It is largely assumed in the professional and corporate realm that professional graphic designers are magicians who come up with ideas with a snap of their fingers. But there is a process to creativity that few who are not in the industry understand. Thinking up an original idea isn't something that can be implemented in a matter of seconds, or a matter of hours depending on the project. The process includes an a rather elaborate development procedure that transports the idea from the designer's head and into the final deliverable.
Nobody knows everything at the beginning of a project, and the learning and research process is extremely important for every professional graphic designer (and client) to consider when beginning the creative process. Creative thinking has a foundation in knowledge and research in design trends and marketing successes. Although this may not be necessary if the graphic designer is already knowledgable in the industry, if this isn't the case, a solid background in the client's industry is essential to converting ideas into successful design.
After a good amount of research into the industry, a thorough investigation into the client's business is in order. You must do this to avoid making mistakes down the line. Not gaining sufficient information about your client's business is one of the worst mistakes a graphic designer can make. If the client hasn't provided sufficient information into the company culture, any pre-existing brand identity or other important business factors, it is up to you, the designer to launch a full-throttle investigation into the client's business.
After sufficient research into the industry and specific business model, it's time to start the fun parts! The research phases should have been sparking several small ideas in the graphic designer's head. Sketch these out, make sure to let them 'incubate' a little before going forward with one particular idea. Remember at this stage it is not an finished design yet, only an idea. Designers should note any small bit of thought and inspiration that comes into their head, making progress towards the next stage of design development: Concepts.
After accumulating several ideas, the graphic design should be ready to start coming up with some creative design ideas. Look for inspiration everywhere, whether it's some really cool typography design, or other advertisements in magazines or on the street. Filter out the stuff that doesn't make sense and analyze what you've got left. Eliminate one at a time until you're left with the best possible solution.
The last and final step that should never be overlooked. Many misconceptions of the graphic design process is that once an idea is generated, the designer's work is done. This phase includes turning those ideas into digital renderings, whether through Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign. Without this step, all ideas are bound to fail. Test your design on various mediums from letter head, to business card to t-shirt and beyond. Test also in black and white versus color. If your design doesn't look good in black and white (logo or other) you can't say the design process is complete. Once these phases are completed successfully, you can then say the process is complete.
Your creative process as a graphic design is extremely important not only to your business, but to your clients as well. Clients don't want to pay good money for not a lot of work, and making it clear that your design process is incorporated into every project not only makes you a better designer, but also makes your business more successful. For more great graphic design tips, tricks and how tos - follow this blog! If you liked this - share it!
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