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From idea to identity

The Design Brief

A design brief clarifies what needs to be done, keeps the project on track, and saves time for everyone involved. Often this design brief includes:

  • A summary of the business and a brief history
  • Previous and present communication activity, such as research, advertising, graphic design, public relations, etc.
  • The “message” in relation to the business plan. Where possible, include information to be shown in the designed item e.g. taglines, body text, imagery, etc.
  • Target market – age, gender, income, employment, geography, lifestyle of those the client wants to reach.
  • Measurable objectives the business would like to achieve

Schedule and deadline

Client and designer should develop a detailed schedule of how the client wants the project to advance, considering these benchmarks:

  • Consultation (research, strategy)
  • Creation (concept and design development)
  • Production (artwork and print procurement)
  • Delivery (handover)

Brainstorming and sketching

Using a pencil and paper helps generate a strong set of possible directions. Most sketches are eventually made redundant, but the point is to explore as many directions as possible before narrowing it down to two or three of the strongest ideas.


Those effective ideas are then developed in digital format. The rendering stage involves transferring these options to Adobe Illustrator, to Adobe Photoshop, and exported for presentation.

The presentation

Each design is shown in context using mock-ups (i.e., in situations where the design will be used upon project completion — on a business card, letterhead, signage, clothing, etc.). Then it’s over to the client to consider the designs and prepare feedback based upon how the ideas meet the brief.

 Tweaks and finishing touches

This involves finalizing an option or making revisions until exactly the right direction is reached. The aim is to create a timeless visual identity that works for the client and business – there’s always flexibility here rather than the need for an immediate “yes” or “no.”

 Artwork delivery

Artwork is supplied via email and/or made available for download. Specific file requests are fulfilled. Files are created in black and white in addition to color options per client request. These files are created to meet the variety of purposes a client may have – websites, stationery, advertising. Additional collateral is also an option.After service

The relationship between client and designer doesn’t end once a client pays the final installment. Should any design-related questions arise, I’m on hand to provide an answer, or to offer assistance with design application.