Having a solid graphic design process will assist you deliver better designs. Once established, you don’t have to think about the next steps each time you’re working on a new project. Just follow your approach. After this you’ll be able to concentrate on the most important aspect: graphic design. Even though the graphic design process is relatively standardised, there are ways to improve the workflow.
What Is A Graphic Design Process?
It’s the steps or phases that are taken in order to get a design to move from ideation right down to the finished product. Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s so much more that goes into making this process smooth and effective. When everything flows together, though, your team will be able to create designs faster and more efficiently (and likely be a lot happier as well).
It All Starts With The Brief
This may seem to be quite obvious but the first step in any graphic design process needs to be the brief. A brief, as you should well know, is a collection of instructions or directions about the project at hand. This could include, for instance, details about the business, the target audience, the specifications in addition to a whole host of other information. For graphic designers, this first step will normally be delivered to you via a client meeting. This is where they will sit down with you and chat about what they want you to do for them.
Although, if you don’t have any clients at the moment, you can always work on self-initiated projects by writing your own briefs. It could be said that the brief is the most crucial part of all the graphic design process steps as without the brief, there’s no project to work on at all.
Create An Outline
Utilising the information collected in your meeting, you will be able to put together an outline of the content as well as the goal of the project:
- For a website, incorporate all of the major sections and the content for each of these.
- Include the dimensions as well as the technical specifications for print or web work.
Present this outline to your client and ask for any changes. When you have reached an agreement on the project’s creative aspects, it’s now time to move on to the business aspects.
Brainstorming And Mood Boarding
When you have a good understanding of your client and his or her competitors, it’s now time to generate design ideas. You can utilise a pen and paper in order to map out the purpose of the design.
What emotions and thoughts should you utilise as design triggers? What’s the message of the design? Of course, brainstorming means that you’re thinking about a lot of ideas. However keep your main focus in mind while putting out designs. After collecting some ideas, you can create a mood board which will allow you to gather your ideas.
It used to be challenging to generate and prioritise numerous ideas. Of course, as you’re creative, you come up with a bunch of concepts. However a fresh perspective may have been missing from them.
Today, you should use design platforms such as Dribbble, Facebook groups like Advanced Graphic Design, Slack communities like Designer’s Talk or – alternatively – also Q&A portals like Quora. These will give you inspiration, validate your ideas, and help you prioritise. You could analyse existing designs, ask questions about preferences, or just introduce your design idea(s) and wait for feedback.
After you’ve had a lot of fun exploring and experimenting, it’s now time to refine your design into something which you are able to present to the client. With any luck creating something that they will love! Begin with a bit of self-critique. Look at what you’ve designed up until now and see if it’s responding well to the brief. Compare it to the market research you’ve done. Is it applicable to your target audience? Does it stand out sufficiently among its competitors?
Once you’ve responded these questions and any others that you think are pertinent, head back into your design programs and begin tinkering once again. Keep on tinkering and refining your design until it not only looks perfect to you however until you believe that it is hitting the mark set by the client.