Design often has the properties
of good looks. But more importantly, it is about the underlying structure
of communicating to your audience. It is about "the idea" and
communicating it to your audience. Although it is possible for a good
idea to be poorly executed, bad ideas cannot be saved. The best results
for success are when good ideas are executed well.
Design is about the whole, not the part. If you wear an Oscar de la
Renta suit with a pair of badly worn shoes, you will most likely be
remembered for the badly worn shoes. It isn’t enough for a company
to have a great logo if the communication effort isn’t carried
out in every area. The company identity, branding, packaging, publications,
advertising, internet and environmental graphics being presented well
are all important.
What should you look for in a designer?
Here are a few considerations:
-It is important to see the designers type of work -- to see if you
-Then ask yourself..."Will I enjoy working with this design firm?"
-Does the culture of this design firm match the culture of your company?
-Can the design firm demonstrate meeting its schedules?
Project Life Cycle We liaise with our clients
closely from concept to completion.
(Every job is different but the roadmap is broadly similar):
1. Initial discussion
- establish goals
2. Determine artistic and technical requirements
3. Prepare a written Design Brief
4. Estimate costs and timescale
5. Research the competition
6. For Websites: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis
7. Present drafts
8. Re-evaluate project to approval
9. For Websites: Design navigation and architecture
10. Implement graphics, markup and programming
11. Iterate to satisfaction
12. Project sign-off
13. Maintenance Service (If needed or desired)
The Design Brief (Customer
The Design Brief is
a written explanation given by the client to the designer at the outset
of a project. As a client, you are spelling out your objectives and expectations
and defining the scope of work you would like done. You are also committing
to a concrete expression that can be revisited as a project moves forward.
Some clients who aren't familiar with the design process don't see carefully-written
briefs as a high priority. This may be because they don't have time.
Quite often, it's because the client hasn't made fundamental decisions
about the objectives of their marketing collateral.
The Design Brief will help us identify your marketing requirements and
provide you with a considered, competitive quote. It
is also a way for everyone
to keep on track. If The Design Brief raises questions, that is good!
It is always better to answer questions early in the project.
It ensures that the client gets the most value for money from the designer.
About the Design Brief
First of all, a Design Brief is not a blue print. It doesn't tell the
designer how to do the work.
A Design Brief is a statement of purpose, a concise declaration of your
expectations of what the designs end result should accomplish: such
-a clear statement of objectives and your priorities,
-relating the objectives to how you would like your company positioned,
-indicating how you will measure the achievement of your goals,
-defining, characterizing and prioritize your audiences,
-defining budgets and time frames,
-explaining your internal approval process,
-being clear about procedure requirements (e.g. if more than one bid
is needed from fabricators or it there is a minimum acceptable level
of detail for design presentations.)
Click here for a Design Brief
Design Briefs pave the way for a successful design effort for
The Budgeting and Managing the process
When the design brief is finished, budgeting and managing a project
is easier. It takes two to budget and manage a design project: The client
and the designer. The most successful collaborations are always the
ones where all the information is on the table and expectations are
in the open from the outset of the project.
There is always a budget whether it is talked about or not. Clients
are sometimes hesitant to announce how much they have to spend for fear
that if they do, the designer will design to that number, when a different
solution for less money might otherwise be been reached. Although this
is a reasonable concern, it is risky to design in a budgetary vacuum.
If your budget stops at "4 gears, a tire and a headlight",
there is no point in looking for a "Range Rover". The ideal
approach is to bring your designer in as early as you can on what your
budget is. The designer will help you to achieve a realistic cost parameter
that relates to your objectives. Individual estimates can be provided
Who leads and who follows?
It is the clients' responsibility to lead a project. It is the designer's
responsibility to manage the design process. Leadership should not be
confused with involvement. If you would like a lot of involvement, then
you should define what your participation will be. Clear direction should
be given at the outset of the project. If you are ready to become quite
involved, you must be available when needed by the designer and ready
to make decisions in a timely manner. You should also understand how
the design supports your objectives (so you can sell it). Then you will
need to monitor major delivery points and be prepared to get the necessary
A word about photographs and images
It is important to remember that you are buying a one-time usage of the
photographs and images - not the work itself. Copyright laws are in effect
the moment the camera is in use or certain designs are in process. If
you want unlimited use, you will have to negotiate and pay for it.
A word about early project termination
You should be aware that if a project is brought to a premature termination
that there is a “termination fee’ for the up front costs
incurred in the design process.
Lastly, some designers are excellent presenters and like to present
their work to the final authority. At the same time, you should decide
who should do this. Even though designers can be persuasive, they are
not the ones to get the final sign-off. As the leader of the team, you
are the deal-maker and the final closer.