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Research, develop, deliver – Our 3 steps for successful creative collaboration

Ed Garrett   |   Aug 23rd 2021   |   @15:05

In the world of design, everyone has their own processes and methods. While there’s no right or wrong way to make art, when it comes to designing for brands there are best practices we employ at Garrett Creative to make sure you are always satisfied, and not left with a final product that’s way off what you want and need.

From defining the right direction to exploring multiple concepts, collaborating and implementing feedback, these are our three key steps to a successful creative partnership.

1. Research

Our projects start with an extensive research and referencing phase. This is where we lay the groundwork for your designs by gathering visual and stylistic references like photography, typefaces, books and even music. We’ll also take market references to make sure the designs are relevant to your sector, as well as broader inspiration from other sources to bring in a fresh twist.

But it’s not just about making a mood board. Design is subjective — what you think of as “clean” or “abstract” might be completely different to what we think. Research is about finding real world examples to align everyone’s ideas and get us all speaking in the same language. Once we’ve all got something tangible to refer to, we can start to shape your project with more certainty.

One of our clients recently came to us looking to launch a set of sub-brands around their core range of services. In the referencing phase we looked at how companies like FedEx and Virgin used subtle sub-branding to keep a consistent visual identity, as well as how the BBC uses a range of varied visual styles with a consistent letter-mark for its different channels.

Without this stage, you run the risk of getting too far down the creative process before realising you’ve gone in the wrong direction. Research allows us to agree on the right way forward before investing too much energy and resources.

2. Ideation

Once references have been collected and the direction has been defined, it’s time to apply it to your brand. And key to our ideation phase is exploring at least two different stylistic approaches to your design project.

It’s important to take this step rather than launching straight from research into creating the final outcome. Exploring different concepts might sound like taking the long way round, but more often than not you need to see ideas in the context of your brand to be sure of which direction to go.

Ideation gives you the perfect opportunity to influence decisions and get a feeling for what you’re going to get in the end. It’s an insurance policy that ensures your money and our time isn’t spent creating work that’s way off what you wanted, or expected.

3. Execution

Lastly, there’s the execution. This is where all the hard work falls into place and your final designs and deliverables are created. But there’s a little more to it than just handing over a finished project.

Execution is also about refining and fine-tuning the chosen concepts, and acting on all your feedback and requests from the previous two stages. This is where our team’s unique blend of experience, from branding and marketing to web design, illustration and animation, comes together to turn all the ideas explored up until now into a final, tangible result.

The execution phase sounds fairly straightforward, right? But once completed there are still ways to get more value out of your investment. At this point, a lot of time, resources and hard work has gone into research and ideation, so it doesn’t take much for our skilled design team to apply what we’ve already developed and create additional assets.

Consider whether you could utilise valuable extras like social media graphics, promotional materials and explainer videos, to really get the most out of the work our design team have already done.

Good design should appear effortless, but it’s not just a matter of telling talented visual artists to get creative. The process takes a lot of research and collaboration, feedback and iteration. Done right, this is the kind of design work that will reach your audience, strengthen their trust, and achieve your goals.

If you’re looking for an experienced and collaborative creative partner, please get in touch using the form below or by emailing [email protected], and let us know how we can support you.

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