Contraints. Plural. A limitation or restriction. A stiffness of manner and inhibition in relations.

Whether it’s a lack of enough food, time, money or Twitter followers, throughout most of our lives we deem constraints to be a negative presence.

In our house, there’s normally something creative going on. As I look around my office, there are various pens and paints to be found, along with a bunch of canvases up against the wall. While I’m the designer, most of these things happen to be my wife’s. She loves taking every day things and turning them into something beautiful. What many would call “some bottle caps” she calls opportunities for creativity.

Opportunities for creativity. Or, constraints, as they’re perhaps more commonly known.

Good design is, by definition, throwing circumstance at a proposed solution to see if can stand it. Circumstance shapes the solution.

Examples of circumstances could be old web browsers, or a change in audience, or a flimsy internet connection.

Circumstances. Or, constraints, as they’re perhaps more commonly known.

Creativity happens when you make constraints work for you. Constraints say “can you do that again but with just this?” Or “why don’t you try doing that while … ”

Constraints are your friends.

Learning to love constraints comes with seeing their good side. Compared to “learning to love constraints”, “Learning to love opportunities for creativity” shouldn’t be so much of hard sell for any creative mind.