CREATIVE DESIGN PROCESS
Completing a high-quality design project requires certain steps; understanding and implementing these steps is hugely important for professional outcome and effective time management.
There could be different ways you can approach this process, but a few key phases should always be part of your timeline: creative brief, research, strategy development, concept development, design creation and its execution.
1. The Creative Brief – developing the strategy, that is analysis of key factors such as the audience, product or service advantage, etc .
The first step in the creative graphic design process is the creative brief. Speaking with a client helps the designer learn more about the client’s needs, his business, his customers and his goals. This step is critical since the designer needs to gather as much information as possible about the client, the company, and the project expectations, as well as the budget and timeline.
Equally important, it forces your clients to think through their goals and expectations.
The creative brief is the foundation of the project, and it will significantly affect the following steps.
Note: because we do not have a real client, you will conduct the creative brief with your partner, gathering needed information via the internet.
After speaking with a client, do additional necessary research to gather missed information about the company
Establish your objectives
The main questions start with WHAT:
- What is the potential audience?
- What is the benefit of the product (or service) to the targeted audience?
- What are the advantages of the product or service?
- What message needs to be communicated?
- What is the call to action (donate? purchase? subscribe? become aware? get tested? etc)
- What would you like the company's intended audience to think and feel? What is the key emotion you want to establish for the audience?
- What is the personality of the company?
- What is the competition (list several existing similar companies)?
- What is the difference of the company's products or services from similar companies? What is unique about it to stand out of the competition?
There could be more questiobs
Create a headline for your ad
It is a very important part of an ad. Write not less than 10 good headlines.
Print and submit them (indicate the chosen one)
2. Write the objectives statement - Creative brief summary
After establishing all necessary objectives with a client, you have to write down all gathered information.
This summary can be written in different ways; in any case try to condense it to one or two pages
For this class it should contain: the company name, its short description, and list of all established objectives (question/answer form)
Follow the Writing Outline (which will be provided for each project) for your objective statement submission.
The statement has to be neatly typed
Print and submit it
Before working on the third part - developing the ad concep, you have to do a very important step:
Spend hours and hours searching for creative ideas and design examples for your inspiration.
You have to learn from the best to become the best. NEVER miss this step
. Develop the ad concept
- HOW IT NEEDS TO BE SAID – the primary IDEA behind the piece. The design concept is the creative solution to the design problem. The concept should COMMUNICATE the benefit and PERSUADE potential consumers to buy the product or use the service.
You should develop the concept to communicate the objectives in the best way: express the personality and spirit for the company, establish a headline, establish an image, unify all elements of your design in voice and style, choose appropriate to style typography, etc
Depending on the channel or medium (e.g. print, web, environmental, etc), not all of these elements will be applicable. Use them when it is appropriate, for each part of your campaign:
- The visual – the image
- The line (headline) – the main verbal message
The line and the visual together communicate (express) the concept.
- The body copy – the narrative that provides more information
- The claim (slogan, tagline) – the verbal message associated with a product or service and used in ad campaigns (“Hey, you never know” for New York Lotto)
- The Sign-off – usually it is the product or service’s logo
The questions could be: what mood should you use in your design (serious, humorous, playful, romantic), should you use an analogy (comparison between the freshness of a flower and freshness of perfume) or a visual metaphor (Shar-pei dog to designate wrinkled clothing), should you use pun (a play of words), should you use an example from life experience, should you use exaggeration, etc
YOUR DESIGN CONCEPT NEEDS TO BE ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE – people are becoming immune to advertising; you have to catch their attention.
More information about possible concepts
Stages of developing the concept
Sketch or draw multiple thumbnails with various ideas. Looking at relevant information will give you a better understanding of the problem. Research stimulates your mind, and brainstorming on paper is the natural result. Thumbnails are your blueprint, if you think visually with thumbnails, you will eventually solve the problem.
This is where you think through all the details. What colors should be used? What typefaces are needed to communicate your idea or message? You can use markers, color pencils, computer, etc.
Choose at least two different best ideas and develop thumbnails into a roughs (so, totally there will be 6 roughs). The size is approximately 8.5x11 inches (the letter size).
4. Develop the professional design of your concept
Develop the Comp (comprehensive). Take one idea and finish it. Make it look as if it is currently in use.
You should work on your design with the attention to the creative form, structure and style of design parts and elements
The problems to solve: be original, develop a design style that is appropriate for your concept, apply the principles of design, establish unity with some variety, establish a visual hierarchy, experiment and choose the best layout, work with typography with professional knowledge, etc.
. Execute your design.
Craftsmanship, neatness, and punctuality are crucial to meeting your deadline. Make your project come to life upon completion. This is the stage to come as close to perfection as possible.
1. Use your software skills for the best design implementation
2. Neatly mount your work on a mat board. Make sure that all the pieces are attached perfectly parallel to the edges of the board. The borders around printout should be 2 inches. I prefer using rubber cement glue (not cement glue, glue stick, or Elmers glue).
Present your work professionally. A good and thoughtful presentation can enhance your design solution, but a poor presentation can only detract from it.