I recently spent four days freelancing at (probably) the biggest design consultancy in Devon, Bray Leino, and in chatting to the Creative Director I was asked an interesting question.

“If pushed, would you say you were better at ideas generation or execution?”

I found it quite difficult to answer to be honest; having worked in much smaller agencies and situations before I’ve been expected to do both parts equally well. But the implication to the question was a recognition that actually, people have different skills and it can be more advantageous for people in a larger organisation to focus on their forté and work closely with other skilled people to solve a brief from start to finish.

Having great ideas is essential

After a short while deliberating and trying to change the subject, the aforementioned ‘push’ came and I admitted that if I had to choose one it would be the execution. While I love the thought process of ideas generation, I sometimes find that it takes me longer than other people to hit the eureka moment. But when the idea is there I have a passion for presenting it in an appropriate and thoroughly eyecatching way and that attention to detail and technical proficiency was commended by my interviewer. Having great ideas is essential, and the people who can do that well are priceless to their employers. But without a right balance and focus on presentation and professional execution, ideas alone fail.

A lot of us designers can be very snobby when it comes to designers who aren’t great conceptualisers. Ideas are an essential part of the process, this is true and has been drummed into us since college, but they are not the be all and end all.

A great idea needs great visualising to fully realise its greatness.