Initiation to Completion: The Creative Process in 6 Steps

There is the common tendency among many creative designers that they directly jump into the design phase once they are assigned to a project. As a creative designer, we must ensure that our work is not only artistically great but commercially viable and EXPLICITLY benefits the client as well.

Many other designers already follow a process without formalizing the process. Developing a formalized design process can help tremendously in achieving desired results within the given deadline.

Here are the 6 steps most design projects will have to pass through from the initial stage to completion.

1. Initiation

Client and designer meet for preliminary discussions in this phase. Budget, client needs, and project goals are discussed in the meeting. A detailed creative brief is created by the design team as per the inputs are given by the client. The design brief may contain what message should be conveyed in the design? thru which medium? to whom? what are the goals the client wants to achieve? and when the project should be launched? etc

A thorough creative brief becomes the guiding document for the entire design process.

2. Research

It’s time to utilize what the designer has learned from the creative discussion by doing further research. This phase usually entails taking into account client’s company history and culture, current marketing trends, competitors, target audience, client’s brand uniqueness, etc.

Once the research phase is done as above will ensure the designer to have a clear picture of what he needs to look for in order to fulfill the client’s overall goals. That is why spending quality time in research is advisable though it takes much time and effort, it is always worth it in the long-run

3. Strategy

This is the time to narrow down that information into creative Ideas. All the ideas should be considered whether they are good or bad, brilliant or stupid, everything should be noted down. It is the great way to start the creative process.

Before hopping onto the computer and start designing, it is helpful to create a few simple wireframes of the layout in a paper. It will save plenty of time. Once the designer is satisfied with his concept he should make some simple sketch in a presentable way and show that to the client for his input or approval. Usually, it’s a good practice to create minimum 3 different concepts to give the client some choice and explain the reasons behind each one and why they will be successful.

4. Execution

Once the client approved the strategy, the designer is now ready to take those ideas to the computer. He should experiment with various typography and color options, create multiple variations of the design keeping in mind the central theme, layout, and purpose.

5. Revisions

It’s now the job of the client to review the designs and provide feedback. Once a design draft is presented, give the client a specified number of days to provide their feedback. Once all of their comments, suggestions, and questions are consolidated and then make the changes accordingly and provide the final version.

6. Deliver

Once the client is happy with the final design, the designer has to hand over the final product to the client or a third party, like a printing press or a media. Be sure to include any special instructions that the client or third party may need.

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