Thinking creatively is a skill that needs to be mastered if you’re to excel in meeting a design brief. Digit spoke to top UK creative talent to discover how they brew up a brainstorm.

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First-class creativity and design is about ideas. For creative companies, brainstorming is one of the main tools of inspiration and the birthplace of those ideas. Inspiration is not something companies have time to wait for. They have to make it happen. For some it’s a religion, and for others it’s a totally unstructured process. However it takes place, though, it’s an essential part of the creative process.
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Creative companies – from design and online shops to advertising and communications agencies – have a myriad of different ways for getting those creative juices flowing: “It’s structured chaos,” says Niku Banaie, head of innovation at branding agency Naked.
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Early theorists such as Edward De Bono have developed structural methods of running creative brainstorms. De Bono’s idea of Six Thinking Hats encourages teams to look at problems and challenges from a variety of different perspectives. Teams (literally, if they like) are required to wear different ‘hats’ – emotion, information, negative, positive, creative, and control. This technique encourages companies to approach problems from lots of different points of view. 
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Nowadays, most brainstorms, or brain dumps as they are sometimes called, are a lot less structured and often more specific to individual companies. There are few hard and fast rules. The point of brainstorming sessions isn’t to come up with the final strategy for a client, but rather to chuck as many ideas as possible onto the table, then sift through these and isolate the most significant ones. Brainstorming is the passion and soul of the creative process – the sense and order comes later.
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