By Michelle Barnett
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Behind the scenes

Our design process

“I need a design,” you say.

“Absolutely,” we reply, and soon something new and exciting is in your hands, ready to be launched out into the world!

But what’s the mystical process that actually goes on behind the scenes? How do we get your idea from a nugget of inspiration to a fully fledged outcome?

Let us walk you through our design process …

All About You

Whether it’s a brand, a website, or an animation you need, the first thing we’ll want to do is talk to you. In order to make something that suits you and your company and will work in the way you need it to, we need to learn about what those needs actually are. This usually just takes a few conversations, but we also have a few tools to help make the job easier. One of these is a tool full of descriptive words. We’ll ask you to select words based on the ones that best apply to your company and brand – a company that wants to emphasise ‘Contemporary’ and ‘Youthful’ will need a different look than one that’s focussing on portraying “Reliable’ and ‘Established’

We might also show you a moodboard – a collection of existing designs. This can be a good way to decide a direction, as describing visuals you like and don’t like can be more difficult than you’d think! It’s often much easier to be shown a sheet of different images to circle the ones you like and cross out the ones you don’t.

Part of the design process - using moodboards to develop designs.

Initial Concepts

We then take all this information and work up some initial designs. Sometimes we’ll hit on the perfect solution on the very first try, but even when that doesn’t happen, every version that doesn’t work is a step towards finding the one that will. This is often the most interesting part of the project, where we get to experiment and try out different combinations of ideas within the design process.

Sometimes a client will give us free rein to come up with whatever we think is best and create something you didn’t expect. Other times a client may already have a vey specific idea in mind that they want us to bring to life. Either way, it’s usual to go through a few iterations of a design before hitting the nail on the head. As well as something aesthetically pleasing, we need to make sure it functions well. For example, a website might look great but if it’s hard to navigate or you can’t find the information you need then it’s not fulfilling it’s best purpose. Balancing these needs is where our experience comes in. When we show you these initial designs, we’ll explain the rationale behind them.

Final tweaks

Once we know what’s working for you, there’s usually a secondary creative stage where we refine and perfect the design – the refinement stage of the design process. This can mean things like putting an image into the right sizes for use on your website header, profile pictures and banners for social media, and setting up documents correctly for printing. For web, this is be a longer stage as various ‘behind-the-scenes’ construction needs to happen in order to get the flawless effect that will greet visitors to your site.

Ready for Launch

When the work is complete, the last stage is to make sure that you’re equipped to use your design where you need to. Where you need files for both digital and print, we supply them in the different formats that are appropriate: eps files for large format printing, jpegs to use in your e-bulletins, and so forth. If you have areas on a new website that you’ll be updating yourself, such as a news feed or product list, we’ll provide training for you. If anything ever goes wrong we’re only a phone call away!

It’s always the most satisfying thing to see something that you’ve kept in your head for weeks finally launched out into the world. Opening the boxes containing your new leaflets, seeing the hit-count on your animated video start to rise, buying a mug with your new company logo on it and hearing the compliments from visitors on your revamped website. There’s really what all this about: connecting people to your business.

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