Graphic design isn't only about creating pretty things, although that's definitely one of my goals as a designer; it's about problem solving to visually communicate an idea. For the past month I've been going through my creative process step-by-step, sharing about what visual problem solving looks like behind the scenes.
First, I define the problem by clearly communicating with my client to understand their goals and expectations. Before I get started on any rough drafts, I do some research on my client's business and field, compile inspiration, and set aside time to brainstorm. This preparation is fundamental in my process; it's difficult to come up with an original design and great solution if I skip this step. Then I put pen to paper and create rough drafts, which is by far the most difficult and time-consuming part of my creative process. I share my concepts with my client and receive their feedback. In a perfect world, the project would be finalized right about now, but it's usually back to the drawing board to revise, reevaluate, and make some small tweaks. That leads us to the last step of my creative process: delivering the solution.
The finish line is in sight! By this point of the process, I've received the green light from my client and all of the drafts and revisions have been approved. But before my client and I part ways, I still have a handful of things to do to deliver their design solution. Here's a look at what Step 5 looks like for me.
Give it a once (or twice) over
Even though the client has approved the design, I go back over it once more to check for errors in spacing, composition, alignment, or text. After staring at a design for hours on end, it's helpful to run over it with a fine-toothed comb, just in case.
Because the bulk of my work takes place on the computer screen, the solutions for my clients often take the shape of design files. I spend time saving logos and collateral items in all sorts of file types and sizes to make sure my clients have everything that they will need in the future.
Educate your client
Although I'm continually educating my clients throughout each step of my process, it's really important that I tie up any loose ends before the project reaches completion. I walk them through each file type and what it should be used for, I give them a tutorial on how to use their website, and I clear up any final questions that they may have. I've said this several times throughout this series, but communication is crucial to delivering a great solution and maintaining a beneficial client experience.
Because the creative process is so involved, I like to end things on an exciting note. I believe that something as significant as a new brand and website deserves to be celebrated, so I make a big deal out of it all on my blog and social media. I highlight my client's business, showcase the new designs, and partner with my client to create excitement over their new launch.
There you have it! All 5 steps of my creative process. What do these steps look like for you?