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TCO and WeTransfer launch Global Survey Revealing the Perfect Recipe for Great Ideas


10,000 creatives from more than 140 countries explain how, where and when they get creative ideas

Today WeTransfer released its first ever Ideas Report, with more than 10,000 creatives in 143 countries revealing how they get their best ideas. The study asked WeTransfer users a series of questions about when, where, and how inspiration strikes. The key findings included:

  • People find offline stimuli much more useful than online spaces – talking with friends, books and magazines, nature and travel all scored highly.

  • 65% creatives said they need quiet or silence to get good ideas

  • The highest scoring place to get good ideas was surprisingly everyday – at people’s desk or in their studio (but nearly one in four people said they have their best ideas in bed!)

  • 40% of creatives prefer to record their ideas on pen and paper; only 17% record ideas on their phones

As part of the project, TCO, engaged a group of scientific experts reacted to some of the key findings. They are Maryanne Wolf (cognitive scientist at Tufts University), Pam Mueller (social psychologist and Princeton PhD), Lu Chen (neuroscientist at Stanford University) and Dr Catherine Loveday (principal lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster).

As a trusted ally for millions of creatives - the platform famously donates 30% of its advertising space to showcase art, illustration, and music - WeTransfer is uniquely positioned to understand both the creative process and the value of great ideas.

Rob Alderson, Vice President of Content for WeTransfer, noted:

“There’s lots of talk about ideas and inspiration but it seems like the conversation is often very one-way. By asking more than 10,000 WeTransfer users about their experiences, we’ve painted an interesting portrait of how ideas work in 2018.“

The project was led by D’Arcy Doran, Head of Strategy and Fabrizio Festa , Creative Director at TCO London. D’Arcy said:

“To present the findings in an entirely original way, we wanted to bring out the connection between the data and creatives’ lives. So we created a set of ambitious all-human infographics – using hair, tattoos, tan lines, make-up and yoga poses – without any digital effects.“



Read the Medium pieceWhy we need to talk about ideas” by Rob Alderson, VP of Content at WeTransfer.

Download a press package including the Ideas Report 2018 logo and visuals with key learnings presented on human bodies.

Download a PDF version of the report

See the methodology behind the report