Discard Culture: Why the ideas that didn’t make the final cut still matter

April 1, 2019

Whilst it’s easy to romanticise the prospect of coming up with something groundbreaking whenever we’re thrown tasks, it’s not often the case that something truly innovative is able to be successfully utilised. Often times as creative people, we have to submit and go with the grain to ensure something is a success.


Even in the world of design, there are certain things that are tried and true...


Designing your website to a grid is usually a better idea than not doing so, as it means it won’t completely implode upon reorganising for mobile. Even if the idea of a website presented in a circle seems great.Left aligning copy with generous line spacing might feel overdone; but it’s so popular because its effective for the reader. Justified text isn’t accessible and can be a pain to read, often leading to the re-reading of lines.


Creating an elite golfing logo for a 100-year-old country club in hot pink with illustrations of robots shooting laser beams might sound fantastic – but it’s an unfortunate truth that, again, the stylistic status quo and what’s been done before probably is what’s best.


So, what happens to all the crazy ideas we don’t get to develop?


Answer: you ‘put a pin in it’ to bring it back another day, on another project. In plain English, this roughly translates to ‘neither I, nor any of my colleagues, will ever remember or use this ever again’. And so they’re discarded.


Unfortunately, do this too much and you might be missing out on perfect opportunities. What many fail to recognise is just because an idea was a complete flop under one context does not mean it won’t be good, or even great, in another. Just because an idea didn’t work today under the current conditions doesn’t mean it won’t work tomorrow under new ones.


We have to create environments where we are free to try things which we are almost certain will completely fail; entirely on the off chance that they don’t.


Learn to take the time to occasionally explore your ideas graveyard. There’s a chance you almost threw away a diamond.



If you feel that your business is lacking in creativity or disruptive thinking, contact Gravitas at studio@gravitasengland.com. Our team will make you stand out through the utilisation of real behavioural economics and consumer psychology. We also have the experience to know when it’s appropriate to open up the crazy jar.

All rights reserved. Copyright Gravitas Studio Ltd. 2019 ©