Lately I have been thinking about how a person’s ‘process’ effects the outcome of a project. The reality of a graphic designer means you have to wear a lot of caps; conceptual thinking, commercial & business aware, culturally & socially aware, a project manager, communicator, digital designer, print designer, editorial design, branding, account handler and the list continues. The list gets super long if you are a sole trader/freelancer or creative director. It is a very varied job description which I feel can be somewhat under-valued by clients and ‘outsiders’. Like any service-based job we have to act and behave in a way that pleases the client and meets or exceeds the requirements of the service we provide.
This side of the working process is something I shy away from because it’s hard for me. I am a bit of a fluffy creative and my mind likes to occupy the realm of shapes, shiny things, fonts and images. Not spreadsheets and the like.
I can only aim to improve at these processes because they do ensure I continue to have clients in order to provide a service for. Well improve to the point where I can afford someone else to do it for me.
But it’s the creative process that really get’s my brain ticking. Coming up with ideas that can have a massive impact on how the client’s company, product or service is communicated to it’s intended audience is just exciting. It means I get to look at the world and be inspired by it for a living. Turning that looking into thinking and imagining.
All the sub-areas of this process excite me too. From materials, ink, photography, to type, illustrations and colour. It’s the best thing ever when you create something special from nothing. Over the years I’ve learnt new ways of doing things or been inspired to try different things. My education certainly helped that kind of flexible approach to design. To truly be led by the concept/idea is in my opinion the most important part of any project and it’s what gives your work integrity. It also leads you into other creative disciplines that you might want to learn yourself or collaborate with others to achieve your aim.
I am not sure I know how to quantify my process in words but an abstract list of words certainly help me. I hope it makes some kind of sense to you.
I might add to this list in the future but for now I like it. One thing I know I need to improve on is speed. Doing all this for me takes time, because my thought paths aren’t so linear, they dart around and don’t reach the endpoint too efficiently. The words that still haunt me from previous creative directors I’ve worked for are “bash it out fella”, “screen-shot that”, “just crack something out quick”. They haunt me because it denotes producing something for the sake of it, that normally just fits into a comfortable place of ‘everything else out there’. For me, bashing something out just by-passes all concept and ideas. I don’t want to operate that way.
If you have any thoughts on ‘process’ or want to engage in discussion about this then please do fly or an e-mail or a tweet. I’d be happy to converse.