6 Ways to Help Smash ‘Blank Screen Scream Syndrome’
Have you experienced ‘Blank Screen Scream Syndrome’ (BSSS)?
When you’re sitting in front of a blank screen for hours, it can start screaming at you! It’s like a BSSSing in your head! Yes, you have the syndrome!
Just like authors have a writer’s block, designers have an ‘artist’s block’. Basically, a point where our brains stops generating ideas, and time seems to slow down. Coffee, a short walk, lunch or standing near the window looking at the local wildlife can’t get things running! This can happen at any point when you’re designing.
Most of the time, ideas come to mind within seconds, and you end up designing a great piece that justifies your brand and purpose, but sometimes, it is hours and hours of slogging away and it takes bottomless cups of coffee to get your creative juices to start flowing again, but even then the ideas may not come to mind.
So, what do you do when the blank screen is still screaming at you? Here are a few tips that ‘might’ help you in such a situation:
- Take a break — When it has been a long time working on something back to back, it is necessary to take your mind off it for a while. It will genuinely help, trust me. Just relax, because a relaxed mind is capable of producing more ideas.
- Do not draw/doodle — When you have your pencil and paper in front of you, do not just start with a drawing. First start by writing keywords about the brand, or project. This is like jump starting your brain!
- Outside the box — Dig deep….’Don’t think, feel!’ Try to think of the most outrageous idea and write it down. Be brave at this point!
- Start with shapes — The biggest mistake that we make is, we start thinking ‘complex’ first and then try to simplify things, which is the wrong approach. Start thinking about simple shapes first — a circle, a triangle, a square or maybe a pentagon. Draw them out, now create patterns, and finally try to create your complex idea with these simple shapes. You will notice a huge difference in your design and execution speed.
- Team Talk — Have a word with yourself. You’re the corner man in the ring, with 1 round to go. ‘You can do this!’….Think positive
- Experience — Don’t make the mistakes you have made before. You have the experience to navigate HMS HappyClient to shore.
These steps usually help me or at least give me a kick-start if nothing else. The ultimate challenge to create something memorable, engaging and on brief, still remains. But at least now your blank screen won’t scream at you anymore!
Don’t forget, if design doesn’t do a job it’s just a piece of Art.
By Steve Riley, Creative Director