The creative process is one that eludes most, if not all people, that are not a creative-type themselves. It can even be said it eludes the creative person at times, despite having finished the project and created a beautiful result. That doesn’t always have to be the case. I’ve created an illustration that will hopefully give you an idea of how my process generally works for projects, whether it be a web design or identity design.
You’ll see that some portions of the process cross-over into others. This is because sometimes the next step can be started before the last step is finished, sometimes iterative changes are made throughout the project lifecycle, and sometimes things are an on-going discovery process!
This is where I learn about your business. This helps me establish a baseline before we do any work, I need to know what the current landscape looks like. Having some data from this phase will also be helpful in defining some markers that we want to see improved as a result.
My external research starts here. After we’ve established our goals and I have an idea of what the current situation is with your business, I can begin to look outward for ideas to help us proceed forward. This includes competitive research, brainstorming, exploration, technology research (if needed), and current data trends. Information is the foundation on which my approach is built, otherwise I’m shooting in the dark which does no one any favors.
Here I begin the creative process. I’ll start exploring creative directions based on the information I’ve gathered so far. This will include a mixture of notes, sketches, mind-mapping, and more brainstorming. Defining an informed concept ensures a successful design solution. I like to sometimes call this phase “brain dumping”, as that what’s actually going on. I go through any and all ideas that come my way, and whittle them down to a select few that are strong contenders. Sometimes a concept won’t include a visual solution, but it’ll be a statement of principles or a summary of what the new concept would be.
The actual design phase, finally. You can think of this phase as the culmination of all of the previous work. This is where I develop a couple of strong concepts into more robust designs. I define the design elements and develop mock ups, fonts, color palettes, brandmarks, wordmarks, and identity applications. I’ll usually develop 2-3 concepts into designs that I’ll then present for review. Once a design is chosen, we can move into the implementation phase.
As the final phase of a project, implementation is where I hand things off and we can call the project done. If we’re working on a web design, this will mean we get the site up and running and we give you the “keys”. If we’re working on a brand identity, this is where I export visual assets, create guidelines, and give you everything you need to move forward with your new identity.
After this phase, it doesn’t mean we cut off contact and I suddenly become unavailable. I’m always open to assisting you with anything you need and answering questions after we’re finished. I try to provide the best post-launch support that I can and make sure that my clients get the assistance they need when they need it.
I hope this helps clarify what to expect during a project, and how non-strictly phases of a project can progress into one another. Have any questions? Let me know!