The Designer’s block (and I’m not talking about Lego…)

I love my job: I love creating, refining my ideas and even coding.

But sometimes coming out with a good, fresh and – most important –  new idea is a painful process.

I like to associate it to childbirth: you know something beautiful and unique will pop out sooner or later, but in the meantime you’re suffering because you’re not there yet. Afterwards, all the pain is forgotten and, while looking at your new born creature, you are looking forward to working on the next one.
People who know me have learnt that I need to be left alone, otherwise I’ll shout horrible things to them.

But sometimes you’ve gone past your due date: not matter how much you are pushing, nothing comes out.

Especially since I’ve been freelancing full time (and I can’t share n. 5 with my colleagues anymore), sometimes I need to fight the “It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named”, the Creative Block.

The following doesn’t want to be a doctor’s prescription: it’s just some tricks I’m using, in random order. Pick the one that suits you or just try everything :).


  1. Go out and meet people you don’t know
    With our design projects we are building brand personalities or telling brand stories, so why not listening to real ones?
    I’m saying this as an introvert: you don’t have to be a good talker, just a good listener.
  2. Ask yourself questions
    Sometimes I don’t have ideas because I didn’t fully understand the brief but I’m not aware of it, probably because the time is ticking and I’m in a hurry.
    So ask yourself: what is it for? Who are the people I need to reach? What are they likely doing in this moment? What is the core value and my role in it? And so on.
  3. Procrastination
    As this video shows, procrastination could be a rather creative thing. Set a time frame in which you can draw cats, rearrange the fruit bowls according a colour scheme or draw a portrait made of numbers. Afterwards you’ll see things in a new perspective.
  4. Set yourself boundaries
    It’s not true that creativity means absolute freedom: creativity needs boundaries to play within, boundaries to stretch.
    If your client hasn’t a clear idea of what he/she wants, try to ask them directions to narrow things down (usually the “what you like/don’t like” works well).
  5. Weep and then weep again
    There’s no point in hiding it: I’m not perfect and now I’m having a creative block. Sigh.
  6. Browse online and look for things that excite you
    and make you say “I wish I’ve done that”.
    It doesn’t matter if it’s related to your brief or not… it’s important that it gives you that tickling sensation at the back of your head: suddenly your pen will be moving fast on your tablet.
    These are my Fab Four:,,,
  7. Go out and do windows shopping or see that exhibition you’re longing for
    Probably this works only if you live in a big city like London, but for me a pilgrimage to Selfridges’ windows displays is a mind-washing trip like going to the British Museum and browse through the Egyptian sarcophagi.
  8. Start again
    If a relationship doesn’t work, it won’t. If an idea doesn’t, it won’t.
  9. Complete a small and rather unuseful task
    It gives you the feeling that your day is accomplished and now you can relax and simply create.
  10. Go out and walk
    So a research at Stanford University suggests. At least, at the end of the day the keep-fit task is ticked off and we can only worry about the brief.
  11. Pick one element of the brand you’re working on and focus on that
    Nice font? Do a typography-based project. Nice colour palette? Stick on that.
  12. Watch the entire box of your favourite TV series (weekend only)
    At the end you will so bored that you can’t wait to work again on that impossible brief.

What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Infinite Mix

It’s so difficult to explain to your friends why you’re so enthusiast about an exhibition if they haven’t been there, even more if it’s about videos. The Infinite Mix ended in December but it still sticks with me. A journey through the maze of a derelict building and human emotions, weaknesses, atrocity, touching and hilarious moments. I think I have been sitting in the friezing dark for more than an hour watching the hypnotic trees of Cyprien Gaillard “Nightlife” again and again.


Hayward Gallery’s page dedicated to the exhibition

Netflix crush #1: Better call Saul

  1. It’s about people who’re trying their hardest to be good people without much success
  2. The photography is so beautiful I want to screenshot everything
  3. That light
  4. The dark humor
  5. Those cities somewhere near the mexican desert
  6. The 2 secs acid headtitles
  7. The bittersweetness of everything
  8. Kim: the only female character I loved since Alicia and Carrie
  9. Jimmy: the only male character I’d be able to hug after a big mess up
  10. The feeling to have a glimpse of something so multilayered and complex that whispers “Don’t judge me”


Better Call Saul on IMDB.

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