Now that we have a sketch pad full of good ideas, bad ideas, and really bad ideas, it's time to narrow it down. At this point you probably have already decided on a select 3 or four ideas that might work well for your client's project.
At this point, you as the designer have the choice, most designers will now spend their clients time budget on all three ideas and leave the decision making to the client. This is great, and a lot of clients enjoy being part of this process. So If this is how you do it that works fine. But I have learned to do something a little different. And so far I have gotten great results for my clients.
Once I narrow down to the three ideas I like, I go back to my questionarre. I run through the answers and also revisit the client's goals. This extra back step helps me eliminate my last two options leaving me with the best option I have. I can usually depict which option will get the best results making educated decisions from the first and second part of my process.
I believe in making the design process as easy as possible for the client. Of course if I have questions about the goal, industry, content or target audience I will most likely get their opinions and knowledge. But anything I can find on my own I will try to find on my own. This removes stress and headache from the clients desk and allows them to be a client and less an art director. Some clients like the extra responsibility but I find with most of my clients, they tend to be busy people and have many irons in the fire. Taking this off their desk is usually a good thing.
After we make needed adjustments to the piece and are both satisfied with the product it is time to move on to - CONCEPTING -