Observations on The Creative Process

“Every human being is a designer, many also earn their living by design – in every field that warrants pause, and careful consideration, between the conceiving of an action and the fashioning of means to carry it out, and an estimation of its effects”.

Norman Potter – What is a Designer: things . places . messages (1969)

From a designer’s perspective research is one of the most important stages of any creative project. It provides a knowledge foundation to inform the shape and form of any creative solution it helps establish where a product, service, space or event wishes to locate itself – within an existing, emerging or brand new market it qualifies the shape, form, material and platform for a design solution – and defines who the target audience is, and (importantly for commercial value) what and where the competition is.

The development stage affords designers a platform to experiment and test a variety of options – material, scale, process, form, interface etc. At this stage no idea, process or material should be discounted.

It is important to include clients within the design process – they inform the initial research stage, attend and inform any review process and play a large role in design selection. At the end of an initial review a set of design proposals are qualified and shortlisted.

Shortlisted designs are thereafter developed in further detail – worked into real situations to augment their value, functionality and integrity – a further selection process is carried out to qualify which single proposal fits the client’s needs best – the work is intensely reviewed until a single valid option is established.

The final design proposal is art-worked in readiness for production. The client will sign off each element prior to it being sent to print, manufacture or being uploaded to a web server. Proof correcting, checking and amending will be factored into any time schedule.

After the project is completed a review meeting will take place to discuss the whole process. All parties are bought together to monitor the impact of the design work. This helps me to inform the creative process and for our clients to review the effectiveness of their commission.

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Further reference:

  • Gyorgy Kepes – Education of Vision – George Brazillier Inc – 1965
  • Norman Potter – What is a designer: things . places . messages – Studio Vista – 1969
  • Ed Jan van Toorn: Design Beyond Design – critical reflection and the practice of visual communication – Jan van Eyck Akademie Editions – 1998
  • Ed Teal Triggs: Communicating Design (essays in Visual communication) – B.T. Batsford Ltd – 1995