To go from having nothing to having a creation that could be as successful as Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever album, all it takes is 4 steps. Want to know what they are? Read on!
It’s Almudena here, graphic designer at Genially, and I want to share with you the creative process we follow here at Genially when creating templates from scratch, which might be useful for anyone who wants to create amazing content. It’s the creative process according to Graham Wallas; try putting it into practice in your projects! I’ll also share some tips for stunning your audience and leaving them wanting more.
As with all creative work, doing it in a team is a great advantage. On Genially’s design team, we work collaboratively to help our ideas grow and develop. The team is a great source of motivation and support from the moment we start thinking of an idea for a new template until it’s ready in the gallery in Genially.
The 4 stages of the creative process
According to Graham Wallas, the 4 stages of the creative process are: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification.
Following these stages will help you develop your creativity to the fullest. There are also infinite techniques for awakening and boosting the production of creative ideas: brainstorming, the 6 Thinking Hats technique, Lateral Thinking, etc. Here are some more tricks for stimulating your creativity.
Let’s look at the stages of the creative process in detail.
First you need to choose the theme of the creation. In some cases this choice might be made for you. In our case, the creation of a specific template is almost always something that lots of you have requested. If you’ve never suggested an idea for a template, I encourage you to do so here: we always read the requests and take them into consideration when creating new templates.
Need to pick a theme? Give yourself time if you can, because your subconscious is continuously looking for ideas. The important thing is to be original and that your idea speaks to people.
In this preparation stage you need to look for inspiration everywhere you can think of to define the aesthetic style you want to give your creation. The most obvious choice is to turn to the many digital platforms that offer visual content and where you’re sure to find something related to your theme that can help you. Anything can be a source of inspiration and ideas can come from the most unexpected places.
For example, in the template you see below, each character is based on someone from our team.
Can you tell it’s made with love? Sometimes, to find inspiration you just need to look around you and let your imagination run free.
During this stage, I look for the content I’m going to use, such as images or decorative elements I want to use in the new template and that I need to consider when creating it.
I also think about the ideal format, taking into consideration how I think the template will be used. I try to think about whether it’ll be used to present a genially on a screen or on a projector, if it’ll be viewed on a computer or on a phone. I think about how it could surprise the Genially community. Will I create an awesome breakout or a super original interactive card?
Sometimes, at this point I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve. Other times I just get to work and build something step by step, creating a mood board with the fonts and color palette that fit with my theme, and even some other elements I’d like to include such as music, images, or illustrations. This helps me to imagine the result and have a more general, overall vision.
Creating is also making decisions
In terms of colors, I tend to let color psychology guide me. I think each color evokes an emotion and I think about which emotion I want to awaken in my audience. For example, we know that yellow transmits joy, red represents danger or passion, and blue transmits peace and serenity, like the sky. I have a lot of fun with colors. That’s why my creations always have powerful tones and a bit of a crazy touch.
Did you know that fonts also express emotions? That’s why I try to explore the theme of my creation and give it more significance through the fonts I choose.
Rounder fonts are friendlier due to their softer form. If you need more of a classic and formal look, go for a serif font, while if you’re going for something fresher or more modern or elegant you can opt for a sans serif or script.
It’s important to combine them wisely. You can get very visual results if you combine different fonts, but be careful: never put more than 2 or 3 different fonts in the same creation.
It’s also very important to ensure legibility. Always consider the size of the texts in your creation to make sure they can be easily read on any device.
The storytelling technique will help you connect emotionally with your audience and communicate your message in an unforgettable way. Use all of the elements of storytelling that you can, and lend some visual coherence to your project.
After making these decisions, let the creative machine, a.k.a. your mind, rest for a while.
Ideas will start to flood in when you put a bit of distance between yourself and the project. This is the incubation period, where you forget about stress and let your imagination do what it does best. Why not take a shower, do some mundane tasks, or simply switch projects? It’s about leaving some space so that the ideas can flow until you hit on THE ONE. It will come, don’t worry.
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Got your great idea? Now comes the illumination stage. It’s time to get to work with what you gathered in the previous stage. In this phase, I select the most suitable ideas, tools, and techniques I’m going to use.
For example, sometimes I need to crop an image, or draw something, or create all of the graphic content. At this point, I select the content to see if it’s suitable or not, taking into account what fits aesthetically in relation to the idea I’ve got.
Here it helps a lot to talk to someone before making a final decision, to see what effect the content has on the other person and get their point of view or get new ideas to enrich our own. We do this constantly on our team and find it really useful.
Each person on the team uses different digital tools and techniques to work on their projects, but we always think about the interactivity and animations and how to combine them to achieve that Wow effect when you use the template.
During this stage it’s important to make use of all your patience and determination, because it may be the case that what you had in mind doesn’t work out as well as you thought it would and you might even have to start over. Don’t be discouraged; you’ll soon find another solution! Sometimes it’s enough just to choose different resources, but if not you can take a step back into the previous stage and revive another idea. Got one? Onward and upward!
The verification stage is when you critically evaluate what you’ve made. In our case, we get the whole design team together to analyze each piece of work, and that way we can assess if the content is exciting, refine each project, and align ourselves with the set objectives.
It’s a good idea to surround yourself with people you trust that can give you constructive feedback and whose opinions you respect.
During this stage it’s important not to be too attached to your ideas but think of them as flexible. This flexibility will help you to remain open to possible changes that could improve your work even if they mean revisiting a previous stage.
On our team, we believe that everything belongs to everyone. Most of the time, a colleague’s ideas are the solution we were searching for in our own project.
And finally, the part we like best: presenting the project. We upload our templates to the platform where they become part of the creative Genially universe.
It’s great because this is where we can really see if the community likes our content, what your favorite templates are, etc. We also love receiving all your lovely supportive messages. On behalf of the team, I’d like to express our sincere gratitude and affection because you help us to keep improving.
I hope you liked this post and that you found it useful. If you think it might help someone else, please share it! I’m sure your next creation will be amazing, best of luck with it!