The creative process in graphic design

Jean Gougeon – September 9, 2014

Sketches and scribbles

Designing a logo or a flyer is more than just sketching a few ideas on a paper napkin in a restaurant during a business lunch. Granted, we all get that spontaneous “eureka moment”, those few seconds of creative genius, then frantically try to jot those ideas down somewhere before the thought escapes us. However, the creative ideation should not end there.

Ideation and design

The real work begins when you start the creative process of generating new, creative and hopefully innovative ideas. With sophisticated software, tools like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe  Photoshop, it is easy to get caught up in gadgetry that sometimes over complicates things.

It is a good habit start of a project with a good old HB pencil. After a few rough sketches and scribbles, it’s then time to bring the ideas to life on screen, working to create a balanced design with strong typography, colours, photography, illustrations and negative space and hopefully some clever “I wish I thought of that” graphic design.

Good design takes time!

“The first idea is always the best”, some may say. Not true. There are times when you methodically walk through your creative routine and end up going back to that first impulse sketch or rough scribble, it’s rare but it happens and is more often than none a client driven decision.

Creative inspiration is a process of one idea leading to another and not every idea is a good one, that’s why it is an ongoing process and takes a fair amount of time depending on the design task at hand.

The creative process is far from an exact science

Creativity is a very intuitive and subjective process, sometimes your ideas connect with the client but often they do not, so it’s back to the drawing board in many cases. A good graphic designer will listen first, take the time to discuss the client’s needs and expectations, then start sketching.

Creativity does not have to be complicated, often the best design is the simplest. It is the road to simplicity that is often complicated.

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