The Creative Couple Method. 5 Strong Pairs and Creative Design Solutions

A сreative couple is not just a union made in creative heaven. This is an effective method of working on absolutely any project and task. Collaborating the skills, experience, and characters of the two departments allows you to get more holistic solutions in less time.

Creative pairs include a creator and an art director, a copywriter and a designer, an author and an artist. Moreover, the canonical idea of a creative couple sounds like this: one comes up with an idea, and the second — how to visualize it. But in practice, this is a more multifaceted interaction. In a pair assault, the creator ALREADY thinks in images, and the designer immediately conceptually calculates the options for decomposing the idea into media.

The concept of a “creative couple” has existed for almost 100 years. As its iconic example, the team of Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein, the legendary creators of the “Got Milk?” advertisement, can be cited.

“Got Milk?” advertisement by the team of Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein

1993, the California Milk Producers Association asked Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for help. At that hot time, it was impossible to compete with manufacturers of soft drinks. Internal research showed the creative couple that most of the target audience often drinks milk and knows its benefits, but sales were constantly falling.

Next, the agency conducted in-depth interviews, which helped to find an excellent insight: consumers often drink milk with something, washing down sweet cookie sandwiches with peanut paste or jam. Moreover, they feel terrible if they have bitten off a large piece, but there is no milk to wash down this sweet lump. This discovery allowed the copywriter and art director to develop a simple and ingenious idea for an advertising campaign, which, even years later, continued to increase milk sales.

creative couple
An example of the development of the idea of “Got Milk?” is in a print advertisement in which more than 300 celebrities showed their milk mustaches.

Another example of practical work in a creative pair is the binary identity created due to the joint work of the creative director and the art director of Moloko Creative.

creative couple
CTDev Identity by Moloko Creative

The story began with the fact that CTDev smart company wanted to upgrade, emphasizing its uniqueness and reflecting its total power in creating individual IT solutions of various complexity levels in the secondary insurance field.

Creative Director (CD): “How do you protect any information?”
Art Director (AD): “Encrypt using binary code.”
CD: “CTDev provides the key to this decryption. What if…”
AD: “…Make a key out of 1 and 0? And then you can encode everything…”
CD: “… And make unique patterns out of the code!”

This is how the idea came about to use binary code as a critical graphical element of identity: a binary pattern unique to each component easily scales the design system for any object. The concept, created in a joint creative impulse, was highly praised at the Global Design IT Awards and MUSE Creative Awards.

CTDev Identity by Moloko Creative

Working in creative tandem allows you to find simple solutions quickly but, at the same time, innovative ones based on research. The creator and designer analyze the market, competitors, product, and audience and look at the problem from their perspective, which helps to feel the insight and see the solution faster.

creative couple
Sunsource Identity by Moloko Creative

This work format was vividly demonstrated at Moloko Creative during the development of an identity for SunSource, one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in the United States. The creative couple was inspired by scientific articles about solar activity in America during the marketing research. This prompted them to think about creating a logo based on real facts and actual numbers.

The creator: “We wanted to convey the importance of using environmentally friendly electricity through the logo and identity.”
Designer: “We had a lot of statistics on the dynamics of solar activity in each state.”
The creator: “Really impressive data that everyone should see!
The designer: “Yes, the only question was how to do it the easiest way.”
The creator: “We found the answer right away. It was like this: let’s… cram the American sun into one logo. Literally!”
Designer: “The sun… Precisely! Let’s twist all the data into the sun!”

Sunsource Identity by Moloko Creative

As a result, the annual statistics on the number of sunny days in each state and the amount of sunny time between sunrise and sunset have been transformed into the shape of the sun in the logo, which adapts and visually shows the change in data. The project was awarded at the MUSE Creative Festival and the International Design Awards.

How to build a creative relationship: Compatibility in creative couple

Creative relationships with one partner over a long time are now scarce.

Creative newlyweds

creative couple

In most cases, it is a union of young and active professionals at the beginning of their journey to follow the path of advertising festivals and competitions together. However, specialists with richer emotional and professional experience find common ground faster and easier, forming creative pairs for specific projects.

A creative couple on a desert island

creative couple

The second situation is forming a creative couple: you are alone on a desert island. These are cases where circumstances include creative couples — for example, a small staff with only one creator and designer. Working together on all projects, they gradually build their creative civilization.

A creative marriage of convenience

A creative marriage of convenience

The situation resembles forced marriages in the Middle Ages when the creator and the designer were forced to work together. But in practice, everything is much more interesting because there is one step from hatred to the concept, so a creative connection is formed quickly. And if it has happened, then ideas in this creative couple are born like sparks.

A creative couple by fate

A creative couple by fate

Powerful creative couples are when your level of mutual understanding, expertise, and craziness objectively exceeds the acceptable level. In such creative couples, everyone activates each other, thoughts merge in a stream, and the necessary solutions are confidently given out in seconds. These were stories when they went through such projects together that would have destroyed many, but these people were made even closer. These designers and creators have many years of experience, observation, and a multifaceted view. Such creative unions cannot be destroyed. They are the most productive and creatively prosperous.

Creative couples of the new generation

Creative couples of the new generation

A new trend is a creative couple with a neural network. Increasingly, the creator finds mutual understanding with Midjourney or DALLE-2, and the designer finds common topics with ChatGPT or Bard Google. So far, this cannot be called a full-fledged creative couple, but perhaps soon, AI will understand the tasks of the creator and the designer faster.

No matter what typle of creative couple it is, this is still the most effective method of generating ideas. After all, one head is good, and two are even better! Therefore, feel free to try to work in pairs, and you will find your creative soulmate.