Tuesday morning rolled around again and this time it was my turn to create the activity for staff meeting. The good folks at HOW magazine gave me a good idea for a typographic exercise. Picture a messy table strewn with pens and pencils, paper heaps and torn notebooks, splattered paint jars and stained brushes—like a bright kaleidoscope with all its sundry colors and possibilities spilling out. It may seem a world away from the usual workbench of slick-and-shiny computer, mouse and keyboard, but it shouldn’t. This is where ideas are sparked; this is where the fun begins. In the following pictures, we took to heart the idea that design isn’t squeaky clean and type isn’t just something floating on a screen. It has a life of its own. So we embraced the task of rediscovering that. We transformed a corporate meeting room into a playground of art-school disarray and asked, What if FLUID were scary and spooky? What if FLUID were earthy and ethereal? What if FLUID were fill-in-the-blank—what would that look like? We rolled up our sleeves and went to work experimenting with ways of taking our very own logotype and giving it a medley of personalities with a little old-fashioned handiwork.
What if Fluid was hot & spicy?
What if Fluid was a breakfast cereal?
What if Fluid was a band?
What if Fluid was food?
What if Fluid was a monster?
Let these techniques be inspiration to guide you back to the idea of taking design, literally, into your own hands. Let them be reminders of the motley crew of possibilities at your fingertips and re-energize the way you view the design process. And as you clear off your desk and start uncapping pens and squirting paints, remember that it’s not just art for art’s sake: Make sure that you have your concept squared away before you begin. Then turn to these methods to bring that vision to life—and get your hands dirty in the process.