UNDERSTANDING THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Working with a designer may be an unfamiliar process. Unlike the suppliers of many other services to your business, designers will need to work with you creatively to achieve the best results. This means that one or more members of your business will need to invest time and thought in the process, liaising regularly with the designers. On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with this type of creative work the difficulty may come not from investing enough time, but in relinquishing some control and allowing the designer to take overall creative responsibility. Either way, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a collaborative process aiming to achieve what you have set out in your original design brief.
I have created this page to better help you understand my standard design process. This is simply an outline of how it is that I choose to work, but I am sure you will find this process may change for different designers. If after reviewing this page, you find that you still have questions, I invite you to send them to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
THE 4 PHASES OF THE PROCESS
Phase 01 – Discovery:
The first phase of the design process marks the start of the project. The discovery phase begins with an initial “think tank” meeting, where I will ask a series of questions that will better help me define your desired needs and outcome of the piece I am designing. This phase is slightly different for a website design than a brochure or logo design, but remains the most important in the process. In this Phase we will identify the important components of the design… this includes: Market Research, Design Research, Information Gathering, and last but not least… Design Proof Submissions. Once the design aesthetics and direction has been established, we will then move on to Phases 2…
Phase 02 – Design:
The second phase of the design process is where I begin to take all of the information from Phase One and bring it to life. This is where fashion meets form, and I begin to supply my client with a series of proofs for their review and consideration throughout the entire design. If I was hired to build and design a website, the client is given a live URL link to the site design, that they are asked to visit daily so they can track the design progress. They are also asked to submit any changes while the site is being built, which helps me meet their deadline date. Keeping my clients involved throughout the design process does away with the shock factor that so many have experienced after being delivered a product that is far from their original vision.
Phase 03 – Approval:
The Approval Process begins when the client has expressed that they are satisfied with the design of the project. It is now the client’s responsibility to review the design, one last time, in order to ensure that all of the information included int the design is correct, without any grammatical and/or spelling errors, which I am not responsible for. This step in the process is vital if the project is set to be professionally printed. There are several areas that require an approval to make further progress with your project. Each product category has different guidelines to determine what exactly an approval determines. I recommend that you take some time to get familiar with the approval guidelines that apply to your project by reviewing my Project Approval Guidelines.
Phase 04 – Delivery:
The final Phase of the Design Process is the Delivery Phase. This Phase varies depending on what type of project you have hired me to complete. The one thing that is a constant for any project completion, is that I must receive the balance of the contracted price before I release the files to you on disk, hand over the files to a printing establishment, or launch the website to your server. Unfortunately there are no exceptions to this rule. It used to be that I would extend special terms and payment arrangements to clients, that was until I learned a very costly and valuable lesson. I always remind my clients to review the Project Payment section of their contract for more information.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME
I know that you have many choices when it comes to hiring a designer or design company, and I’m confident that you will find my design services to be unlike any other option in the marketplace. Backed by my 20 years of Marketing & Graphic/Website Design experience, is a worldwide client list that is second to none. My clients have come to rely on my no nonsense creative approach which ensures them that their project will be delivered on time and within budget… every time. Here are just a few reasons why you should hire me for your next marketing and/or design project…
1. Limited number of monthly projects:
With an over-active sense of attention to detail, I find that limiting my monthly workload to five projects per month, allows me to give each project the time it deserves to develop organically. This also allows me to meet my deadlines without having to rush your project through the design process… your project is my priority.
2. Every Design is a Custom Design:
I pride myself on providing my clients with original custom designs. Even when working with a purchased WordPress theme, I only use the provided framework of the theme… the rest is completely customized featuring eye-catching aesthetics designed and created by me. My “Creative Process” goal is to create a design that stands out in my client’s marketplace, and gets them noticed.
3. I Never Charge an Hourly Rate:
When designers charge an hourly rate, clients are left in a very vulnerable financial position, never knowing the total cost of the project until they receive their final invoice. By providing clients with a bid that covers the total price of the project, my clients know, from the moment that the contract is signed, exactly what the project is going to cost, and not a penny more. Transparency in all aspects of a design project helps to build long-lasting designer/client relationships.
4. Personal Care and Attention:
Part of limiting the number of projects I work on each month, is my ability to be in constant communication with my clients during the design of their project. Each client receives my personal attention, ensuring that they are always up to date on the progress of their project, often times easing their anxiety concerning a time-sensitive design. Just another example of how your project becomes my priority.
5. I Provide a Design Contract with Every Job:
Before starting a design project, I present my client with a copy of my Standard Work Agreement. This is my promise to them that I will complete the project, as outlined in the contract, on time and within budget. I find it an important step in establishing a mutual trust with my clients, and paving the way for a long lasting working relationship.
6. Check My References:
My first recommendation to anyone looking to hire a designer is to check their references. Often times a simple phone call or email to a designer’s clients can put your mind at ease before handing your all-important project over to someone you’ve never worked with before. My ever-growing client list includes some very impressive names, but more valuable to me is the referrals that my these clients have given me. I encourage all of my new clients to check my references, as they should with any designer that they are considering working with.