Friday August 12th, 2016

A Project Journey: The Creative Process (Part 2)

Creativity and the creative process often seem ambiguous and intangible to many clients. This sense of uncertainty about the “creative” can evoke fear of losing control or failure. After all, design and creative seem to pose the same challenge to many “linear” thinkers as picking out the right granite pattern for their kitchen countertop. It seems a totally subjective process. How will I know this is the right solution? Can I get people to buy into to this? Will this really give me a tangible return on my investment?

Having an established creative process, with clearly identified phases of development, will alleviate any unsettled concerns or fears. Whether developing a formal creative brief or working through a phased research and strategic process, the better the project objectives can be articulated, the better the creative team will be armed to successfully meet the client’s goals.

The design process is not voodoo. It may be similar in some ways but it’s not that different from other disciplines with which the client is familiar. Of course, whether we’re developing a printed deliverable, a website or other digital asset, the process is slightly different. Our goal is to tailor the best approach to deliver optimal engagement. Leveraging the strategic process established as our foundation, we use a phased approach to our creative process:

  • Phase 1: Initial concept development
  • Phase 2: Concept refinement based on client feedback
  • Phase 3: Photography, video, illustration, animation and content development

The best solutions are always achieved by an open working relationship between the creative team and client. It’s key to establish a trusted relationship where both sides can freely express their thoughts or concerns. Open dialogue goes a long way to eliminating misinterpretations and achieving a stellar creative solution. During Phase 1, client input and insights often help designers move in creative directions they may not have considered and vice versa. Collaboration during Phase 2 builds confidence that the creative team is flexible and willing to truly work with the client. The more the client is intimately involved in the process, the more invested they’ll be in the final creative solution.

Stay tuned for part 3 in this series, when we address bringing it all together in the final production process.

Greg Simmons,

Creative Director


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