Blog Post

Design Process 101320
13 October 2020

The Design Process from Start to Finish

Here at Juice, we love what we do. Sometimes, after receiving final designs, our clients say the whole process worked like magic. They told us what they wanted, we went to work, and an excellent design appeared.

We love the enthusiasm but have to confess that we actually have a time-tested and client-approved process in place. No magic wands here! Here is a peek behind the curtain of how we take your design from concept to concrete, from the beginning of the design process to the happy end.

Step 1: Information Gathering

Before beginning any project, it’s crucial that we understand exactly what our clients want and need. This is where a creative brief (an outline/list of the project’s purpose, goals, requirements, key information, etc.) comes in handy.

This brief is the foundation of the project and clearly lays down the expectations and guidelines for the design. Here at Juice, we usually build this informally during a phone call or email with Joyce. We summarize the discussion in our quote or proposal document, which our clients receive to help clarify the details of the project before we get started with the actual design. Once the proposal is signed and returned, we dive a little deeper.

Step 2: Research & Looking for Inspiration

In this step, we ask ourselves questions such as …

  • Who is the client?
  • What business are they in?
  • Who do they want to reach?
  • What overall “look” are they trying to convey?

Sometimes we start by analyzing an existing website, brand guidelines if available, and other competitors in our clients’ fields. It is also crucial that we become familiar with the logo and brand colors. Often we like to conceptualize the way these elements come together before jumping into the actual design work.

Once we have a good starting point in mind, we like to look for inspiration and brainstorm some ideas. Mood boarding is a great way to compile several ideas and create a visual direction for the project. A mood board is simply a collection of colors, images and concepts we may put together for reference to inform the direction of the design.

Step 3: Creation Phase

After brainstorming, it’s time to put those ideas down on paper (or, in our case, on the computer). This is where concept development comes into play and when ideas start to become more concrete.

This creation phase sometimes starts by sketching out ideas and then transferring them to a digital application. Other times experimenting with ideas is involved. They all end up the same way though—with the ideas becoming actual designs.

Generally we create several mock-ups and concepts to start from, and we narrow it down from there.

Step 4: Refine the Design

At Juice, once the initial concepts are complete, Claire sends them off internally for Ashley and Joyce to critique. The designs go through fine-tuning at this point.

By refining the design on our end before sending it off to the client, our goal is to create a high-quality option (or options, depending on the project) for our clients.

Step 5: Revisions & Client Approval Process

When the design(s) and concept(s) meet our standards, we send them off to our clients to fine tune, if needed.

Once we receive feedback, if applicable, we often narrow down the options to one design. From there we jump back to Step 4 (Refining the Design) and incorporate any feedback our clients may have and the changes they’d like to see.

The design(s) then goes through more internal critiquing and possible rounds of client feedback.

Step 6: Final Delivery

After receiving client approval (hopefully with gusto!), we are ready to deliver the final design or place the order for materials like postcards or business cards.

You can see how much care and dedication that goes into a design for all of our clients. We hope that by following these steps, we create designs that serve our clients well. After all, it’s our job to make sure you love the way your business looks!

If your business needs a new look or updated materials, give Joyce a call to brainstorm the best options for you: 727-386-8611.