Design ideas from Alan Fletcher

I recently came across the book, Picturing and Poeting, a look at the work of graphic design artist, Alan Fletcher. I loved it. Inspiring and so very, very clever. A few of his tips and ideas are below...

1. Fold printed shapes in half and arrange them to form new meanings.

2. Notice the repetition around you and use it in unexpected ways to form collections or shape the meaning into something else (ie. fruit sticker pizzas).

3. Combine common images or symbols in ways which create new meanings. Look at the edges of things and wonder about the story they may tell when touching or arranged in different ways. 

4. Ask how can I make the design work within a square?

5. Collage themes that are immediately recognisable from an array of unlikely materials (ie. horoscope animals)

6. Use line drawings in ways that overlap and use transparency to see through objects and get a sense of depth, foreground and background.

7. Give yourself free reign within a tight constraint. Use rules to unleash creative ideas.

8. Write or make art in a variety of different situations (ie. when blindfolded... in intense wind... outside when it's raining). See what visual surprises emerge.

9. Remember: writing is drawing. Write how you draw. Draw how you write. Look for bigger shapes, outlines and boundaries and composition in writing as you do in visual art. Use tools you draw with to write. Use tools you write with to draw.

10. Use postcards (old or new) to reflect physical changes to that place.

11. Challenge perception by labelling or presenting immediately recognisable objects as something else.

12. Use letters, fonts and cut out shapes to form words through collage that look like what they mean or changes/questions what the word says. Consider anagrams and wordplay and symbols.

13. Letters are characters in their own right. Make them dance or cry or play or tumble off the page. They can express situations, actions and feelings depending on how they're arranged.

14. Arrange letters in a drawing to express what the word says (using writing, drawing or on a computer).

15. Flatten perspectives.

16. Ask how much of a design you can take away without changing the original meaning of the image or word.

17. Bring writing back to its materiality. Use ink often, practice calligraphy. Use brushes and sticks.