The first critical step to a well-thought out design process is a Discovery Session. You will be able to give us a brief overview of what you need. At this point, we will gather as much information as we can about your expectations, your company's mission, vision, and goals, as well as your products or services. It's worth noting that designers need to go beyond the surface level of what the company does and dive into the user experience for your customers, so this critical component can be translated in the resulting designs.
Once we have received a brief overview from you, we can dig in and start researching. During this phase, an expert designer will seek information on the competitors, point of differentiation (POD), market, audience, trends, and future prospects.
The idea behind researching your competitors is to ensure that we don’t copy or make anything too similar. The objective is not to steal a competitor’s idea, as this takes away from any differentiation your company may offer in the market, rather, to understand the lay of the land. Once we have insight into your market and point of differentiation, we can begin to dig into your current and potential customers to understand who you are designing for.
Overall, the purpose of this research is to give our designers a 360° view of your ecosystem and generate ideas that fit the market, industry trends, and your customers.
colors, typography, tagline, and symbols
The combination of the briefing and research will open a path to producing relevant ideas. So, we put the pen to paper and start brainstorming design ideas.
It's important to remember that each and every element of a design is sending out a message to viewers, from colors and typography to the tagline and symbols. Each element should be given considerable thought before making any hard decisions. The brainstorming process should allow for a creative exploration of how these different elements can work together to support the message. We will generate a list of ideas that can be used in the next step, the mockup phase.
sketches and mockups
At this step we will start drawing rough sketches of our ideas. We will begin with a paper and pencil, as we'll be able to quickly iterate on rough designs. Once we feel comfortable with our progress, we'll take the mockups to the computer. Remember, we won't make anything final or perfect at this point. In this stage, we are just beginning to materialize the ideas for review.
Once we have finally quenched our creative exploration, it's time to share our sketches with you. Although this process might seem lengthy and unnecessary, it is extremely important. It saves an immense amount of time resulting from redo's and rejections after we have completed the design on the computer. Providing these early sketches gives us a fair idea of whether or not we are headed in the right direction. If not, we can quickly pivot and make further variations because we've only entered the sketching phase. From here, we will choose the sketch we both agree on.
bringing your design to life
Now it’s time to get cranking with your designs! This is where the meat and potatoes of graphic work comes into play, so it's time to have fun. We will get busy with our design software and start creating several versions of your selected mockups. Creating several variations of the design will allow us to present options so you can pick the most suitable design.
At this point, it is really important for us to receive your feedback as we work. We'll present our draft designs and ask for your feedback. It isn’t uncommon to try several rounds of this step before finalization. We won't restrict feedback to just your thoughts and opinions. If possible, we will also ask for feedback from members of your target audience.
With a final design in hand, we can start the refinement phase by presenting the final piece. You will receive another chance to review the end product and provide feedback.
To avoid changes to your final work, we will spend as much time as we can during the drafting and preliminary work process. In the initial quote, we will specify how many revisions of the first draft are allowed before we start charging extra.
print or digital?
Finally, the design has been approved and we are all set to deliver the design. At this point, our designer will hand over the final product to you or a third party, like a printing press. We will be sure to include any special instructions that you or the third party may need.