Steps in the Graphic Design Process and How to Make the Creative Process Better | Latest update 2023

It can be hard to find the right mix between creative freedom and organized structure when trying to manage and improve creative processes, such as the graphic design process.

It’s possible that a strict structure will kill your imagination, but on the other hand, having too much freedom can cause you to miss deadlines, go through endless rounds of revision, and other problems. This is why graphic artists and other creative people need to plan out how they will work.

Each creator may need a different workflow to work at their best, but we’ve talked to experienced graphic designers and creative workers to come up with this step-by-step guide that you can use as a starting point.

This guide can always help you come up with the best way to do something before you start a graphic design job.

Graphic Design

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Graphic Design

Step 1: Defining Requirements

Setting clear goals and finding the needs of the graphic design project should be the first thing we do when starting the project.

If your client has given you a project brief, that’s great to start with. If not, you and your client can decide on the needs together at the start of the project. Self-initiated projects follow the same rule, and you should think about things like

  • The target audience of the project
  • Requirements and specifications
  • Potential competitors
  • References

This could be the most important step because it will have a big effect on the ones that come after it. Get as many facts as you can for the job. If your client hasn’t already, do a lot of market study to learn as much as you can about the client (if there is one), the target audience, and the client’s competitors.

Graphic Design

Step 2: Mood-boarding

The first step was to list the needs for the project. The next step is to make a mood board for the project.

If you want to call it an inspiration board or mood board, it’s basically a collection of pictures, visuals, or other things that will help you with your job. Graphic Design To keep the project’s artistic direction, the board will set the project’s mood.

Depending on the needs of the project, you can put pictures, text choices, color schemes, graphic ideas, patterns, and other things on your mood board.

Use mood boards as a way to come up with ideas, work together with your team, and include the client as much as possible so you can decide on the most important parts of the project before you start designing it.

Step 3: Thumbnailing or Drafting

After making a mood board, the next step is to write down your thoughts in a draft (a thumbnail). Graphic Design This can be a sketch you draw by hand, or you can use your favorite tools to make a digital draft.

These steps are all about sorting through your ideas and testing them to see if they can be done. Include all the different parts of the design that were chosen from the mood board, such as the fonts, colors, pictures, margins, and so on.

Step 4: Refining Concept

Graphic Design

You should have enough information from your draft or sketch to know which of your ideas will work and which won’t. Based on this information, we will make the idea better in this step to come up with a final idea for the project. Graphic Design

When finishing this idea, go back to the requirements and/or the client brief you made in the first step and make sure it meets the needs of the project’s audience.

Step 5: Design

This is where the real planning work begins. There is a lot of software and tools out there that can help you do the job, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Canva, and more. Graphic Design To make it easier for people to work together, you might also want to add a process management and workflow automation option. As we move on, we’ll talk about how process management tools can also help graphic designers with the approval and proofing process.

Step 6: Client feedback

Make the plan better so that you have something to show the client. Now comes what might be the most stressful part of logo design: getting feedback from clients.

After sending the deliverable by email, you can get feedback from the client in a number of ways, such as in person, via email, or through a video call (Zoom). Graphic Design You can also speed up the approval process with process management tools like Aproove that lets you add online proofing.

Online proofreading lets your client give feedback on the delivered file, so you can talk to them right away. This cuts down on the number of changes needed and emails and calls that go back and forth.

Step 7: Revisions

Change the product based on what the client said. Go back to the drawing board and have another conversation with your team if you need to.

At this point, we should focus on what the client wants instead of being too defensive about our first work. Graphic Design Be flexible and willing to make deals. Sometimes you have to do steps 6 and 7 more than once until the client is satisfied with the end result. This depends on the client and the needs of the project.

Step 8: Approval and sign off

Graphic Design

This is the step where you show the client the end design and get their final approval. In this step, we should also get written approval from the client to show that the job is finished. This will let you begin billing the client. Graphic Design

Step 9: Production

Depending on the type of graphic design product, this is where the output is actually made. The next step might not be too hard if the offering is digital, like a website or a digital picture. Print design and film, on the other hand, require physical production, so the production part can last much longer, and you should keep an eye on it.

Still, this step of the visual design process is complete, and the project is now thought to be finished.

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