After three years of being a designer in school, freelancing for companies and interning at a design studio, I still find the design process to be so elusive and vague. I mean why can’t there be some kind of formula that helps us create great design pieces. For me this process is comparable to the vast and diverse colour spectrum that contains innumerable colours. Unfortunately, we designers are stuck with this very open and loose process that I will attempt to describe next.
First there is the initial consultation with your professor, creative director or client where you discuss what needs to be done for a particular project. Then you begin flushing out ideas and concepts by creating tons of variations until you find the two or three ideas that you will present to the above mentioned people. Following that is a series of back and forth discussions where the other person tells you what changes need to be made and you as the designer either disagree or agree with those changes. This goes on until finally you reach a concept that works for both parties. Sometimes this can go on for weeks and weeks and at other times it could be finalized within a few versions. This is the overall journey that all designers take when working on any project.
As an intern here at Derooted, I have learned that the best way to come up with good compositions is to create many variations. I’m not talking about ten variations but rather a minimum of fifty variations that show experiments in color, type, layout and even content. Once you have exhausted all the possible variations then begins the process of picking elements from different compositions and piecing them together to create an overall strong piece. This process can sometimes feel so tedious that you lose interest in the project all together. Whenever I reach this stage of complete disinterest in the project, I begin working on something else. For instance, I was working on a flyer for a company and after having worked on it for days and days I decided to switch my focus to their business cards. This helped spur new ideas for the flyer that lead to better compositions.
So although the process may feel never ending and can drive you to the point of insanity, when you finally arrive at that great design you truly appreciate it for all its worth.