Get back to play... with paper.
In a world where we are all so eager to get on the computer, we live on the computer or we are constantly on one electronic device or another... put it all down and grab some paper.
When I was in Graphic Design at ACAD we did't use computers... at all. Our class assignments were pencil and paper, cutting and gluing scraps of paper and organizing sheets of paper on a board. We used coloured pencils and shapes, broke down items to their simplest shapes... no computers required.
Kanva, Adobe and the 100s of other apps and user designed programs focused on design has made it easier for us to custom create something to fit our every need.
These apps don't teach, they create.
Some of the best lessons we can learn about design and play are by acting like our 9 year old self, the 5 year old mentality or the 3 year old sense of curiosity. Lets play.
I don't start a logo design on my computer, I start it on a piece of paper with a pencil. All logos should be strong in black and white so it seems like the best place to start. I play, I write the words out, sketch shapes and shade in, using just my pencil. I can color outside of the lines and create something. I can play with different shapes and types of fonts. I can create without distraction.
We can miss the obvious, the basics of how a shape is comprised when we depend solely on the computer, our eyes get 'buggy' from staring at the illuminated screen and our attention is pulled when the 'bing' or pop-ups from our favourite sites fights for our attention.
When adding colour, I use coloured pens or pencil crayons, the colour wheel, or looking outside my window for colours inspired by nature.
Playing, laughter, connection and experience... these are the tools we build design from, these only come when we are off out computer. We didn't learn to walk by watching it on TV nor do we learn how to write a song by hanging out on Facebook... we learn through playing, trying and being present in life.
Put down the computer and grab your pencil, scissors and glue and look around for inspiration, have lunch with a friend.