When starting a new design project, there are steps of the graphic design process to follow that help us achieve the best results. Rather than jump right into a graphics software program to try to create a final version, we save a lot of time and energy by first researching the topic, finalising the content and scope, starting with simple sketches and getting several rounds of approval on designs.
Step 1. Gathering Information
Before we can start a project we of course need to know what your needs are. Gathering information is the first step of the graphic design process. When approached for a new job, we like to discuss the scope of the work. It is here that we try to gather as much information as possible such as the desired target audience and message.
Step 2. Creating an outline
Using the information collected in our meeting we are able to develop an outline of the content and goal of the project, which we can present to you for approval before proceeding. We include the dimensions and technical specifications for review and ask for any changes. Once this is finalized, we know we are both in agreement on what the piece will include and can proceed to the next step of the graphic design process.
Step 3. Harnessing Creativity
Design should be creative! Before moving on to the design itself (don’t worry, that’s next) we need to take some time to think about creative solutions for the project. We can use your examples of favorite work as guidelines for what you like and don’t like, but our goal is to come up with something new and different that will separate you from the rest (unless of course you specifically ask to fit in). We use focus group methods, market analysis and research to get the creative juices flowing then once we have some ideas for the project it’s time to start creating a structured layout.
Step 4. Sketches & Wireframes
Before moving into a software program such as Illustrator or InDesign, it is helpful to create some simple sketches of the layout of a piece. This way, we can show you some ideas without spending too much time on design. We like to find out if we are headed in the right direction by providing quick sketches of logo concepts, line drawings of layouts showing where elements will be placed on the page or even a quick handmade version of a package design. For web design, wireframes are a great way to start with your page layouts.
Step 5. Designing Multiple Versions
Now that we’ve done our research, finalised our content and gotten approval on some sketches we can move on to the actual design phases of the graphic design process. While we may knock out the final design in one shot, it’s usually a good idea to present you with at least two versions of a design. How many unique versions are included in a job can be changed upon request. This gives you some options and allows us to combine your favorite elements from each.
Step 6. Revisions
We like to encourage your input and “mixing and matching” the designs we provide can often work well. You may like the background color on one design and the font choices on another. From your suggestions we can present a second round of design. At the same time we will always give our own professional and experienced opinion on what looks best…after all, it’s what we do. After this second round of design, it isn’t uncommon to have a couple more rounds of changes before reaching a final design.
Sticking To The Steps
When following these steps, we need to complete each one before moving on to the next. Through solid research, we know we can create an accurate outline. With an accurate outline, we have the information necessary to sketch out some ideas. With the approval of these ideas, we can move on to create the actual design, which once revised, will be the final piece. By sticking to the steps we save everyone a lot of time and money while still creating an excellent design for you.