Understanding the Design Process

Something I’ve learned since starting my own business is that a lot of my clients are unsure of the design process. For new business owners especially it may be their first time dealing with a designer and I think quite often when I send through a quote for my time they inevitably compare the total to their own perceived value of the final product, rather than the whole process required to be able to deliver that final product. Being charged for time can be a scary thought for some people. How can they know how long it really takes me to ‘knock up a logo’? Nobody wants to be ripped off.

Well hopefully today, by outlining my design process I will be able to allay any fears about what’s actually involved and also show how I manage to keep costs down while still delivering a high standard of design.

As with all design projects, a good, clear brief is the essential starting point. It outlines the plans, desires and expected outcomes of the job. A detailed design brief allows me to quickly understand your business and gives me key points to focus on. This in turn allows me to work quickly and ensure that the designs you receive are relevant.

Often when clients first come to me, they arent 100% sure of exactly what their brief is. I use my experience to help them work it out. This can involve getting them to complete a set of questions via email or arranging a meeting to discuss in person the details of their business and the design services they require.

Once I have been issued with a brief I can begin the research and development process. This involves researching my client’s direct competitors and similar businesses: what their logos look like and what colour schemes, typefaces, image styles and graphic elements they use. At the same time I write down words and sketch out any images associated with or inspired by my client’s company name and service offering and begin to form concepts that are relevant and unique to their business.

Once I am happy that I have exhausted all creative avenues I will pick out the best concepts, bearing in mind how each could be developed and applied to future marketing materials and begin to create artwork for each on the computer. This involves exploring options for layout, typeface and colour and ending up with several different layout options for each concept. I then present all of these logo options for consideration. Ideally at this point there will be one that stands out, over and above the rest...or sometimes there are elements of each of that appeal to the client and these can be combined to create a new option.

Once a preferred option has been decided on we will go through a few sets of minor alterations (these can include colour changes, font changes, layout change and general styling) until the logo is complete. I then supply all file types they will ever require...and then the branding can begin!

So I hope this takes some of the mystery away from the design process.

If you’re reading this right now and think you could use a passionate designer who will brainstorm your brand and come up with a unique, clever and stylish logo to rival all your competitors, get in touch!