My Design Process

Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in My Thoughts | No Comments
A quick 7 step breakdown of the basic process I use when approaching a design brief:


  1. Research
  2. Brainstorm & Moodboard
  3. Plan/Design Ideas
  4. Quick Sketches (Layout, Composition etc.)
  5. Initial Designs
  6. Further Development
  7. Final Design Outcome

{Key – BLUE TEXT = Working on iMac using design application(s)}


Although more often than not these are the basic steps I take when approaching a design brief, it very much does depend on the brief. I may find I need to add an extra step to the process for certain briefs, while for more specific briefs, on the odd occasion I may find myself skipping a step. It all depends on the information provided or what is required to be done.

As you can see there are quite a few steps I take before I even get in front of my iMac and launch a design application. It is imperative for a designer to do all the work needed on paper, before rushing in front of a computer monitor. As the saying goes; ‘Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.’ That really does sum it up. The more time you spend doing the ‘paper work,’ the less time you will need to spend in the final stages of the process. It makes life a hell of a lot easier knowing exactly what you need to do, and how you are going to do it beforehand.

Do your research (and lots of it), then with the aid of your research brainstorm and create a moodboard that you can view and refer to, this will fill your mind with images, colours, typography and anything else you put together, which will help you to come up with more ideas and envision possible design outcomes. Plan exactly what you envision, how you are going to do it, what colours are going to be used, what type of typography, the layout and/or composition etc etc. Sketch out what it is you plan to produce. No need to spend hours creating works of art, just quick sketches (even thumbnails!) that you can understand and refer to for when you move onto Step 5, where you will be using your Mac/PC. Get the layouts and compositions of your design ideas all sketched out down on paper. Once you feel you are fully prepared and know what you are doing and how you are going to do it (which is what steps 1-4 is all about), only then is it time to start work on your computer using your design applications. You are then basically relaying all of your prior knowledge from all of the ‘paper work’ you have done and creating firstly your Initial Designs, to which you then Further Develop and improve your designs (possibly following feedback from the client) and from there you will produce a Final Design Outcome that you can present to your client.