ideas vs variations/iterations / by tyler galloway

when looking at many typography book cover ideas today, i noticed a good amount of iterations on one, two, or three ideas, rather than the requested minimum of ten ideas.

an idea (as defined by wikipedia) is "the aim or purpose" of something.

an iteration (as defined by wikipedia) is "the repetition of a process or utterance." which is to say, variations of the idea mentioned above. in graphic design process, this looks like one idea with shifts in composition, scale changes, color, etc. 

 a few examples of distinct ideas (not iterations), based on your challenge of making a cover for a typography book:

  1. "a typographic resource" set simply across the front in black, with small type labeling all of the pertinent anatomy
  2. "a typographic resource" made to look as if it were embossed on a cloth-bound hard cover book, like a weighty tome one might find in the reference section of the library. this would be a photo of said book, perhaps photographed from above, sitting closed on a table top. a photo of a book cover as the book cover, if you will. 
  3. "a typographic resource", each letter being "found" from some interesting location and set inside a grid of equal rectangles, filling the cover of the book. 

each of the above ideas is unique and independent of the others. the process of conceiving ideas is oftentimes painful but one that is well worth pursuing because it is largely what determines the resulting quality of your creative pursuits. 

if i were to develop iterations of my first idea above (the anatomical one), it may look like this:


notice they all have the same "aim or purpose" as stated in the idea definition above – they all seek to teach typeface anatomy while also titling the book. granted, these are fairly wide ranging iterations, but iterations nonetheless. i might be able to do three or four variations of each of these ideas, netting twelve iterations of a single idea – title as anatomy. if i managed 12 iterations from each of my other two ideas, i would have 36 iterations total, from only three distinct ideas. pretty cool how it can add up.

bottom line: strive to develop as many unique ideas as possible when beginning on the visually creative aspect of your design process. you can iterate later on the best ideas you want to pursue.