Psychological research tends to suggest that constraints make us more creative. Ironically, the more creative tools we have at our disposal, the less creative we tend to be with them.
In a recent experiment, researchers the University of Illinois and Johns Hopkins University found that those who were primed to think about a problem from a scarcity-of-resources mindset came up with more creative solutions than those in the abundance-of-resources mindset. They concluded that when people have an abundance of resources, they have no incentive to use what’s available to them in novel ways.
So the “limitations” of the print medium in a digital age may actually be a driver of creative success. From newspaper ads, direct mail, and billboards to shareable photo opportunities, some of the past year’s most memorable campaigns revealed that the most out-of-the-box creative thinking often comes from grappling with the constraints of a singular, traditional format.