Whom Do the Muses Favour?

Hey all. Did you miss me? I missed seeing the beautiful, witty logo creations you guys are up to. Yesterday, I took the day to get in the mood of blogging here again. I was mesmerised by the fun work I saw on The Logo Mix. On the other hand I missed writing here. That is why I am back to you with new stuff, which I hope you will find concise, informative and helpful. 

Today, I will tell you of this exciting study that I have read, about creativity. 

The research comes from Concordia University and you can find the whole article in the Journal of Business Research. 

Creativity Study

The theory of the study was that creativity flow from members of a particular culture depends on the place in which that particular culture falls on the individualism vs. collectivism continuum. 

The researchers hypothesised that members of an individualistic society (for instance, a western one, like Canada)  would perform particularly well in a task that promotes out-of-the-box thinking such as coming up with the proverbial million-dollar idea, compared with those from a collectivist society, (for instance, an eastern one, like Taiwan) who wouldn’t be as willing to engage in that kind of thinking because they would be more reluctant to stand out from the group.  

The Research

Two groups of students from two universities in Canada, Montreal and Taiwan, Taipei  did a brainstorming task using culturally neutral stimuli in both countries. The data collected were from five measures: 1. the number of generated ideas; 2. the quality of ideas; 3. the number of uttered negative statements within the brainstorming groups (e.g.”This is a dumb idea that will fail.”); 4. the valence of the negative statements (e.g. This is the all-time dumbest idea” has a stronger negativity than “This idea is rather banal.”); 5. the confidence level of group members when asked to evaluate their performance in comparison to other teams. 

The Results

The results of the study largely supported the hypothesis. 

Individualists did came up with many more ideas. They also expressed more negativity and stronger negativity than the collectivists. They also displayed greater confidence than the Taiwanese. 

Collectivists scored marginally higher than the individualists in regard to the quality of ideas produced. This is thought to be in line with the collectivists’ cultural trait of being inclined to think hard prior to committing to a course of action. 


So what to do with this piece of information when we think of logo design

Well, logo design relies heavily on creativity, doesn’t it? 

You might think that if you are part of an individualistic society you are more predisposed to come up with more ideas when brainstorming for them. And it is true.  And that is good. Because in logo design a big flow of ideas (even the ones that we consider dumb) is very important to find the best idea yet. 

Continue and be yourself and let those creativity juices you have, flow freely and undisturbed. BUT also remember to not let go of valuable ideas too easily. Quality trumps quantity. Give in to the compulsion you may feel to take time to polish ideas that need to be polished.

Take heart logo designers from collectivist societies! Your ideas might not be so many, but they are of a good quality, marginally even better than your individualist colleagues. Continue to be yourself and think hard of that creativity task. BUT also allow yourselves to take risks and even “blunder” in your profession. Who knows? Maybe your “blunder” could be the best logo design for a company. What we like and consider worthwhile is many times not the same thing with what a client needs and likes.