Having a creative job has its ups and downs and like with any job some days being a designer is stressful, however the fun of getting to design far outweighs any negatives. So much so that I wanted to write my next article about it and why I love the creative process. This will also give any clients a good understanding of what happens before we present our designs/ideas.
The creative process for me is a series of steps that is repeated every time I am about to create something new for a client – or as a personal project. And it always starts with research!
This obviously starts at the initial client meeting. Here I ask questions like – What kind of message/client/brand/product is this and what are you trying to communicate? Who is the target audience? Are they interested, or is it a “hard sell”? What are we trying to tell the audience? Is there a clear message? Who are the competitors?
The next step in the research process is to look for inspiration – what relates to the design style that the client wants. Does it make sense? By the end of the research stage I hope to have notes, images, thoughts in my head or even combination of these. This is the part of the process that’s crucial, without research you are setting yourself up for failure.
The next stage is brainstorming ideas. Sketching them out and seeing if they work as designs, do they have potential for development? The more ideas you come up with the better the project will be. Never go with your first idea you might come back to it at a later stage, but you also might miss a gem if you stop before you have even started. There should be as much variation as possible between different possible solutions to allow for future refinement of ideas.
Once I have a few ideas I then develop them to make them better, there is always things you can do to a idea/design to make it better. Also by leaving each piece just slightly unfinished, I can ensure that the development of the design will continue once I have presented the design to a client and beyond these initial comps.
Refining my ideas always happens after the client has been presented with the initial design. Here I take what my client likes and refine until we have the finished piece of work.
As you can see there is a lot more to the design process than most people think. However it doesn’t just stop there either. I often find myself switching between each stage, so when I am in the development stage I could also still be researching. This is what I love about the design process, you never really know where your ideas will take you.