As a designer, friends and family often ask me how my day of 'drawing and colouring in' has been. Whilst it's true that art and design are both forms of creative expression, commercial design is usually more strategically driven and the end product is a well thought out creation as opposed to being aesthetically driven, although the former is nevertheless beautiful more often than not.
Once you have a clear brief from the client, you need to research, familiarise yourself and really understand your client's brand as well as their market. Understanding their target audience is really important – you need to appeal to them and grab their attention. It's important that you've had a solid, informative brief for the process to be effective, otherwise you risk poorly informed, random choices that won't be relevant to your client's needs and aren't likely to be well received by them.
At this point you also need to have ideas or an understanding of how you're going to target your audience as this will affect your campaign rollout and the choices of medium that you use to deliver it. There's no point designing an A4 flyer for a job that's going to be ultimately served as programmatic advertising campaign. Think 'who' 'where' 'why' and you're onto a good start.
Once you have all your ideas in place it's time to get cracking! There are many choices to be made as to how you're going to execute your creative vision – choices that need to be streamlined cohesively to work together in harmony within your final design. Good design takes time to work out these choices and to deliver on client expectations – without a strategically driven thought process you're unlikely to deliver to their needs.
I've put together a visual to communicate the thought process that has gone into a poster design for Byron hamburgers. They were to host a Tiki themed party as the location for its first annual BEEFTAS staff award ceremony. The poster had to reflect that theme – inspired by Polynesian-style restaurants and clubs that began in the US in the ‘20s and ‘30s and, in part, by Tiki carvings and mythology. The poster is loose yet stylised, with a sense of fun to appeal to the young, hip target audience.
The poster went down a storm and is a good example of design that understands a target market and delivers an on-brand solution while also exceeding client expectations.