So you want to hire a designer for your business, but you’re not sure what the design process might look like or how a designer might go about designing something for you. Most people when they ask me how I come up with ideas and designs for clients are under the impression that this is all done off the top of my head with no planning. However, this could be further from the truth! Often the planning process is what is the most time-consuming. In this post, I will give you a step by step breakdown of precisely what goes into creating a good design.
Building the design
In this step, the designer is responsible for gathering as much information as possible about the client. They might send out a quick questionnaire or meet face to face. Designers may collect things like the company mission statements, goals and values. It’s critical that the designer figures out not only what the company wants, but also what the clients' audience wants so that the design can bring in customers.
Once the designer has received the design brief from the client, they can get to work on researching. Here is where designers spend time looking at and studying the clients market. They look at the clients' competitors, audience, trends, and prospects. The goal of this is to make sure the designer is not copying or creating designs that are too similar to what may already exist in that market. The goal of the research is to give the designer a complete look into the clients market, the trends in that industry, and the client’s customers.
Once the designer has interviewed and done the research, many ideas and thoughts will start flowing as to what the designer could be. Every designer has a different way they like to brainstorm. They can do things like mind mapping, word association, 5W’s, and rapid-fire brainstorming. All of which helps to generate a large number of ideas.
Sketching is an aspect that often many designers might overlook. By sketching though you can begin showing rough drafts to clients before taking them to the computer. Sketching saves you the hassle of going back and forth if you’re client wants or need modifications made to the initial design.
When sketching you can use any means you are comfortable. Often I carry around a small notebook or sketch pad where I can write down quick ideas that come to me through the day and refer to them during this phase if I need to. From here the client will them pick the sketch they want to move on with, and you can start rendering it on the computer.
Here is where the design comes to life. It’s important to come up with 3 or 4 different versions of the same concept for the client because it gives them room to choose or they might want to mix and match various elements from the different versions. It’s also essential to get lots of feedback from your client, friends or target audience during this stage. It’s not uncommon to have to resist this stage several times before finalizing the design.
Here is where the client will receive the final design file. It’s crucial that the designer packaged the content correctly and included all the necessary versions required for web/print. It’s also important to give the client a chance to provide feedback and request and additional last minute changes.
Here the designer will hand off the design to the client or a third party such as a printing press. It’s the designers' job to include all the correct files and formats that the printer or client may need so they can begin putting their design into production.
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