Brainstorm #1: More Than That

Designers see things at a different level. We see things from a fresh set of eyes. One challenge for us designers is how to continually practice, improve (or strengthen!) that special ability of ours. This activity answers to exactly that. This activity is a simple exercise to help designers see things in objects other people cannot see.

More Than That

1) Select any object around you. For this example, here’s a sandwich cookie:


2) Look at your chosen object and examine it from different angles. How does it look? What does it look like? As an example, the sandwich cookie is circular, flat and rough. It looks like a wheel, cog, a face, or even an eyeball from the front!

3) If possible, manipulate the appearance of your object. The cookies here are split in half in two different ways: What do you think they look like?


4) Draw sketches of your object ‘substituting’ the object they look like. For example, the whole cookies substitute the wheels of a car, or the gears of a bike.


It can even become raft floating on an ocean of milk! Now I’d love to be cast away on that!


The key here is to examine the shape of the object closely and try to connect it with the shapes of others. This is called visual analogy. If they share similar meaning, then you might have a great idea on your hands! So everytime you see something or anything, think: it’s more than that!

Cookie sandwich boat: do I have an Oreo ad pitch here?

Oreo has done a phenomenal job in visual analogy in their ad series. Click HERE to see some.



Brain Storm features brainstorming activities that you can do to exercise your creativity.

If you have ideas for other brainstorming or creativity exercises or tips that you would like to share, email us at


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