Sprinting in design

I’ve been teaching Corporate ID & Self  Promotion to Macewan students this Fall/Winter. We’ve been doing many different fun things, one of them being quick workbook exercises at the beginning of each class to push creative thinking. I thought I would start sharing some of them! Many of them are inspired from the book Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming by Ellen Lupton.

Here’s one on an exercise called ‘sprinting’… let me know if you give it a try and if you had fun 🙂


Designers sometimes get stuck in a routine of working. When seeking a new creative approach, we can feel paralyzed by the range of choices and possibilities. Sprinting is a technique for breaking your own habits by forcing yourself to come up with a new visual solution in a fixed timeframe. When timeframes are short, designers often feel more comfortable taking risks and trying alternatives. Each concept becomes less precious, easier to explore and discard. How to sprint:
1. Set parameters – Define what you will tackle: quick posters, type treatments, spot illustrations, etc.
2. Warm up – Flip through some magazines or books, quick sketching for 5 minutes
3. Plunge in – Work quickly and without over thinking
4. Decision time – Pick your faves and share!
Your task: Sprint in a twitter typographical series. Size your type treatments within in a 4” x 4” space. Do as many as you can and print off your favourites on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. Trim them out and place them on the crit wall for sharing and discussion. Spend one hour creating a series of typographical vignettes based on quotes from the following twitter feeds:

This post was last updated on March 13, 2015 by amanda