I originally mentioned “idea categories” in an article I wrote called IDEAS FOR GENERATING IDEAS.
By looking at various creative visual ideas we can classify them into “idea categories”. Most images will fit into one of the following categories, if you think a very important category is missing, please let me know.
The objective of idea categories is to provide a brainstorming framework creatives can use when they have a creative block. Given a particular subject, a creative can walk through the framework and see if there is a creative solution.
- Merge - In order to describe a new concept we often combine two or more familiar concepts/symbols. For example, when the train was first invented it was described as an “iron horse” … because it was strong like iron and functioned as transportation like a horse. This helped people understand its function and characteristics. Other examples include “email, spork, etc”
- Word Play - Play with words, rhymes, puns, phonetic mix-ups, spelling, etc
- Juxtapose - Put something familiar in a new context to give it new meaning
- Physical Characteristics - Change a physical characteristic. Exaggerate it, make it bigger, smaller,change its material, make it translucent, make it glow, make it rigid, make it fluid, make it shinny, etc
- Comparison - Make an analogy or comparison to show a correlation or make a point
- Function - Change the context of its normal function. Replace the object known for a common function.
- Time/Consequence - rearrange the order of events, outcomes, objectives, etc
- Expectations - Irony / Expectations / Literal Meaning / etc - Do the opposite of the common expectation. Do something different.
- Parody - A humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation, as of a person, event, etc. ie Exaggerate!