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How We Stay Creative

As an award-winning graphic design firm in Phoenix, ReThinc Advertising has high standards for our creative department. It takes a lot to be a creative at our ad agency. You must have a college degree, you need to have a jaw-dropping portfolio that impresses our Creative Director and our Associate Creative Director (both of which are “judge-y”). You will also need to be weird or “manageably weird” as our founder likes to say. Lastly and most importantly, you need to show up every day and be creative, detail oriented, clever, talented and completely impervious to criticism from your coworkers who can barely draw readily identifiable stick figures.

I sat down with my incredibly clever, talented and seemingly emotionless creative team and asked them: “What keeps you creative? How do you get and stay inspired every day without chemical stimulation?”

After an uncomfortable laugh, they did say that being creative for the entirety of a given work day/week/month/year/decade did require more than meets the eye.

1. Appreciate the Purpose of the Work. This one’s a little abstract and more difficult to explain, but it’s something that happens to us on a daily basis. Being creative translates to being hyper-aware. Of course, it is best when you can channel your awareness to good, positive things. We know that what we do will ultimately be used to improve someone’s business, which results in a lot of good things happening for what we feel are some really good people.

2. Talk it Out. Even if it’s just a one-sided conversation where one designer does all the talking to flush out all their ideas until one actually catches our interest. Sometimes they will respond with an idea of their own (sometimes not). Creative block on a concept or a project is a problem and just talking about it can be the cure.

3. Tech sources. Solutions don’t have to have a personality. Just like lots of industries, we can look to our computers to help us solve issues with creativity. There is a wide array of tech-based options for designers to draw inspiration from. Here are a few we like:
AIGA Eye on Design – newsletter covering latest trends and emerging designers.
Designspiration – think Pinterest, but for graphic design projects. – COOLORS – helps create the right color scheme for a project.

4. Peer Inspiration. We are blessed to work in an industry that is full of tremendously gifted people. This talented group of peers inspires us every day with the work they do for their clients. We see things all the time that are ridiculously cool.

5. Outdoor Adventures. For us, getting outdoors is the very best reset there is. Whether that means a local hike in the morning or a weekend camping trip, both are a great way to get your creative mind back in order. We’re grateful that we live in a place that gives us plenty of opportunities to get outside. There’s really no better way to get your mind right.

6. No Sad Lunches! Managing the workload and deadlines should always leave time for that break in the day where you have time to knock out lunch. The time we take to eat a little something and disconnect from the computer screen is also a great time to recharge your batteries. Lunch gives us time to pal around with our coworkers or toss the ball for Zona. A mid-day unplug gives us time to reset, relax, and refocus on whatever we’re working on.

7. Our Culture. ReThinc has a great work culture. Whereas we recognize how important it is for us to be excellent at everything we do, we don’t fall into the trap of taking ourselves too seriously. It helps that we have super awesome clients and we don’t have super maniacal people who own the place. Great coworkers, a cool space, office yoga, Deschutes beer, and Zona the wonder dog all help to make for a great place to work.

I really like our design team. I personally can’t do what they do, so I often sit in awe of their talent. It’s not easy to stay creative with the multitude of brands we work with but the challenge is part of the excitement. It helps that we have great clients with great products and services that make telling their story all that much easier.

If you think you have what it takes to join one of the top graphic design firms in Phoenix, send your info to We’re not hiring, but maybe your jaw-dropping portfolio could change my mind.

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