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07 Apr 2020
6 Tips to Upscale Your Graphic Design Process – A Designer’s Perspective
The world we live in is nothing but a systematically aligned civilization following a social pattern for thriving in an ecosystem. Everything around us is a result of a systematic process put in place to make life easier for everyone. This goes to show why drawing a systematic process is so important. The same applies to a graphic design process.
As a layman, when we talk about graphic design services, we can only think of colors and shapes bundled together to come up with an art form. However, expert designers know that the process of graphic designing is much more complicated and tricky than that.
Graphic design is an integral part of every business operation today and thus needs to be provided with a clear focus and process.
Whether you are providing the design services for your own company or a client, it is important to successfully achieve the main objective; clear communication to convey the brand story/message.
So, today, we are going to discuss the graphic design process and show you how you can break it into 6 systematic steps to make it easier for your future design projects and bring about uniformity in all your designs.
Step 1: Design brief
The very first step for any graphic design process is preparing the design brief and discussing the same with your client/boss. For those of you who are new to the graphic design industry, ‘design brief’ is a set of information that a client provides regarding their design requirements and the overall project.
So, in order to ensure the best design output, make sure you gather as much information from the client as possible; such as,
- Brand goals,
- Brand USP,
- Brand history,
- Previous designs,
- Target audience,
- Design objectives, etc.
Leave no room for confusion and do not live on assumption.
This step is important and will work as your reference point for all the remaining 5 steps in the graphic design process.
Step 2: Design research
Once you are done with your briefing with the client, it’s time to get into some in-depth research work.
The design research largely involves a competitor analysis to find out the point of differentiation (POD), market, audience, trends, and future prospects.
Going through the competitors’ designs can offer inspiration for what the audience likes to see. The idea is not to copy what the competition is doing but, to analyze what works, what doesn’t work, and how you can make improvements.
Ultimately, you want to be different. But, it won’t hurt to learn about the common tones and styles.
Overall, the purpose of this research is to give you a 360° view of the client's ecosystem and generate ideas that fit the market, industry trends, and the client's customers.
Step 3: Design brainstorming and sketching
The third step in the graphic design process is brainstorming; including - but not limited to - coming up with design ideas as well as design samples.
Once you have your design brief from the client and have done thorough research on the client’s brand as well as competitors, you have enough information in your arsenal to come up with the design purpose and roadmap.
It's important to remember that each and every element of a design is sending out a message to viewers; from colors and typography to the tagline and symbols.
Following the brainstorming, you then need to pick up your pen and paper and start sketching your ideas and give them a shape.
Why paper and pen to start with?
Well, this being the initial stage of your design outline, you don’t really need to use graphic design tools to work with. Once you are done with a few design samples, you can share the same with the clients to understand if you are on the right track.
This would save you a lot of time and effort in revising your digital designs.
Step 4: Design building
Once you get a design sketch approval from the client, take that outline idea and start refining it with a digital graphic designing tool.
Remember that, even at this stage, you may have to come up with several different versions of the design. Consider this as the second-filter phase of the design.
Try mixing and matching color palettes, typography pairings, and a grid structure to create variation.
Having multiple versions of the design will allow you to share them with the client who then can pick the one which they like the most. This will further help you refine your graphic design process; and the final design output.
Step 5: Design production and presentation
This step can be considered as the core end of your graphic design process, as all the work you have done so far following the first four steps was to eventually reach this step.
After going through the double filtration phase of your design samples and ideas, it’s time to draw the final cut.
You need to apply all the information you got from the briefing, research, brainstorming, and client feedback to produce the final design required by the client.
And, once you are done with your final design, ensure you have it ready in a sharable and printable format. Take your time to present your final draft in a consumable manner so that you don’t have to redo unnecessary steps.
Step 6: Design revision and approval
And, finally, it’s time for the final submission of the project.
If you are a professional designer, you’d know that the final step is the most brain wrecking step as you may get asked to comply with several revisions and changes.
It's not unusual for clients to make requests for little tweaks in the design even after you submit the final work.
In reality, as a designer, it's part of the job to do design amendments. However, you need to take things in perspective and decide whether the revisions are worth it; if not, then don’t hesitate to communicate this to your client.
And, if all goes as planned, you can have the satisfaction of producing something that has satisfied your client! It’s time to receive the fruits of your hard work.
Defining a process for your graphic design services can help you provide the best results. Of course, the steps explained for setting a graphic design process in this article are not set in stone, and you can always tweak them as per your project requirements. However, we hope that following these steps will help you ease your workload and save you time and effort.
As an experienced design service provider, GraphicsZoo religiously follows these steps and that has helped our designers a lot to not only be time-efficient but also provide the best design output as expected from our clients.