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It’s all about the Process!

Ever wonder how some of the great designers in the world came to be? Time and practice are definite factors in their success. Natural creative and artistic talent doesn’t hurt either. But what it really boils down to is their process.

Over the past summer of 2014, I had a class where we had to research graphic designers and create a body of work inspired by them. I chose David Airey. He is brand identity designer from Ireland, and has worked for clients from all around the world. But I didn’t get inspired by just looking at his portfolio. I looked through his notes and thoughts on how he came to those ideas in the first place. I’ve observed his process and broke it down in some easy steps.

1) Research: As boring as it may seem, research is key in a designer’s process. It makes the difference between a design with soul and a design that appears flat. Knowledge about a subject or client can help you get the job.

2) Sketch: Draw out your ideas! It’s great to have ideas in your head. But to get the juices really flowing, it helps to have them out on paper. It may even create more ideas for your design

3) Trial and Error: Here comes the fun part, experimentation! Picking out appropriate typefaces, layouts and color swatches gives your design some personality. See what works and what doesn’t. Even ask peers for advice

4) Trim Down: Once you’ve got a working idea, it becomes time to clean it up and take out unnecessary elements. Smooth out the rough edges and polish it till it shines.

5) Apply on Print: Print out your design and present it. Does it look like that way you want it to? Does it stand on its own? And does it effectively communicate the intended message? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you’re ready.

As simple as these steps may sound, they serve well for Airey in his work. It definitely helped me starting out as a new designer.  And hopefully this will help you as well in your process.

If you’d like to see David Airey’s work, here’s his process –