What do you do with your non-applied ideas? Ideas that didn’t work for a project, ideas that were good but the client rejected or ideas that you have but have no time to get done. Do you write them down? Re-apply them to other projects? Try and forget about them?

Adam Tickle
Stuff that doesn’t often make it to a finished piece of work I often stick it on a poster or a T-shirt for my own enjoyment.

Adrian Shaughnessy
I know designers who keep a drawer full of rejected ideas for use on other projects. I don’t do this. It never seems to work for me. I need to start a fresh with every job. I need the adrenalin rush of a new idea.

Andrew Blauvelt
I just remember them and save them for another time.

Dan McCarthy
I have a long list of ideas in a sketch book on my desk that I always refer to. It’s good to write down/sketch any ideas that come to mind. I sometimes recycle images that got rejected. Other times they just sit in a folder never to be seen again.

Ed Fella
I don’t have any now, because I only do my own work. I do whatever I feel like working on. When I was a commercial artist, I had tons of work that people paid for and never used. Graphic design is always either permission given or allowance taken. Or, in between both. You’re given permission, they tell you what they want; then you take allowance within that.

Eric Karjaluoto
On the odd occasion these ideas pop-up elsewhere, but most of them tend to just remain in the client folder.

Evan Leake
I save everything. Sometimes I can use bits and pieces from an old unused project for a new project. You never know what the future holds, so its always great to hold on to every file you’ve made, just in case.

Those ideas are saved, and are sometimes used for other projects, if they apply.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Graf
Normally they are, in a way, lost because the ideas belonged to a certain project. But sometimes you can re-apply some of the main ideas.

Um sometimes they just get put on hold.

George Lois
If you can’t sell a great idea, bury it and fugeddaboutit! Most importantly, if a client does it to you twice, get rid of him. The world is full of clients that claim they want great stuff but are scared shitless of something edgy.

Hula Hula
I usually re-apply them to personal projects, and I have known most of my designer friends to do the same.

Ian Stevenson
I have a many ideas written down or ones that never got used. One day they will appear but when I do not know. My workspace is a bit of a nightmare with ideas, pens and paper everywhere and sometimes it hurts.

Jeff Domke
Ideas that clients reject are my best ideas and I turn them into portfolio pieces.

Justin Ouellette
Most everything I do starts with sketches, and I try to keep all of them. I definitely recycle ideas, the problems that one client faces are often similar to another, and I’ve been in plenty of situations where one client’s trash is another’s treasure. Ideas evolve, too. Something that didn’t work right for one thing might work much better for another with a few iterations, and eventually come out looking nothing like it did originally.

Lance Wyman
I keep a pretty careful record of all of my ideas. The ones that didn’t fly, for whatever reason, have their place in the timeline of my work. I’ve put the following three on my website: * refer to the document to see images.

Milton Glaser
All of the above.

Please Let Me Design
We write them down. Sometimes, an idea stays in our black books.

Rick Valicenti
It should be noted that the thirst model places a higher value on projects we do for ourselves and occasionally their evidence informs our client-based work. With this as the model, there are rarely any ‘reject’ projects.

Wolfgang Weingart
I will keep it, and use it for other ideas, or need part of it for another client.

Zoe Bather
Trying to reapply ideas to other projects always seems like a good idea at the time but somehow never quite works. They’re not quite appropriate. Every project has unique problems to solve so its better to start a fresh and start at the beginning of the process.

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Fill/Stroke is a collection of three individuals who have always been good at collecting content, but never really good at sharing it. We formed in early 2008, and have been honored to interview some of the greatest designers of our time.

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