31 May Design Process. Understanding How the Good Design is Made.
Design is thinking. It’s the awesome process of making real what is in a human’s mind to achieve a better world. From our personal experiences, the design combines research, imagination, understanding, empathy, and experimentation. We want you to join us on a little trip through the creative process of graphic design. Let’s realize how we do the magic you require and pay for.
PROCESS: WHERE IDEAS TAKE SHAPE
Is there a muse that gives the ideal solution that a design needs? We think the creative process is the only way to get it. Space and time where designers (by its own or as a multidisciplinary team member) can think and discard, draw or erase, talk and listen to ideas that will bring visual solutions. This is what we call the design process: the progression of researching, understanding and graphic experimentation. A creation process result will catch the attention of customers and the audience.
STARTING POINT: UNDERSTANDING DESIGN NEEDS
It’s all about understanding the clients’ needs and asking questions to them and yourself as a designer. How will you be seen or use the graphics piece? What is it about? Which is the message you want to send? The main idea is to recognize the design needs. Other questions answered in the briefing can help, but talking directly with the client is the best way. Let empathy come up with clients because this can truly help to understand their needs. Designers can’t come up with solutions without being deeply involved in the design problem. We need to know everything. We need to understand you and your audience’s needs the best we can.
RESEARCH: THE CORE ASPECT
Rather than jumping right into the design, a designer first of all researches about the topic and tries to understand exactly what the client needs. Research implies covering every graphic and aspect of the design. Each project is unique and has different topics. Designers should investigate it by reading, observing, analyzing, and taking notes on the information collected. These steps bring important design insights, which will guide you through the graphic direction and design decisions in the process. The investigation gives meaning to the design solution. It permits designers to set the project’s goal.
Also, we need to know what is graphically happening around the client’s field. For example, if we are making chocolate cookies branding, we need to know how other cookie brands or sweet desserts look like. What do the direct competitors look like? We don’t want to make it looks like a separate product from the field, giving it a wrong style. Also, how can we make a difference and make it stand out from other competitors? This is part of the design research.
Brainstorming and initial sketching is the next steps. This is the moment for imaginative ideas and creative freedom. There are a lot of design methods and creative activators tools, but every designer should find their own. No matter the path, the important thing is to get involved in the design process.
Sometimes, it works to focus on the design problem and lose yourself into it, almost in a meditational way. Also, getting into a party feeling, playing, and having fun can help too. Happiness can spark our imagination. Walking around, visiting a museum, or browsing through a design book to get some inspiration. Contemplating nature peacefully can give some ideas too. The “Eureka” moment happens somewhere in the process after trying different visual concepts. This comes from a combination of graphics draft experiments and the project technical requirements.
Designers can show the client the 3 main ideas before or after moving on to a software program to create digital layout pieces. It might be followed by several rounds of design approval. Clients will receive design outlines, where they can request some changes. Eventually, both parties will reach an agreement between the designer (with creative proposal freedom) and the client (well listened and taken into account).
Graphic exploration keeps happening in the digital process. After the client chooses the final design refinement starts. Shapes and many other technical aspects can be changed to stylize and improve the essential design idea. The final solution will come up with a complete package (if it’s in the agreement) and advice on how to use the design properly (for example, a logotype), or maintenance aspects.
Graphic design makes visual what people need to communicate. Now you can realize you pay for a design process and not only for the result. It’s deeper than that. The money invested is for the research and the creative professional exercise, whereby comes the best solution to send the message the client needs for their brand.