A designers process is his code. It’s a guideline laid out to ensure consistent quality and service. he should have a general process for most work that he does. But it is also very important to custom build them for each client with different design needs. In the following posts I will go into some more detail with each of the parts of the design process. But for the first post I want to introduce you to the general one that I follow for most of my clients.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what works for me personally and I have found that it is easiest for me to divide my work into 7 basic subcategories. This technique ensures that I only have to focus on one of the five parts at a time meaning I can bring more attention to the task at hand. It is important to understand that the following is not the only way to use this process. It is much more important to simply have one of your own to look back to when needed. That being said I will introduce you to the process I follow with most of my design and illustration jobs.
Here I usually set up a proposal and contract to send the clients way. This will set the client at ease, by breaking down the workflow and letting them know what is expected of me and also the client.
This is the part of the process that I will get to know my client and in some cases, even my client’s client. I will set up a meeting to get to know a bit about the project and write down some good notes.
Many people may thing this is where I sit in a room and write and scribble a lot, and that is definitely true. I do that for every project. But there is an even bigger part of this part that is actually happening even without me meaning for it to happen. While having the project on the back burner for a few days, My mind is subconsciously pulling things together and bringing things to my attention for later use. It is important to let the project sit for a bit and let all the research set in.
When I am ready, I take all my notes, doodles, and thoughts and start the process of eliminating the undesirable ideas. I eliminate ideas that don’t accomplish the goals of the client and settle on one to three ideas that I think will work best for the project
Once I have a solid draft or two to I will breakdown the direction we are looking at going and explain my decisions thus far.
I will polish up the concept and make a final.
Once approved for delivery, we exchange final payment as well as files. Many different items are included in the files I give and explain further in later posts.
Every job I get I tweak the process to leave room for custom needs. This insures my clients get the same quality of service and design, while also getting a custom product for their project. I feel this process has made me a better designer. Though it takes some extra time to make sure you cover all these bases, It is well worth the work. Having a process has saved me many times from making big mistakes.