Step 1: Determine what’s needed
We determine the client’s needs by talking about the message they want to communicate, what audience they’re trying to reach and how the finished piece will be used. We also talk about the deadline and determine a rough production schedule.
Step 2: Brainstorming
We review client-provided reference information and immerse ourselves in the material. We let ourselves percolate on that for a bit. We brainstorm and sketch out concepts throwing everything out to see what strikes a chord. Often times the silly, goofy, crazy idea sparks something that takes off in a direction that we can develop and yet still work within the parameters the client has set.
Step 3: Napkin sketches
Once we’ve arrived at a concept or concepts that we think will work, we do a napkin sketch. We call it a napkin sketch because it’s typically a very loose drawing of what the finished piece will look like. There is only enough detail to get the concept across to the client and to determine how the information will flow around the piece. We like to work big to small, so this isn’t about the details, it’s the blue-sky moment; big, overarching themes is what we’re looking at here.
Step 4: Client feedback
We submit the napkin sketch to the client and discuss the concept with them. We get feedback from the client, and assuming they like the overall concept, we take that feedback and make adjustments to the concept.
Step 5: Blueprint sketch
The blueprint sketch takes the blue-sky thoughts of the napkin sketch and the client’s feedback and incorporates it into a more detailed drawing. We call this sketch the blueprint because we refine it more and use it as the template for the finished render.
At this stage we are focusing more on placement of objects from illustrations to headlines and body copy. We’re still working big to small so this isn’t meant to be about the minute details, but the picture is definitely getting sharper.
Step 6: Client feedback
We submit the blueprint sketch to the client and discuss it with them. We make notes of any changes, and incorporate those into the concept.
Step 7: Final render
Using the blueprint sketch as our template we incorporate any changes the client made and begin the final render. This can be done in any number of software programs depending on the desired look and feel.
Once the final render is complete, we send that to the client for final feedback and discussion. At this stage, it’s about making minor adjustments. Once those are finished, the final product is shipped to the client in the format(s) of their choice.