What is graphic design?
Graphic design is a problem solving process, requiring substantial creativity, innovation and technical expertise. An understanding of the client’s product or service and goals, their competitors and the target audience is translated into a visual solution. This visual solution is created by manipulating and combining shape, colour, imagery, typography and space.
The graphic design process
A good graphic design process is structured around ensuring that the client gets the highest quality solution and service appropriate to their business, marketing or communication problem.
There are four major steps involved in graphic design:
The briefing stage may consist of either or both of the following:
- Initial informal discussions between you, the client, and I – covering project objectives, timing and budget.
- Formal meetings to discuss your project in detail and clarify any technical issues including budget, timetable and corporate identity guidelines.
- I review the brief, background material and identity standards to ensure I understand the project context and your corporate requirements.
- I develop the draft concepts and preliminary designs and select the most appropriate options for further development.
- I present visual solutions and explains design decisions.
- I work with you to evaluate the visual presentation against the brief.
- Following your review and feedback, I amend the material as required and, if necessary, present you with new design/s.
- I prepare the artwork files and provide a proof (email or hardcopy).
- You either approve the artwork by signing the proof, or mark-up changes you’d like to make.
- A further proof is provided if required.
- Any “author’s corrections” (client requested changes to content already provided may include additional charges: see quote conditions provided with quote).
- The artwork is forwarded to the print bureau.
Tips for briefing graphic designers
- Let us do the creative part. Graphic Designers have access to a large pool of resources, training and experience.
- You should thoroughly communicate your needs to us at the briefing stage. It is recommended that you provide information about:
- Your organization’s practices and values.
- Corporate identity requirements.
- Existing communication material which you think reflects your organization’s practices and values.
- Objectives of communication material.
- Words to describe the desired “look” and “feel” such as “contemporary” and “innovative”.
- Emotional response you would like to achieve from the audience such as “excited,” “proud,” or “scared”.
- Target audience.
- You should include specific briefing information about your design project including:
- Logos, symbols, trademarks.
- How text and photographs will be provided, if needed.
- How graphs and any other graphical elements will be provided and used, if required.
- How many design concepts will be needed.
- Production specifications (for example, number of pages, quantity, paper quality/stock, size, preferred binding) if known.
- Any special finishes (embossing, foiling, die-cuts). We can provide specialist advice on specifications and finishes.
- Proposed production schedule.
- Packaging requirements.
- Printing preferences.
- Delivery requirements including contact/s and address/es, electronic file formatting (if relevant).
- Timeframes for concept presentation and approvals.
- Delivery deadline.
- Allow enough time for the design process
- Often people are tempted to ‘crunch’ the time allowed for graphic design. To maximize your design investment, it is suggested that you allow substantial time for the design process. The focus should be on ensuring the text, design and artwork is correct. If you face strict time constraints, please discuss appropriate solutions with our designer. Graphic Designers can provide you with some options that won’t compromise the value of your communication project.
- Try not to let personal taste affect your opinion of a design. Consider whether the design will reach your target audience and whether it will achieve the intended result.
- Criticisms or design suggestions should be specified as clearly as possible.
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