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I have long followed the 5 stages of the creative process:
This is total immersion in the subject matter… your business and your needs. My goal is to absorb all this preliminary information so that I can better research the problem at hand.
It’s in this discovery meeting that I ask these important questions:
Or as I call it, “prescribed distraction”.
If the problem knows you’re looking at it, it will hide from you. Ha ha! Letting all the research and ideas sink in is one of the reasons I rarely start drawing right off.
One my favorite parts but it’s a lot like that jack-in-the-box you had as a kid — the suspense is sometimes nerve wracking and you hope it’s worth the wait!
A very critical stage, full of self-doubt and dread of showing to your intended audience the work you have come up with. Hopefully to fanfare, but often not.
Putting in the work.
There’s no way around it. Sometimes I have gotten lucky in the creative process and a great idea pops into my head, execution is easy and the client approves quickly. But more often than not, it’s hard work. This is a good time to test out the ideas, see if they hold up under scrutiny.
There is an exception to every rule, of course, but this is, so far, in 25+ years of my career, the only thing even remotely resembling a “formula” that I’ve ever found in the creative business. So I often tell young designers, “You better have some back bone!”
Your website is more than just a page on the Internet, it’s your ever-changing and unlimited brochure to the world about your company. The same Where, What, Who and How of Discovery applies here, as well.
At this point the following happens:
Not me. I’m here for helping to set up your emails, placing logos, talking with your sign company, and of course, every site I sell comes with 3 months free maintenance – because I believe in being there to nurture your site even after it’s out of the “nest”!
Otherwise known as the Aha! or Eureka! moment.
Gathering of all the ideas so far, culling out the weak ones.
Your brand is more than a logo, it is the entire collection of parts that signify your company’s mission. Like color schemes, typography, voice/communication style and the myriad of form factors (i.e. marketing strategy and needs, printed materials, digital marketing, signage, etc.; the “how do we show off to our customers”).
I pride myself on being here “after the sale”. I too often hear someone say that they like to do a website on WordPress or Wix, or the like, load it up, hand it over and DONE!