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Fostering a culture of curiosity

At Initiate, curiosity is the cornerstone of our creativity. We cultivate an environment where every idea is valued, encouraging our team to think beyond conventional design norms. This approach fosters a dynamic, collaborative atmosphere, enabling us to explore innovative solutions and grow together as creative professionals.

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    Michael Ball

Curiosity is the foundation of creative problem-solving, much like roots are essential to a tree’s growth. It absorbs inspiration, akin to how roots draw nutrients and water, and as it expands, we forge more connections. We are born with innate curiosity, eagerly exploring the world with every sense. However, societal norms often stifle this inquisitive nature, discouraging exploration and questioning.

As designers, it’s crucial to rekindle this sense of wonder. Asking “why” and engaging all our senses enhances our ability to solve problems for clients and ourselves. We constantly evaluate—does this color work? Is our design in harmony with the existing brand identity? This process leads us down various paths, each contributing to a logical conclusion.

Love those (bad) ideas

Every idea, regardless of its immediate utility, is valuable. Open-mindedness fuels curiosity. In brainstorming, not all ideas will be winners. Some may seem inappropriate or unfeasible, but each one exercises our ‘curiosity muscle,’ often leading to unexpected pathways or insights for future reference.

Suppressing curiosity can dim our creative spark. This is true in both our upbringing and professional environments. At Initiate, we avoid dismissing ideas outright. Negative responses can discourage team members from sharing their thoughts, especially in a public setting or when they are eager to impress. Creating a culture that validates and explores every idea is essential.

Does curiosity mean breaking the rules?

Curiosity sometimes means challenging the norms, not necessarily breaking them. While understanding design rules is important, knowing when and how to break them is equally vital. At Initiate, we let curiosity take the lead, occasionally reining it in for practicality or compliance. Breaking rules is an inevitable part of creativity, even within the most stringent guidelines.

Please feed your starving curiosity

To nurture curiosity, it must be continuously fed. As a leader and teammate, I emphasize the importance of exploring and sharing ideas. Discussions often refine concepts, leading to more polished outcomes. We encourage this through platforms like Slack, where sharing and inspiration thrive.

Exploration beyond the confines of graphic design is also crucial. Social media, when used with focus, can be a valuable resource for discovering diverse designs. The worlds of interior, architectural, and fashion design are not just relevant but enriching for graphic designers. Elements like fabrics, colors, lines, and textures from these disciplines can significantly enhance graphic design work, fostering a more open and inspired mindset.