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As graphic designers, we are in the idea business. We are constantly asked to generate new ideas. Or alter existing ideas. Anyone can come up with a good idea, but where do truly great ideas come from?

This is my recipe for great ideas.

Collaborate and Share

It’s easy to come up with an idea, but it’s not so easy to see beyond your initial thoughts. Collaborate and share your good ideas with others, they will surely have a slightly different viewpoint and will see something outside of your own thoughts.


Really listen to the feedback that you ask for. Don’t pretend to listen or be consumed with your own thoughts, actually listen. Don’t derail comments, let them flow freely. Let others take the stage and just listen.

Open Your Thinking

Listening is the easy part. Now open yourself up to others’ viewpoints and interpretations of your idea. Be willing to change and thinking differently about your idea, and genuinely believe in “our” idea.

Keep Feedback Positive

Give only positive feedback, no matter what. This will lead to more conversation and more ideas. Negative feedback stops conversation.

Review and Revise

Review your initial thoughts and all of the feedback that you’ve received, and revise your idea with an open mind. Change, massage, update, tweak—whatever word you prefer—and hopefully see where it has gone from good to great.