Going to be (a bit) controversial now. When it comes to answering a creative challenge, a little knowledge can be a good thing, but a lot can be a hindrance. For a brief to be answered effectively, a combination of things need to occur. Obviously, you require a basic understanding of design and the rules of typography. You also require your own intuition to take this understanding and carry it forward to create something unique.
Following through every doctrine that’s ever been written can hinder that intuitive response. In a world where it’s increasingly difficult to be individual, it’s about maintaining balance. Too much of a textbook approach will lead to the creation of more textbook work. It’ll be technically spot-on, but runs the risk of being dull as ditchwater. Do you want to just replicate all work you’ve viewed in an exhibition or seen in a book? I want a thorough understanding of my craft, without over-thinking every visual move I make.
You can learn the technical stuff, but a good designer needs to be intuitive and allow themselves the space for that intuition too flourish. By doing this, you’ll contribute to the creative world without merely leaching from it.
p.s. my intuition here went for ditchwater rather than dishwater :-)