What Is A Design Workout And Why Should You Care?



Being creative day in, day out is harder than you’d think! Although it can sound like the best job in the world, when creativity becomes your day job, it’s easy to get burned out. Sitting down at a desk and waiting for ideas is tough, but agency life waits for no man. We’ve got clients excited for their new site, brands waiting for their new look, and more in the pipeline. So, how do we keep things fresh and the inspiration coming?

Although there’s an image that many people have of the isolated creative, we think that the best ideas come from a strong team. This way, we’re able to support each other and offer a fresh perspective on a design or concept that we know will work for the designer because we know their style and the way they think.

One of the ways we do this is through what’s known as a design workout. It’s an idea we stumbled upon that has become one of our team’s favourite ways to press the reset button on our creativity.  

If you or your design team needs a boost, here’s how to get moving on your own design workout.

Find a new space

The last place you should be doing a creativity workshop in is at your desk, the same place you sit every day and search for ideas. Sometimes it truly is as easy as a change of scenery to kickstart your creativity. Find a space that’s got enough room for people to loosen up and get creative, away from the usual space of your studio.

Get equipped

We like to use pencils and paper for our design workouts. When you’re working in front of a screen, shaking things up with the real thing is even more fun! If you’d like to keep things digital, just make sure that there are all the chargers, devices and gadgets you’ll want so that you don’t have to break up the day.

Always warm up

Creativity is like a muscle – make sure you warm up before you push it. Start with something small and light. Pick an item in the room and get a few logo options for it, start out a few personas to use later on, redesign your water bottle. Little things that will only take 15-20 minutes and get everybody moving.

Push yourselves

Now for some big tasks. Try some things that will get your team to break a sweat – pick out some of the personas you made earlier and design each of them a landing page for your product, get photoshop up and try to create something crazy around your office photo, or analyse a design you like and work out why their designers made the choices they did. Spend an hour or so on each one of these larger tasks.

Cool down

At the end, chat about the processes you went through and the reasons you made the design decisions you went for. Make sure it’s an open discussion that’s easy going an fun – this isn’t an appraisal, it’s a workshop.

Exercises like this help keep the ideas flowing and the morale up. We’re able to understand each other’s creative process and to use work we did when we were at our most creative as a jumping off point another day.

If you’re looking for a creative shake-up of your site or branding, talk to the Zinc Creatives. We’ll be ready and waiting to help.

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