HOW A DESIGNER DESIGNS
Many people think that it’s simply a case of dropping our thoughts onto paper (or a computer nowadays), but research and understanding help use to focus on exactly what will serve the client best.
It is always exciting to embark on new work with a new client but before any design work can begin, certain questions need to be contemplated and discussed… and while I am being hired for my expertise in the field, it is useful to gather as much information as I can about the brief in order to ultimately provide the right solution.
An in-depth meeting with the client offers a brilliant opportunity to ask questions that will get to the heart of what they want:
Who are their customers?
How long have they been in business?
What services or products do they sell?
What is their mission?
What branding, messaging or other assets are already in place?
What exactly to they need from me as a designer? Advice? Direction? Some pretty designs?
Is it an overhaul or just some slight adjustments?
Clients often show me designs and websites that they really like and this is useful, particularly in respect of learning their preferences in terms of colour, font, photography etc., but while this informs me of their taste, I have to keep their customers and target audience in mind while I am beginning to design.
The process begins with a selection of 4-6 logo designs to choose from (bearing in mind the application and versatility of any one logo, if chosen), and this choice kick-starts the whole branding process. A logo design usually consists of:
The design brief
Research and brainstorming
Prototyping and conceptualising
Revise and add finishing touches
Once approved, the logo is applied to stationery, the website and any other appropriate materials. In this process, other creative elements such as other fonts, colours, photographic styles and illustrative elements can be considered. Generally I will stick to one line of brand development rather than offering 3-4 versions as time is better spent on one strong solution rather than many diluted designs. The final design will be the best solution based on discussions and logo choice up to this stage…which continues will small tweaks before the web build or production of printed materials.