1. The Creative Brief – an important first step.
The creative brief sets the tone for the entire project. It’s the first and arguably one of the most important steps in the visual design process.
A creative brief is a document that helps the designer and his/her team understand the scope of the project and what’s needed from the client. You’ll want to include as much relevant information as possible to reduce any confusion.
Be sure you include the following in your brief:
Company details including your values and vision;
What the final product should be (I.e. brochure, print advertisement, social media graphics, etc);
What you intend viewers to do when they see the final product;
Examples of similar work you like (and don’t).
2. Conduct Research.
Depending on the scope of the project, you’ll want to include as much valuable information in your creative brief to minimize the time spent in this step. However, it’s still extremely valuable for the design team to go through the researching phase themselves to build a better understanding of the audience they’re designing for and how to bring your voice to your targeted audience.
The research phase of the graphic design process often involves things like:
Looking at competitor designs;
Looking at what the intended audience is engaging with;
Taking all of the knowledge they’ve learned and applying it to the project at hand.
3. Brainstorm, Brainstorm & more Brainstorm
Before a designer goes full speed into a project, have them brainstorm some ideas and present them to you. This will minimize any frustration throughout the creative process. If the client has strong ideas on how the final designs should look, it’s best for them to add in any relevant links or inspiration into the brief for optimal clarity.
Once the designer presents 3-5 ideas from their brainstorming session, decide on which one you want to move forward with. This will make for a smooth workflow process that gets you the best results.
4. Review at the Stages
When determining your milestones in your creative brief, be sure to check in with designers throughout the design process. The 20/50/90 feedback process ensures that you’re checking in at the most crucial parts of a project, allowing you to give the right feedback at the right time.
5. The Final Product
Whoo Hoo! The design is complete. It’s time to get the final files and put the designs into action. Over time, you’ll be able to scale your design process effectively.