A value that we hold dear to at Pixel Media, along with collaboration and value, is creativity. I have been developing the concept over the past month and have attempted to really break it down.
Graham and I have worked together on a number of projects since 2003 and from the time we have worked together I have concluded that we are creative. It is a word I banded around without any real definition or ability to expand. I just knew that we are creative.
Graham has an artistic eye where graphic design is his thing. He is creative in every way possible. As a youth leader and youth worker, Graham has been creative at many differing levels. If you can keep a group of 11-18 year old entertained, you need a medal. Graham successfully did so over 12 years of working with young people. He never ran out of ideas. Always something different, new and highly engaging.
I am not creative in creating art like Graham but I know I have ideas that are creative. I am creative in the way of utilising a thing or concept to a practise. To expand on this, I ran my own taxi company a few years back and when creating my customer experience, I had a Samsung tablet attached to an arm that was fixed to the passenger seat. I wired it up to the in car entertainment system and linked it to an in car wifi gadget. Customers could play games, listen to their favourite music and check out their transport connections. I had never seen this done and created the concept myself.
So what do I mean by creative? I think I started out with the value of creative based on the designs we made. This is an artistic creativity. It is limited and certainly does not fully explain how we are creative. Artists, musicians, actors and inventors are at the front of our minds when we think of creativity.
I think creativity is a broader topic than the arts. Creativity is thinking creatively. Creative people have a place in every area of business. Creative people try something else. Give a creative person a job to do and they will do it differently to most other people.
Think of a flow. The flow of a river running its course to the wide open sea. The flow is each and every particle running with each other in a certain direction. Put a creative particle in this and you will find it trying everything but running with the flow. Creative particles are not scared of a harder way. They do not work with the protocol of the flow.
A creative particle would be quite happy to go against the flow.
I am now set in a world of marketing where customers want something different. I enter this world daily and exercise creativity every hour. The marketing world has a flow just like any other industry.
You would expect that marketers are creative people with a wealth of understanding, ideas, influence and all the rest of it. Yes many of them are, but the industry still has a flow.
We live in a world of centralisation and working from systems. Although this is necessary, we still need to be free enough to allow creativity. Here at Pixel Media we are attempting to systemise a lot of what we do to ensure we are efficient, but we are very aware that we need to remain creative. As a core value, this is a none negotiable.
As we move into our next chapter of growth, we aim to remain creative by removing boundaries and keeping out of the flow. We want to look at problems without restriction and without constraint. I often get asked to create a particular design by a client where I just have to ask why?
Just because everyone else is doing it is not a good answer. I spoke to a business owner with a van and wanted a design on the side. It had all the things that he did, his phone number, his name, address and all the usual stuff. It was a window company and I suggested putting a window in the side of his van with window graphics in. Have I seen this? No. Have I done this before? No. I created it through the idea that it would attract attention. Who puts a window in the side of a van? There is some creativity right there. Did it happen? No, it is a bridge too far for some minds and one where you also need to have a creative mind to implement.
So what does our creativity look like in our every day? I speak to many different businesses about how they look and what their client look like. We create a design for a purpose. Usually to grab attention, then to allow the potential customer to explore a little further. My customers want a call from their potential clients.
Utilising our creativity, we consider what that customer looks like, what they are doing at the time of seeing the design and what the norm is. We then throw a spanner in the mix that will make heads turn. Put a deal, promise, guarantee or just something bizarre in there that makes that person think. As soon as we have processing going on in that mind, we then give them the call to action. It’s a creative process where it takes a little more than looking at what everyone else is doing. I would rather look at what the customer is doing.
I want this kind of thing to be the norm when people speak to us. I want creative ideas that will jump up and stand out. Google’s hub in California is designed to be a hive of creativity. I understand why, I understand that as a business grows, creativity can be stunted. I want to be like Google as we grow. I want our office to be the creative hub of the North East of England. That people will talk about that place. The place you go to stand out.
Don’t let the flow dampen your creativity…………….It all starts with a conversation.