A Design Process – Do You Have One?
As a tutor/lecturer it is a constant battle trying to help students realise that every project is in fact… the same.
The content or subject of the project is 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.
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.
Oh! and you should check this out…
Domanic Li’s Design Process as outlined for his students… see, we all think it’s important!
Alternatively you could always try (to avoid) this more (okay, comedic, if perhaps slightly acerbic) 19 point Student Process… or similarly this – from the Near Future Laboratory on The Creative Process…