Design Cross-Training Exercises, #2: Kid Sounds

Dig into one of 10 design exercises featured in the Summer issue of HOW Magazine, and share your creations on Twitter or Instagram with #DesignXTraining. 

Design Exercises: Kid Sounds

Time limit: 60 minutes

Certain songs from our childhood immediately conjure powerful memories. When I hear songs from the late ’80s, specific moments come to mind: pretending to be a superhero on the playground, or playing a scary game of flashlight tag at a sleepover.

What song did you love most when you were a child? Draw the album cover for that song from your perspective as a child. Don’t look up the album artwork on the internet or listen to the song while you work. Create it from memory. When you’re done, go and listen to the song. Then draw the album art for that single again, only from your perspective now, as an adult.


Interview someone about their favorite song from his or her childhood and repeat the exercise.


Sketch ideas for how your new album art could tie into on-stage visuals for display during a live performance.

In the Summer issue of HOW, David & Mary Sherwin present a series of 10 essential design exercises to keep your creativity agile, energetic and powerful. Each one is paired with skill-building next steps and creative cross-training activities to help you work out different parts of your brain. Why is creative cross-training important? As Sherwin writes,

“Cross-training taught me a different sort of discipline as a designer. You can work on improving specific skills that come up as part of projects: Arranging elements in a page spread, crafting a compelling identity or icon, laying out a responsive website, or animating graphics for a video. But your biggest gains will come from design cross-training—moving through a variety of different design exercises that help you build and extend your skills.”

Keep an eye out at for more exciting design exercises, and check out all of them in HOW Magazine!

The extended deadline for the HOW In-House Design Awards is July 5. Don’t miss this opportunity to recognize your team’s work—because a boost of confidence really is in reach! All it takes is one entry.