The Designer’s Notebook

The Difference Creativity Makes



Today was a really good case study in the difference a little creativity makes in the general outcome of a design project. I’ve been going on about passion for design a lot lately and there is good reason for it. Passion for design or moreover, passion for creativity is what separates good designers from the rest. This being the first official post of 2009, I’m glad it’s about creativity.


I was at a photo shoot today at King’s Energy, and we had the task for shooting some catalogue shots of some pig valves and actuators. Pretty odd shapes, and in the end, the shots are primarily designed to be used in a catalogue type publication. After some set up, the lighting was finally dialled in, (lucky I brought a black shoulder bag to block the highlights from the chrome) and we proceeded to take the required shots. Pretty simple stuff, really.

But there has to be more. There has to be a way to make a pig valve sexy. With a name like “Pig Valve”, how can it not be sexy in the end? The name says it all. You had me at hello.


After the initial straight shots, we had a moment to look over the subject and isolated a view that might just do it. Now, it’s important to note here, we could have stopped after the initial views and went home with a completed brief and a slightly thicker wallet. But we didn’t. We decided to dig into the problem: ”How to make a Pig Valve Sexy?”

The solution was remarkably easy. A little dramatic lighting, and a few moments to find and angle and faster than you can say “Shazam”, a star is born!

A little dramatic lighting, and a few moments to find and angle and faster than you can say “Shazam”, a star is born!

Now, it’s certainly true an image may never get used… after all, the brief was to take catalogue photos, but for the extra few minutes to do something creative and push the envelope, it’s well worth the risk. The resulting image screams “cover shot” to me, and hopefully we will use it for that purpose.

I think the real point here is that often times we can get complacent as designers knowing that we just need to meet a deadline or fill a brief. A bit more effort can often result in far greater results, even if the initial request was not such. Knowing where you can excel is one of the greatest assets a creative type can have, and actually doing it is even better.

Let’s get started!

We’d love to talk with you about your company and where you want to take it.