The Complete Graphic Designer
42
Begin research by answering the following
questions about your client:
What is the client’s story or history?
What are the client’s core values that need
to be communicated?
What are the client’s unique competitive
advantages?
How does your client differ from his
competitors?
Who is the target audience?
How will the target audience benefi t from
the product or service offered?
Questions to Ask
Conducting research early on is a vital step towards
being able to understand and solve visual problems.
Thorough exploration of the problem helps design-
ers develop a comprehensive understanding of the
client, its goals, and, ultimately, what an appropriate
design solution would be. This is especially impor-
tant when working with a new client or within an
unfamiliar industry. To effectively communicate the
client’s intended message, the designer must gather
the information necessary to properly defi ne the
problem and generate appropriate ideas.
Because the designer is responsible for all aspects
of the job, from concept to completion, it is imperative
that he take as much time as necessary to learn
the client’s business to provide the client with an
appropriate and effective design solution.
Discuss the
Problem
Develop
Creative
Brief
Concepts
Refi nements,
Execution
Implementation,
Print Production
Research
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43
Establish Credibility
with the Client
Becoming a truly valued consultant
and indispensable resource to cli-
ents should be a priority for every
graphic designer. The more a client
trusts and respects a designer
and his work, the more enjoyable
the relationship becomes and the
more he will be granted creative
freedom. To accomplish this goal,
the designer must not only famil-
iarize himself with all aspects of
the design business, but must also
become an expert in the subject.
In addition to being profi cient in
all aspects of design, the designer
must also become intimately fa-
miliar with his client’s business. A
good place to start is with compa-
ny literature such as annual reports
and its website. It is also wise to do
some research on the Web to fi nd
out how the client is perceived by
others and to familiarize yourself
with any recent company events.
Lastly, numerous trade publications
The design process is much like a dialogue
between the designer and the client. Typically, the
client requests specifi c design solutions and the
designer offers input and suggestions to enhance
the client’s idea. The resulting solution is often a
compromise of ideas that is appropriate for the
design problem and meets the client’s needs.
Client
Creative Director
Designer
Creative Director
Client
The Design Process
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