A Design Process – Do You Have One?

As a tutor/lecturer it is a constant battle trying to help art & design students realise that every project is in fact… the same.

The content or subject of the project is almost irrelevant, developing the understanding and skills to repeat an effective creative process is what counts regarding your potential to go onto higher education or the creative workplace, and then maintain that ability to create or work creatively day-in, day-out (and not just when you are “in the mood”).

…and okay, so it’s fair enough to say that there is NO hard and fast rules when it comes to your design process, it is also fair to suggest that at least having one IS of benefit when it comes to working on projects.

This process should ideally acknowledge the following:

  • Reading/negotiating and interpreting a brief – given by a client or self-initiated.
  • Early design development and experimentation (various media).
  • Discernment – the choosing of the most appropriate design solution from A RANGE of alternatives.
  • Further Design Development and refinement of your chosen design.
  • Preparation for presentation/pitch to the client.
  • Evaluation.

The following are rudimentary examples of my personal process, and that is regardless of whether the job is six weeks from brief to deadline or three hours.

…and should be appropriate for any type of design project, 3D, illustration, Product Design, Logo design and Branding.

The outlined white arrows are my milestones. These should not be passed until all the previous criteria has been explored and if possible satisfied.

One way to “investigate” and perhaps even “discover” your design process is through the use of your blog.

Try documenting every stage of your next project (no matter how trivial) with photographs, video, rough schematics of processes plus annotations and process breakdowns.

See how the weighting of your development matches up with the weighting of effort/output compared with the diagram below.


By attempting to examine your own process and comparing it to the process of others you will learn a lot about how you work, a great deal, perhaps, that you hadn’t actually noticed.

Try searching “creative design process”, many creatives have posted their own to the net. It’s surprising, regardless how diverse the individual disciplines, how similar the processes can be. Maybe there is something in it?

~ by hesir on April 16, 2012.

14 Responses to “A Design Process – Do You Have One?”

  1. […] will research your chosen themes and ideas (see post on the Design Process) and make notes in your “day book/sketchbook”; these development ideas will be part of your […]

  2. […] also understand, because I personally place a great deal of stock in the design process and drawing, having a background in illustration and production design. But as beautiful and […]

  3. […] is a process built inside a set of lifestyle/”purposeful & non-passive” […]

  4. […] Gareth showed us his design process that he had written down on paper and was able to visualise it step by step. Here is a link to his own personal blog post showing said design process: https://apopheniainc.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-design-process-do-you-have-one/ […]

  5. […] If you would like to see the session taught to us about our design process visit out tutor Gareth’s blog (https://apopheniainc.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-design-process-do-you-have-one/) […]

  6. […] https://apopheniainc.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-design-process-do-you-have-one/ […]

  7. […] the standard design development process applies obviously – >SEE HERE< – but on top of that some of these techniques professional concept artists use can be […]

  8. […] for another take on the subject have a look here to see my colleague Gareth Sleightholme‘s useful post on the […]

  9. […] https://apopheniainc.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-design-process-do-you-have-one/ […]

  10. […] to contrast with a more traditional design process explored […]

  11. […] should try to utilise the full design process, from research through to final image/s (See the visualisation […]

  12. […] your design phase you will produce a number of drawings/visuals (some of which may be using 3D […]

  13. […] the standard design development process applies obviously – >SEE HERE< – but on top of that some of these techniques professional concept artists use can be […]

  14. […] Do you have a Design Process? […]

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