Just like every profession in the world today, graphic design has a process. There are certain steps a designer must take to create a successful communication for the client’s business. Without these basic yet important steps, the final product, whether a 100 page website, a brochure, or a logo, will lack the elements you need to push your brand forward and give you an extra edge against competitors.
The essential idea behind graphic design for business is to create a visual identity that will differentiate your company and highlight its unique and positive qualities. If you’re doing everything right from a business perspective but still turning up short, it very well could be from a lack of successful communication of you do and why people should choose you over your competitors. Recognizing brand communication issues and seeking design help is the first step in the right direction.
Once the initial outreach has been made to a design firm, the design firm will begin the alignment of business and creative goals of the project to get it underway. This marks the beginning of the design process. The first step in the process includes a creative call and design brief.
You may be wondering what a creative call or design brief actually is. If you already know, then you might be wondering what the value of a creative call or design brief has in relation to your business’ brand and website. The purpose of this blog post is to familiarize you with these two terms and how they align the business aspects of a rebranding or new website with the creative aspects of the project.
A creative call is a phone call between a new client and a design firm in which the client and the designer can discuss both the business and creative goals in a potential brand or rebrand or website design or redesign. This call is helpful because the designer can speak directly to the client and get important information about their business and their creative preferences as they relate to their business. The call will also build a stronger relationship between the client and designer, which will set up for better teamwork throughout the process.
A design brief has the same objective, but is a written questionnaire that prompts the client to write down answers to particular questions that will reveal important background information about the client’s business, as well as the goals the client would like to reach with the new brand and/or website design. The following questions are taken from the Bop Design website design questionnaire and are used to help outline the business goals that will effect the direction of the design, but also to get the client thinking more creatively to set up for more efficient, design-related communication throughout the project.
Bop Design Website Questionnaire
- What is your company’s mission statement? Please sum up what your company does and how it is accomplished.
- Who is your target market?
- What do your customers value most in regards to your service offering?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What makes your company unique?
- What do you like / dislike about your current website?
- What is the main problem you hope to solve with the new website?
- What are the main objectives you plan to accomplish with the new website?
- What are the “actions” that the user should take when visiting your website? (i.e. Use resources, call, request information, purchase a product, etc.)
- Have you found any existing websites that inspire your idea of what your new website should look like? If so, please include the link and explain what you like about the site.
As you can see, these questions are not all about visual design and creative elements. It is extremely important for the designer to collect the business related information pertaining to the client’s company and industry, as well as the business goals the project is seeking to reach. This way, the designer will be able to create a design to support and fulfill these goals, which will solve business issues relating to communication and ultimately increase the client’s business.
These questions also illustrate the importance of having creative opinions and making sure the designer is aware of them. Questions regarding design elements, such as color, fonts, or design examples are a large help in the design process, as the designer is able to combine the awareness of the business goals with these elements for a design that will fulfill the client’s wishes and needs.
In summary, it is really important for the client to understand the value in the creative call and design brief as they relate to both their business and the creation of their new brand and website. It is imperative for the client to provide as many details in these interactions as possible for the designer to use towards the completion, and ultimate success of the final design.