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Can Graphic Design Schools Teach You to Be Creative?

Do you ever worry that you aren’t creative enough to succeed as a graphic designer? It’s a thought that crosses nearly every artist’s mind at some point. Fortunately, you can improve and build your creative skills by increasing your knowledge.

For decades, scientists and psychologists have theorized that several distinct levels of creativity exist. While the names change depending on whose theory you follow, the levels essentially go:

  • Expressive or Intuitive Creativity: a primitive level of creativity with a unique directness and joy in the simple act of creating. This is the type children exhibit when they bring home paintings from school.
  • Productive or Technical Creativity: at this level you create things that are new to you, but not necessarily new to the world. It’s a time to learn new skills and techniques. Graphic design schools can help you develop this level so you can advance to…
  • Inventive Creativity: take the techniques and skills you’ve learned and make them your own, finding new uses for them or employing them in original ways.
  • Innovative Creativity: break boundaries, take the knowledge of your predecessors and use it to come up with new ideas. Explore new methods and materials. The productive or technical creativity you learned remains in your subconscious, fueling new levels of originality.
  • Genius or Emergent Creativity: Many people find this level unattainable because it belongs to those who create an entirely new idea that greatly affects humankind. Einstein, Newton, and Shakespeare belong at this level. But never underestimate yourself–you can reach it too. As Michelangelo once said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

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6 Comments

  1. Posted August 18, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Nice one info related to my field I like your interesting hidden full post,
    Thanks for share this post in graphic design practical work is more important then theory.
    Nice blog.

  2. Posted August 18, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    excellent work! thanks a lot for sharing..

  3. Posted August 18, 2010 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    I’ve never thought about design in this way but it makes perfect sense. Seeing this can help creatives progress by seeing what level they are at having an aim for the next level.

  4. Posted August 18, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for motivating me. i just printed out these tips and pasted on the wall next to my computer screen so that when ever i feel i can read. thanks for writing these tips

  5. vannty
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    want to study and design web.

  6. Posted October 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is a great post describing where educational training ends and real creativity begins. Going to graphic design school is a great thing, but creativity is KEY in this field and you’ve outlined it very well.

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