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Factors That Ruin a Graphic Designer’s Creativity

Have you ever come across a time when your creative juices stop flowing? Yes, I’m referring to that moment when you try so hard but fail to conceive a creative idea. But this doesn’t happen all of a sudden, does it? There is always a reason behind this abrupt dearth of creativity. Even the slightest of distraction can ruin a designer’s ability to think innovatively.

In the field of graphic design, creativity is one attribute that makes the real difference. Whatever you design for a client must stand out from the rest of the crowd. But there are some factors that damage a graphic designer’s creative aptitude. That is why it is crucial to known these issues beforehand so that you can beware of them.


1. Low Self Esteem:

The biggest creativity killer for a graphic designer is low self-esteem. The lack of confidence and self-worth dampens your ability to think openly and freely. Your fear of failure and disappointment creates a hurdle in the creative process. Since you don’t have self-belief in your ideas, your creativity is rendered ineffective. That is why it is imperative to keep your composure and have firm belief in your ideas.


2. Criticism:

Being a graphic designer, facing client criticism shouldn’t be a new thing for you. Every now and then, you will encounter clients that will hurl harsh words that might upset you. Some designers take this criticism to heart which ultimately affects their creative faculty. The reality is that not every client is capable of understanding true creativity. What may look original to you might not appeal to some clients. But with the right communication skills, you can convey your creative ideas and concepts to your clients.


3. Lack of Funds:

Sometimes graphic designers come up with ideas that are brilliant but unfeasible to execute. Unstable finances are yet another big factor that destroys a graphic designer’s ability to think productively. You are constantly worried about how your idea or concept will be executed with low resources. In some cases, clients fix a meager budget which doesn’t provide a designer with enough room to express his creativity with freedom. For instance, your design concept would look great on a flash-based website but the client doesn’t consider it feasible for his budget.


4. Tough Goals:

There are two kinds of stress namely eustress and distress. The former helps in motivating a person while the latter dampens an individual’s efficiency. Tough goals and difficult deadlines are all creativity killers. This is because you cannot restrict the creative thought process. When a graphic designer has too many deadlines on his head, his capacity to think outside the box is restrained. That is why one should avoid clients with impractical deadlines.


5. Workaholism:

Being a workaholic has its pros and cons. While you may be able to impress people with your endless dedication and nonstop labor, you will also risk killing your creativity. Some designers believe that they can multi-task and complete all their work well before time. But what they don’t realize is that putting too much pressure on your body reduces your efficiency and effectiveness. That is why I believe graphic designers should avoid workaholism and retain their creative juices.


Have you ever been a victim of lack of creativity? If so, then what measures did you take?

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. MAP-IT Inc. On April 24th, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Yes criticism from client on some of graphic designs is must. But sometime harsh criticism effect the performance of graphic designer. The Client should take care while criticize the graphic designer. But your mention of this thing that the graphic designer can convey its concept if he/she have good communication skills. Anyway tips are nice and informative.

  1. Luci On April 24th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I can relate to lack of creativity to the smallest of distractions, which I have a habit of doing. Whenever an idea comes to mind, I tend to forget and I try to remember what it was. I’m also trying to see how criticism on my work can be used as feedback in order to make some improvements.

  1. Adam Booth On April 25th, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Great post and a very interesting topic. What really does ruin a graphic designer’s creativity? I feel it is not as cut and dry as the answers given above. They are all indeed contributing factors, I feel the major factor is being unappreciated by clients and the fact some of them have a total disregard for your hard work. Many clients have an idea in their mind that they have seen elsewhere and want the designer to copy it exactly, even though this is more than likely not right for their business and the designer can produce something a lot better. I also believe Workaholism is a great factor. Too much work turns it into a chore and not enjoyment which is the worst thing that can happen.

  1. Kenneth On April 25th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    1. You’re so right. I believe that it ‘s one of the reasons that are preventing me from going freelance, though I really like the idea.

    2. Totally. Especially if your that type of people who really take everything to close to their heart :)

    3. For sure. I have a friend of mine who on a shoe string budget now, and he’s totally having issues with creativity because he’s sort of thinking of other things, you know? :)

    4. I do agree but only to some degree because the tougher the goal, the more energy you put into achieving it and even if you don’t achieve your goal, you enhance your skill set in either case.

    5. This one is totally my problem. You just hit the nail on the head, I pretty often sit at my PC just for the sake of it. Not doing anything productive. It just looks that I’m doing something crucial.

  1. Trendz Print Media On April 25th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    These are all great points and each one is valid in this profession, I find! I notice with my graphic design team when they are overloaded with projects they can become less focused, and it really effects their creative ability. I also find that the key to any successful design project is COMMUNICATION. Having a consultation with your client is key, and really understanding what there needs and wants are for a project. If we ever take on clients that have no idea what they need we always get them to dig up examples of what appeals to them, so we have an understanding of there design style.

  1. high definition design On April 26th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I find that when designing and i need to revise work more than 5 times it thoroughly sucks the creativity out of me. I think this also breeds low self esteem and self doubt. Sometimes I just need to take a break and view a bunch of creative things on pinterest!

  1. To design graphics online On May 1st, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    These are spot on for sure! I personally thrive on criticism as long as it is constructive and can help me improve my work.

  1. anne On May 7th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I agree. Even I have problem bringing myself to face harsh criticism. However, I believe all this will be able to contribute to new and enriching learning experience. I am slowly learning to accept to this harsh reality and at the same time thriving on producing a better concept and ideas.

  1. Freelancer On May 11th, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Thanks so much for these information! I feel a bit scared while working with self employment.
    In a brief sum up, everything that might affect negatively the designer’s feeling, is also a threat to creativity…
    In my case, another factor is feedback and support. I don’t feel creative when I don’t have enough communication with others, to discuss my ideas. That is necessary to externalize what I am thinking and thus edit it in the most effective way.

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