Graphic Design Step-By Step
The graphic design process refers to the stages or processes that must be followed in order for a design to progress from concept to completed product. Simple, right? There is a lot more that goes into making this operation run smoothly and efficiently. When all comes together, though, the team will be able to produce designs more quickly and effectively (and likely be a lot happier, too). Graphic design is a lucrative career, and it is best to learn graphic design step by step; and Blue Sky Graphics can help you do that!
If you are starting from scratch or trying to improve an existing process, here are five graphic design process steps to consider:
- Begin by creating a creative brief
The conceptual brief establishes the overall tone for the project. It is the first and arguably most significant phase in the graphic design process.
A creative brief is a text that is intended to assist the artist in understanding the nature of the project and what is expected of them. You would want to provide as much specific detail as possible to avoid misunderstanding and back and forth.
Include the following in your summary:
- Information about the business
- Branding principles
- The intended audience
- What the finished product should look like (I.e. brochure, eBook, etc.)
- Expected timelines and achievements
- The budget
- What you want people to do when they see the finished product
- Examples of related jobs that you appreciate (and dislike)
- Have a look at the Co-imaginative Schedule’s brief template.
If the project is more complicated, we also suggest going overimaginative briefs in person or via recording. This enables the sides to hammer out the kinks to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Do graphic design research
Depending on the complexity of the project, you would want to provide as much useful detail as possible in your creative brief to reduce the amount of time spent on this phase. However, it is also highly beneficial for designers to do their own analysis in order to get a greater understanding of the audience for which they are designing (and how to make it work for you).
The testing phase of the graphic design process often includes activities such as:
- Examining competitor prototypes
- Examine what the target audience is doing on platforms such as social media.
- Taking what they have learned and adapting it to the project at hand
- Designers may also want to build a mood board or set of comparable designs at this point to keep their creative juices going.
- Create a list of your suggestions
Until a designer dives into a project, ask them to brainstorm some ideas and show them to you. This would reduce the frustration throughout the creative process. Remember to include this phase in your imaginative brief!
If the project creator (who developed the brief) has clear opinions on how the finished designs should look, it is better if they have all possible links or inspiration in brief for maximum clarification.
Once the planner has presented you with 3-5 suggestions from their brainstorming session, consider which one you want to pursue. This would result in a seamless graphic design workflow process that produces the best results as quickly as possible.
- Do a 10/50/99 analysis
Check-in with designers throughout the production process when deciding milestones in the conceptual brief. The 10/50/99 feedback process guarantees that you check-in at the most critical points of a project, helping you to have the appropriate feedback at the appropriate time:
10% finished — a skeleton, schematic, or wireframe of the final version. At this stage, you will have input on the vision and course of the job.
50% completed — the main elements are coming together. Leave the input at the door, so the direction is no longer up for discussion. Instead, pay attention to whether or not the vision you established is reflected in the design.
90% completed – You should start adjusting stuff like positioning, colours, and so on.
People also break these evaluation laws and begin providing suggestions on items like colour selection or fonts while the artist has just sketched out a skeleton. This is not just infuriating for the designer, but it is also inefficient! Follow the concept approval stages outlined above to keep the proposals on track.
- Showcase the finished product
It is time to get the final files (and an invoice if you are dealing with an outside design resource) and start putting the concepts into effect. If you want to go the extra mile, solicit input from your user about how they find the procedure, what they believe might be changed or modified, and then iterate the method. You would be able to scale the design process over time successfully.
The Value of Design Feedback (and How to optimise it)
When you provide the right input at the right time, you not only make it a great experience for designers, but you also get a better-finished product. Giving feedback is critical to the design process, but the manner in which you execute it is what will bring your vision to life.
What is the significance of feedback in design?
Your programmers should not have mind-reading abilities. The best form of contact you can get to help bring your idea to fruition is feedback. Provide suggestions if the concept does not match your brand.
However, offering suggestions is not only about what you say; it is also about how you say it. Remember to always lead with empathy and collaborate with the creators to help them help you.
How can I get constructive design feedback?
Here are some topics to think about when providing design input, according to UX Collective:
Contextualise the feedback
Often relate the suggestions to the project priorities that were defined at the outset. Perhaps the call to action is not prominent enough. Perhaps the colours chosen are entirely unrelated to the company. Whatever reviews you get, connect it to your goals.
Be precise and transparent
Do not simply say, “I do not like it.” Instead, have succinct and precise input about what you do not want. As an example, “In our artistic brief, we wanted the concept to pop through using really bright colours.” The colour palette selected here is a little duller than we would have liked.”
Describe issues that do not have remedies
This one is difficult for certain people, and everyone needs to tell you how to do it. Instead, concentrate solely on the why of the reviews. “I don’t believe this picture can resonate with our viewers because they enjoy travelling, exploring, and documenting their experiences.
Overall, being transparent and including samples or sources are the keys to providing good design input. When you say things like, “This needs to be more entertaining,” do not think artists can understand what you mean.