Take The Time For Good Design

How to produce design that will support your brand and goals

Successful, long-lasting design needs the time to be taken through a creative process. These are the steps your project needs to go through in order to produce design that will support your brand and goals.

Ever heard of the Speed Drawing Challenge? A popular Internet challenge since 2016, it tasks designers, illustrators, and artists to film themselves drawing the same image three times: once in ten minutes, once in one minute, and once in ten seconds. The result is entertaining – but also extremely telling.

10 Minutes / 1 Minute / 10 Seconds (Source: Igor Cheban)

Time is certainly important when doing any kind of artistic work: the more time the artist has, the more effort and detail he can put in his work. When doing design work for businesses, time is an even more crucial element.

Not only does the creative work itself take time, but your design also needs the time to be taken through a creative process with several steps and rounds of collaboration. This process is what can give you confidence that you’re creating good, solid, long-lasting design that aligns with your brand and your goals. Here’s what that looks like.

1. Discovery

Design is all about the concept of your brand, so a discovery session is a vital part of creating something that will support you, your project, your wants, and your goals. Think about this like speed-dating or an icebreaker activity: some basic questions (like the 5 w’s), and some fun ones to help you explore your brand, like these.

2. Ideation

After the Discovery step gives your team some ideas, you’ll need to translate those ideas into a clear visual message. If you want your design to be successful, ideation is by far the most important, foundational part of the process, so it often requires the most time. This takes even longer when there are no set “rules” such as a brand style guide to execute on. If you’re invested in the long-lasting success of your brand, setting these foundations isn’t option: it’s a requirement. Read about why you need a brand style guide, and what makes it so great for your whole team – and your audience.

3. Collaboration

A big part of collaboration is criticism. Each piece of the design needs to pass through different members of the team to be approved, because another person might see something you don’t! Good design is not seen through one set of eyes. Working as a team creates a fuller final experience that your audience – and your business goals – will thank you for.

4. Creation

Creating your design combines strategy, science, and art. In some cases, design is subjective: it may be your designer’s job to weed out what should or shouldn’t be included. However, design also balances things like color science, ADA compliance and UX, understanding your site’s architectural diagram and structure… the list goes on. These rules and guidelines make your design finicky, but will ultimately make them more successful and longer-lasting. Learn more about how restrictions can produce more creativity.

5. Proof

Your design will go through the Collaboration-Creation-Proof steps in multiple rounds, with the collaborative process getting bigger with each round. This helps ensure that every detail, from the big-picture brand identity, to the focused goals and needs, to the minutia of the design itself, is something you can be proud of and that will support your brand and goals.

6. Launch

Once all these steps are in place, you’ll be able to go ahead and launch your finished product, whether it’s your new, branded website, a project or campaign, or anything else. Your final design product, if it’s given enough time to go through this process thoroughly, will match your wants and needs, and will set you up for success.

 

Quick turnaround can be tempting to prioritize, but taking the time to produce solid design work that is in line with your brand and can support your goals is necessary if you want your brand and project to excel. You deserve successful, long-lasting design. So let your design work go through this process with that not-so-secret ingredient: time.

User-Centered Design