Create New Ideas -- Think Different, Think Upside Down

As a marketer, I am always thinking about ways to do something different. An example of this is when I review materials online or offline. I often think about ways to enhance the message through a re-design, new imagery, new font styles, and re-writing the editorial message to make it fresh. You would be surprised at how simple changes can make a huge difference.

Now you are probably thinking, If I where to do this, where do I start? Here are a few tips to help you think a little different and kick start your next new idea. This idea can be used with print material and can even be adapted to websites and graphic design usage.

1. Start gathering print samples from anywhere. It really doesn't matter. Weed out the yucky
ones and keep the ones that capture your interest.
2. Make note of which ones you like the best (Best pile #1).
3. Here's the fun part. Spread out all your samples on the table or floor. Then, turn all of
them sideways. Yes, all of them.
4. After turning sideways, make note of which ones capture your attention now that they are
turned on their side (Best pile #2).
5. Now, turn them all upside down. Really.
6. Review once again and see which ones draw your attention yet again (Best pile #3).

The Viewer's Perspective

By doing this exercise, you will instantly see how a layout (horizontal, vertical or upside down) completely changes the viewer's perspective. In some cases, you may be drawn to one ad layout when it is sideways, but horizontally it looks awful. Believe it or not, this will stimulate new ideas.

Think Motion

The great part about this experiment in flipping things around is, it's so easy to do. You don't need any technology, just print samples and some table or floor space. Alternatively, print ad design does not have the ability to move like web and video. If a print ad is compelling and it is static, can you imagine how much better the design and layout would be if it is on an interactive website or on a video? Motion and interactivity draw attention faster than static imagery. Think motion when assessing new ideas that are in print.


Use your imagination when looking at print ads. By turning them on their side and upside down, you instantly provide a different look and a unique perspective. It also gives you a different idea of how you can integrate this into your next variation of a print ad, brochure, web design or video. Better yet, if you are performing this exercise to help elicit new ideas for photo and text treatments, the design variations you see when turning ads on their side will create other options. Photo and text are two things that are valuable design elements. However, when looking at them normally they, well... look normal. Once you turn them around, the text is now vertical, the photo is too. Within seconds you have a new layout idea. The cool thing is, you can take on part of this new layout idea or all of it and roll it into your next creation.

The next time you are struggling to come up with a new idea for your marketing, look at things differently. Turn them upside down and sideways. You will be surprised at what you discover.