop and record ideas and inspirations the team can keep for reference. You can try Pinterest, Milanote, Google Keep.

moodboard with home decorations
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2. Imaginative Thinking

Albert Einstein

For creative people, imagination is one important skill to learn and cherish. With time, it can be improved and polished. Imagination is an exercise you need to keep doing in order to keep your thinking in shape.

Imaginative thinking is the ability to come up with new and creative ideas. It is an important skill for any profession, especially for creatives such as logo designers, web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, product designers.

There was a time when designers were awestruck by the potential of Gutenberg type, and who would have thought that there would be compact printers everyone could use in their homes. Previously there were limited fonts designers could work with and now they’re uncountable. As the industry evolves, so does the technology, and so do design practices and processes.

In the graphic design process, imagination owns the stage, really. You see, game designers have to be imaginative all the time. They need to think outside the box when designing characters, settings, and stories. It is impossible to make any type of design if a person or team lacks imaginative thinking.

How to be creatively imaginative? To be imaginative, you need to take inspiration. Not just from other designers, but from nature or even your dreams.

Resources to Speed Your Imaginative Thinking

  • Listen to videos on TedTalks to widen the horizon of your thoughts. Be open to listening, learning, and adapting.

Explore: TED Talks On Designing For The Future Web

  • Use apps that spark creative thinking. One tool like such is BrainSparker that prompts you with quotes, images, words that trigger your imagination.

Image Source: Apple App Store/BrainSparker

  • Play games that require you to build spaces, like try MineCraft. The reason for this is that these apps trigger your imagination and creativity because you aren’t only enjoying, but crafting as well.

Explore: Design And Animation In Modern Games

3. Communication And Connection

John Powell

Time and again, we have experienced that having successful communication with our team, with our clients, and with our stakeholders has helped us grow. In fact, with good communication skills, one can build strong connections with co-workers and customers. The trick is to speak your ideas, perspectives, thoughts in a polite and structured way. The more we share, the more we learn and grow.

Without effective communication, the design process may suffer from delays and failures. Thus, if you are part of design processes, make sure to keep sharpening your conversational competency.

In the logo design process, if you notice, each step of the way you need to communicate and connect in some way or other. There is a constant exchange of oral and visual interaction between professional designers, brand managers, and visual marketing specialists.

How to communicate and connect? The more you read, and listen to inspiring speeches or podcasts, the more you will get an idea of how to communicate better. You can also create your own podcasts later and leverage them for marketing purposes. If you do so, make sure to remove background noise so that your audience will have an excellent experience with your brand.

Resources to Improve Communication and Connection

  • Use apps like Ummo that help you remove you “uhhhs” and “umms” from your speech. These unnecessary sounds often break the chain of thought.

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  • Improve your soft skills with short videos training you to speak well. Know that your conversational style changes in every situation that requires communication.

hipster people talking using computers co-working
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  • Read and practice countless tips teaching people to communicate and connect better. A few include:
    • Learn to listen
    • Have an open mind
    • Think before you speak
    • Avoid blabbering

dos or donts
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When you have completed designing your logo using coupons for logo design apps, you can animate it by creating an intro video with the MakeWebVideo Logo Animation Maker.

4. Motivational Drive

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Motivation sets the creative screws in motion. It helps one be more innovative and productive. And a motivated person is more likely to enjoy the design process as compared to someone who is being forced by some external factor.

According to Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory, the psychologist shares factors that motivate people to be high-yielding and creative. He shared that job enrichment is a continuous process that helps people, at work, stay motivated. Motivational factors, he elucidated in his study, are divided in two main categories: hygiene factors and motivational factors.

Blog ZillionDesigns
Image Source: Blog ZillionDesigns

To remain creative in every design process that comes once a client comes with a project, team members need some sort of incentive to bring their best to the plate. While large enterprises can afford to provide most of the above-mentioned things, small businesses can try to assist their team of creatives in any way they can so that the journey of designing a product becomes easier and enjoyable.

How to stay self-motivated? While your boss may give you all the perks, you have to make sure you keep yourself motivated. Motivation requires a certain mindset, that is to move forward and grow so expand your knowledge and take inspiration.

Tips to Keep Your Team Motivated

  • Develop a system of rewards that sets goals for team members during the design process. This will create competition and truly bring out their potential.

climbing route to peak mountain
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  • Avoid an autocratic managerial approach and spread positive energy. Cultivate a culture of sharing, hearing, and acknowledging. This will give a sign to your team that they come forward with ideas without hesitation.

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  1. Always give useful feedback. Instead of simply saying the idea is bad, use other words of rejection that are more polite and that don’t demotivate the person to try again.
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5. Exploration And Inspiration

Eleanor Roosevelt

A huge credit to being creative (all the time) is to always explore for inspirations. Avoid being a sore who thinks they know it all because that will not get you anywhere.

Tips to help designers explore and be inspired:

  • Check out the works of famous graphic designers and learn why their designs gained so much recognition over the years. Study what makes their style unique, and how you can use this knowledge to your advantage in making designs.

Designers to explore: Malika Favre, Ivan Chermayeff, Susan Kare, Walter Landor, Chip Kidd, Michael Bierut

But there are many many more to explore!

  • Observe objects around you, in your home or outside. Keep a check of how they’re shaped and colored. How shadows and highlights work on them. Such exploration helps with illustrations and product designing.

set children toy
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Explore: Cultural Design: African Graphic Design In Branding

  • Travel as much as you can to places and learn about different cultures. Know about the symbols they use, colors that describe them, or the landmarks they have.

hand drawn peace day with children
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100 universal icons
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In the process of design, exploration and inspiration help us adapt to contemporary changes in conventional processes. For example, some famous brands use the five-day design process called, The Sprint.

How to start exploring? All you really need to start is the willingness to discover, investigate, and inspect. Don’t think too much, just start.

Resources for Exploration and inspiration

Explore: Eid Poster and Card Designs

Explore: Modern Wine Label Inspirations

Explore: Orange Web Designs 

Explore: Best Color Palette Generator Tools

Explore: Superb Sources Of Color Inspirations

Explore: Gradients In Web Design

  • If you’re a logo designer, keep looking at logo ideas and inspirations and immerse yourself in that sphere. Look at trendy logos and also industry-based logos.


Creativity remains a lifelong process of exploration. It’s the act of imagining new possibilities for reality by connecting things in novel ways. Creativity is not something that happens to us, creativity is something that we practice every day. Creative individuals are able to come up with fresh ideas and an innovative perspective about the world around them, which leads to better problem solving.

Are you using any of these creative forces to drive your design process?

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A marketing design enthusiast, super passionate about the evolving scope of visual communication. With 3+ years of experience in content marketing, Aamina is driven by insights, inspirations, trends and creativity. She loves to travel, eat khowsuey, sip coffee, and watch mysteries.


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