What a nice question. It made me think a lot.
Even though I'm not a Graphic Designer, I love making designs and it's part of my full time job!
I'm pretty sure you'll get your question answered more specifically with book names and authors about Creative Thinking, but here's my advise.
Abstraction is everything. The key is to fully understand the design problem you're facing.
Your experience (yeah, I mean life experiences), your design style and the target audience profile (and taste), will lead to the ideal representation of the idea. Next problem you'll be facing is "where" are you drawing that design...Digital, Press? Installation?...
So here's the book I would recommend you: Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Müller-Brockmann.
Learn as much as you can about Grid Systems, It will help you a lot!