We often quip here that everybody thinks they’re a designer. And to a large extent, this is true! We believe that design is 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration. Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, and we are not precious in believing that only we (as creative designers) can come up with ideas that become award-winning. Indeed, some of the best work we have done may have originated as ideas in the heads of our customers. But we bring these ideas to life! What we do is bridge the gap between design ideas (wherever they originate) and turn them into executable business tools to help promote a company’s products and services more successfully in their chosen markets.
Of course, we also come up with the design concepts ourselves when presented with a business challenge by our clients, but the point I want to make is that what is important, is that the idea gets the right design treatment to help the business, whatever the origin.
Typically what happens is that Marketing Managers will approach us with business objectives that they want to develop. These objectives are usually the output from torturous hours of business department managers trying to increase their market share, sales, and profitability. From the initial approach and subsequent discussion, we go away with a clearly defined brief, and we go to work. We then go back to the client with concepts for consideration, including the project timelines and budgets. After discussing the options, and some alterations and iterations, we present them with a finalised proposal for sign-off.
Our in-house project management system ensures that all appropriate design skills are applied to the job, to ensure accuracy and timeliness. The design process is linear in sequence and has a definitive start and end point, which allows for any changes or alterations that the client may wish to make as new information comes to bear on the project. As good design is achieved by adopting a problem-solving mindset, it is imperative that the definition of the objectives is very precise at the beginning. However, as is often the case, we will revert back to the Marketing Manager for clarification of the objectives if we feel that there may be some emerging technology, for instance, that they should also consider.
The design process can look something like this:
- Indentify the client needs/objectives
- Produce a short design brief
- Produce a task schedule and allocate times and deadlines and budgets
- Produce an analysis of the brief and any supplementary questions
- Include any research information relevant to the brief for clarification with the client
- Finalise the brief for sign-off
- On sign-off, put the project into action
- Complete and deliver project in time and to budget
There are a couple of things to note. Elements of the process may be amended depending on the complexity of the project and also, as designers, we generally work very closely with the client and de-brief them at various stages throughout the process.
Are you looking to develop your business objectives for 2014? We would be delighted to talk to you. You can contact me, James Nelson (Creative Director, drawinginc) on (01) 216 4242.