The Complete Graphic Designer
Selling the Idea
Presenting ideas to the client for feedback is the
next crucial step in the design process. The designer
must be able to not only speak intelligently about her
work and the rationale behind it (if a creative brief
is followed, the design will meet the client’s goals
and objectives), she must also be able to prove that
the visual solution works. To generate excitement,
acceptance, and approval, ideas must be refi ned and
executed in full-color, rendered mockups that help
clients visualize the fi nal design solution. If a solution
involves special print processes or unique execution,
the designer must not only explore the feasibility and
costs of producing such a design, but must provide
samples as well.
Presenting Design Solutions
Client presentations are a delicate balancing act for
the designer because aesthetics and practicality con-
verge when executing design solutions. The desire to
produce ground-breaking and award-winning work
sometimes confl icts with the business objectives of
the client and the needs of its audience. As a result,
the graphic designer should strive to produce and
present the client with ideas that will satisfy everyone.
Time and budget allowing, present at least three fully
rendered and executed ideas for client feedback and
critique: a conservative solution that works well with
existing collateral and refl ects the design sensibili-
ties of the client, an innovative and extreme design
that pushes the client’s budget and aesthetic, and a
blend of those two options. Do not present too many
options because it makes the client’s decision-making
more diffi cult and sometimes results in a design that
incorporates elements from several ideas into one,
thus watering down the effectiveness of the original
design. Be sure to present samples of any specialty
paper, inks, or unique fi nishes you are considering.
Executing the
Concept or Idea
Once the research and concept development phases
have been completed, it is time to turn to the details.
Whereas pencil sketches allow ideas to be quickly pro-
duced and analyzed, executing a fi nal design concept
requires careful attention to choreographing the design
elements to work in concert and communicate the
intended message. Equally important is that the design
can be reproduced on a mass scale. No matter how cre-
ative or innovative a design solution is, if it is unable to
be mass-produced within budget the design completely
In creating a new brand image
for Sheridan’s Lattés and Frozen
Custard, a brand positioning
statement was developed by the
creative team.
Design: Willoughby Design
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The Design Process
Each of the three original concepts
presented to Sheridan’s Lattés and
Frozen Custard conveys the core
values of the brand strategy brief
through visuals that appeal to the
target audience, including color
palettes, patterns, and designs for
store signage and collateral.
Design: Willoughby Design
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The Complete Graphic Designer
Executing a logo solution requires the explora-
tion of several variations on a single idea. In
these examples, refi ned concepts are shown
with the fi nal client-approved mark.
Design: Gardner Design
fails to solve the client’s visual problem. So determining
this early on is imperative.
Most designers execute fi nal designs on the computer
because it allows them to quickly and easily explore
variations and create fi nal reproduction art. The pro-
cient designer uses applications to his advantage to
quickly render computer generated “roughs” for the
client. Adobe® Photoshop® is a leading image manipu-
lation and editing tool; Illustrator® is ideal for creating
vector artwork such as logos or single page documents;
and InDesign® is a page layout and design program for
longer publications.
When executing a design, practical aspects of a project
such as printing processes or distribution methods
must be addressed. Contact local printers to receive
print estimates. Well-developed prototypes or sketches
of the piece, including paper selection and printing
techniques, better enable the printer to deliver a price
that meets the client’s budget. If mailing is required, the
designer should verify postage rates with the post of-
ce and confi rm that no extra postage will be required.
The Complete Graphic Designer
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