Graphic Design Work: Behind The Scenes
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Every content creator goes through a creative process, and even though it might look different for everyone, no matter if you are a graphic designer, videographer, content manager, or copywriter, we all follow some steps before starting working on our projects.
When clients contact us, some of them know exactly what they’re looking for – perhaps due to research, past experience, or overall creativity. Others have brand-new businesses and need our help to figure out what suits them best and what will help them the most. But most don’t have an idea of what it takes to do a photo or a video shoot, and how much work goes behind creating a simple infographic image or a product packaging design.
This blog will take you behind the scenes of our graphic design projects. So, where do we start?
1. Understanding the product: inspiration, references, and brainstorming
Some creatives call this storytelling, because we need to know the story behind the brand so we can communicate it through our photos or images. Always remember that by telling your story, directly or indirectly, you are humanizing your brand and this helps your potential buyers to connect with your product, and that leads to more sales.
For us, this step is very important, because it will determine the success of the project. Once we understand what the client needs and the message they want to communicate, we start looking for references and the competition’s listings.
Is there anything they can improve? Are there any questions not being answered by their content? Is there anything they’re missing or failing to communicate?
Once we answer these questions, we start brainstorming ideas: will a model explain the use of the product better? Maybe a more thorough infographic will do the trick, and so on.
2. Defining the look and feel: colors, fonts, graphic elements
In our posts about font and color psychology, we explain why choosing the right elements can make or break your listing and your brand. This particular step can be really easy if the client is very consistent in their storytelling, but once again, if as a team we are the ones defining the image, it can be a lengthy process. But once you get the hang of it, it can take minutes to understand and find the elements that speak for you.
And even though shapes or sizes are not as complex as fonts and colors, it can still take time to find the right ones to showcase your product, for example, an image inside a circle will look better than inside a triangle. See the example below.
3. Defining the destination: is this content for online use or print?
When designing for web, we have to make sure that everything is readable, because every screen has different size, and your art must look good in every single one of them, however, when positioning the elements, you have more “creative freedom” than when you’re designing for print, and that makes the process faster.
Not to mention the retouching of photos, if it applies to the piece. This means balancing colors, applying filters, fixing wrinkles, small or big bumps, etc., for both online or print.
Talking about print, this process will definitely take longer. When we’re working in centimeters/inches instead of pixels, everything has to be measured meticulously, or it will represent bad samples which obviously leads to money loss. Every letter, color, and graphic element has to be positioned exactly where and how it needs to be, and measuring 10 to 50 elements per piece is definitely something that could take hours of a graphic designer’s work.
4. Delivering files: JPGs, PNGs, PDFs, and source files
When it comes to web, exporting a file can take less than a minute. Unless the client is asking for a source file, which means the designer or agency can’t get any more money out of the project and the delivery time is longer since it’s a heavier file.
For print, it can’t be delivered like any other project. Usually, we deliver PDF files because it a high-quality ready-to-print format that will not damage color, size, or dimensions as an image file can do.
5. Presentation: mock-ups
This step applies only for print files. We always strive to deliver more than what we’ve been asked for, and even though it takes more time, the happiness it represents for our clients to receive a “sneak peek” of what their product will end up looking is totally worth it.