All creative design is a process. Sometimes a concept jumps out and works a process of its own. Sometimes a concept comes from a process itself. Either way, bringing a creative concept to fruition is always a journey. And while that journey is never the same from concept to concept, application to application, or even client to client, the general road map stays the same.
Below are the general steps to realizing a visual design. These steps outline how Lionwood Visual Design approaches any design task for its client family.
Click each stage below to toggle more information about that particular stage of the process.
The initial meeting in which we sit down together and discuss what you are looking to accomplish with the design, any ideas or concepts you have in mind, cost requirements, color ideas, etc. Also serves to allow us to get a general feel for the style and character of the client – a very important part of the design process.
After the initial consultation meeting, we will then begin to research the context in which the design will inhabit: who or what else exists in that arena, what the competition is doing, what are the most effective communication tools to utilize, and how the project budget will be appropriated. This stage of the process serves to lay the ground work for the integrity and effectiveness of the overall design. Therefore this stage sometimes takes the longest to complete.
Once the foundation has been laid, we then develop several different visual approaches to the concept so that the client can see the various ways that one idea can be communicated. These variations sometimes include references to specific art periods, intricate plays on color, tricks of the eye, etc. The purpose is to inform the client of the options so that when the final concept is chosen, that decision is a fully informed, committed decision leaving no doubts behind.
The final concept has been chosen and now it is time to formally manifest the design. It is at this stage that we engage a lot of back and forth between the client and ourselves. We create what are known as “proofs”, which are final drafts of the project. These proofs are then sent to the client for approval and if no further design adjustments are needed, then the client formally signs off on the design as is.
This stage of the process is fairly straight forward: this is where we physically or electronically publish the design.
During production, we take great pains in assuring the quality of the product we are producing. If it is a print project, press and bindery checks are always completed to insure that final assembly is to spec. If it is a web project, we consistently check and recheck the functioning of the website to ensure it is operating at its highest level of efficiency. If issues are found, they are immediately remedied.
The final stage of the inital design process. Print projects are delivered to the client for distribution and web projects go live. This stage generally marks the completion of the terms outlined in the contract set down at the consultation stage.
This stage is not the end of the process because this stage is perpetual: it is ongoing throughout the client/designer relationship. While print projects have a definitive end, digital projects – especially websites – never do. Companys and organizations are constantly changing. Therefore websites need to continually be updated on a constant basis to make sure they are up–to–date representations of your organization. There is nothing worse than an outdated website when it comes to your marketing plans. Lionwood Visual Design generally updates client family websites as the need arises, and then invoices for those changes quarterly, depending on how involved the update is. However, if updates require changes to the graphics as opposed to just text, then invoicing is generally done after completion of the update.