Creativity can be difficult for any graphic designer, but when you work exclusively in one industry it can be even more challenging. I’ve been working solely within the Pet Industry for over 20 months, and I’ve learned that I need to replenish my creative spirit frequently to stay engaged and creative. I love my niche graphic design business, but that doesn’t mean that your creative batteries can’t be drained by something you enjoy. So here are my top 5 tips for staying creative in your niche.
- Study Your Niche
Look at what’s popular or common for graphic design in your niche through searching online. This may sound counterintuitive since you want to be creative and not mimic others. But I find looking at current industry trends makes me think of how that concept could be better executed or a different concept that might communicate the same thing. Sometimes putting yourself in a box can make you far more creative in trying to work out of it.
- Experience Your Niche
Nothing beats real life experience in understanding your niche and staying inspired in it. Since my niche is the pet industry, I take time to play with my dog or do some other activity with him. Refreshing my mind with the experience and emotions of those activities reminds me what I’m trying to convey to my client’s target markets. If your niche was the food industry, go out to eat somewhere that you really enjoy the food, or try out a new place. If you can’t take that time, watch some videos on YouTube. Whatever industry, take some time to immerse yourself in it and write down your experience and feelings.
- Consume Things that Evoke Similar Emotions to Your Niche
I find this super helpful. For example, when I was working on a playful logo for a pet groomer I found a lot of inspiration from watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I’m not a huge fan of the show, but it’s animated well and conveys the messages that my client’s target market would respond to. No judgement. Inspiration can come from anywhere!
- Do Projects Outside Your Niche
No matter how much you love something, it can feel a bit stale after a while. By doing projects outside of your niche from time to time you can remember why you love the one you’re in. I try to regularly do things for my fellow designers as my outside of niche projects. I feel good helping others and it’s a productive break. After I spend a while thinking with my business person/niche graphic designer brain I love coming back to my “I love pets” brain.
- Interact with People in Your Niche
Chatting with pet business owners, learning about their challenges and priorities gives me a clearer picture of their perspective. While we design for their target market, understanding the day in & day out of the businesses we work with gives us an additional dimension of understanding. This may not garner inspiration for everyone but the more I understand the types of businesses I work with, the easier it is to solve whatever problem they need fixing. To me design is one way of solving problems in business. One that can be quite effective if the problem is well understood.
I hope this tips will help you with staying creative in your niche. Still struggling or just want to chat? Feel free to reach out to me on my website or on my social media channels in the author description below. Talk to you soon, and remember it’s good to go niche!