When it comes to good graphic design, marketing or advertising, 90% of the work is complete if you can find a strong concept. Often, the best way to find that great concept that reads fast and efficiently is to generate several ideas very rapidly. The aesthetics of the idea can improve with more time, so long as the overall concept is a good one.
David Sherwin’s Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills is a great little book offering a vast spectrum of 30-120 minute design exercises that challenge your mind, sharpen your skills and encourage thinking that ventures outside your typical comfort zone.
Great for weekend activities or slow days at the studio, Sherwin’s book offers hundreds of simulated design briefs ranging from logo identities to Guerrilla advertising campaigns that will break the monotony of typical work and encourage better, idea-driven problem solving.
Above is a 30-minute and 60-minute sample I created from the book: a concept for a magazine based on the word blue, and a fun, lively logo for the upcoming Olympic Games in London.