21 May The Process Behind Creativity
While graphic designers often get characterized as creatives and free spirits, which I identify as, we also love and strive on organization. I create lists just to cross things off and depend greatly on my phone calendar and reminders to get me through each day. When I decided to study graphic design, I loved the creative freedom I had but often struggled with the “blank canvas” at the beginning of a project and didn’t know where to start. Business owners often go through this same stage when faced with a creative project they need to complete. Luckily, there are graphic designers here at 898 Marketing that can help clients with creative projects. To understand the creative process that it takes to go from a “blank canvas” to a final masterpiece, I have created a step by step guide I use each time I start a new project for a client.
Step One: Know the Basics
This is the easy stuff. Getting information from the client on exactly what they need helps the designer start to brainstorm ideas. Whether they need a full brand development or a business card with their pre-existing logos, collecting information on their needs and goals for the end product helps make the designers job easier and gets any confusion out of the way.
Step Two: Do some Research
Now that there is an understanding of what the client needs, it is time to research. The type and extent of research depends on the type of final products the client needs. If it is a full brand development, research on competition, market trends, and appropriate color schemes should be done to assure a successful brand creation. If it is a smaller project like a printed brochure, looking for inspiration and design ideas can help both the designer and the client find things they like.
Step Three: Begin Creating
By this step, a clear plan should be laid out on how to accomplish what is needed for the client. The amount of time spent and drafts created depends on the extent of the project, but no matter the project, it is important for the designer to have some time to brainstorm options to come up with solid drafts that can be shown to the client.
Step Four: Finalize the Project
Once the client has seen the drafts, some minor changes can be made if needed and a final can be chosen. It might be as simple as sending a social media graphic by email to complete the project, or it may take time to export logo files or send a document to a printer. No matter the type of the project, making sure your client has exactly what they need is key.
After completing these steps, I should have a happy client who no longer has a “blank canvas”. Following a procedure for my graphic design projects helps me assure that I am not taking shortcuts and am giving my all to the project. It also assures the client that time and effort was put into their project to make it successful. As a graphic designer, the best feeling in the world is seeing your client pleased with the end product. After completing the project, it is time to help a new client get out of the “blank canvas” stage and repeat the process all over again.
Maddie Abrigg is a Creative Design Intern at 898 Marketing. As a member of our design team, Maddie is gaining experience in fulfilling design needs for us and our clients, including logos, ads, digital and social elements, rebranding initiatives, and more. Maddie is a native of Canfield, Ohio, and a graduate of Mount Union, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Graphic Design and Studio Art.