One of the problems with creative projects is that there’s always more than one way to ‘skin a cat.’ Creative problems come with more than one solution, and choosing the best solution for the circumstances can be a challenge. There are many things to consider when approaching the work – many quantifying parameters that end up shaping the project.
The project requirements. First and foremost are the project requirements. These are the common elements of budget, style, tone, audience, etc. The all-important ‘box’ into which everything must go, and the most difficult of all the creative decisions. It’s vital that decisions are made with awareness of this ‘box’ and that they stay within its boundaries.
The collaborative group. Collaboration is the give and take of several creative minds focused on a common goal. Everyone has input on the project, and creative decisions are made based on a consensus of the combined input of the group. Each member must make accommodations for the others so that the group can work effectively as a whole, which often results in creative compromises.
The approval process. Sometimes the approval process itself is a quantifying element. Often there’s a hierarchy established, for example a boss, teacher or client, through whom the final word in a project is given. Ultimately, creative decisions need to be made based on the approval of that authority.
But, when all is said and done, how do you decide? How do you make a choice between the red or the blue? Will you go with Helvetica or Comic Sans? The only way to really know is through experience. You take the leap, you make mistakes, you do the work. That’s the only way to really know. You may get it wrong, you may get it right, but at least you got out there and did it, and that counts for everything.