The “normal” approach to graphic design consisting of a deep-dive into research and a thorough exploration of content and context so that we arrive at the right place. In our practice this involves multiple ideation techniques to generate the broadest range of possible responses.
We try to have a very hands-on approach to conceptual design projects and prefer to show work early and often which may mean meeting at every stage of the project or reviewing EXTREMELY rough sketches.
Examples: most of the work in our Showcase falls under this method.
1 — RESEARCH
This could range from reading a brief to visiting a site in a foreign country and conducting ethnographic interviews or reading every last word about Michael Graves.
2 — ANALYSIS
Obvious though it is, this is the process of reviewing our research so that we understand it, have a perspective on it, and can use it productively.
3 — IDEATION/SKETCHING
Translating analysis into concepts. We approach this from a variety of angles from developing verbal insights into the project, using Bedno diagrams to push exploration, as well as utilizing our other methods like The Typographer’s Method. Due to the fact that we are developing ideas from multiple processes editing is happening at frequent intervals.
We are less concerned with the finding the right idea so much as finding ALL the ideas.
Basically we want to cover as much ground as possible. It is typically at this stage that we prefer to share work.
4 — MVP DESIGN PRESENTATION
This is a presentation of a number of concepts in what we call an MVP (“Minimum Viable Product”, stolen from Lean Development) stage that ranges from pencil sketches to Ikea-style diagrams to comps that are “in the general neighborhood of what we’re thinking” along with reference materials and design rationales. Expect to see a lot of options in an open-ended state.
One of the reasons we show way more than is reasonable is that we like to have agreed-upon contingency plans ready in case pricing or prototyping reveals that we can’t produce a concept in its intended state.
Testing, pricing and prototyping concepts for feasibility.
6 — DESIGN REFINEMENT
Taking the agreed upon concepts further. What this means changes from project to project.
7 — CONTENT ASSEMBLY
Pulling the required content together or developing it. In most projects we will not produce any further design work until we have the content in hand to place into the project.
8 — REFINEMENT
As in all our methods what refinement means depends on the nature of a project itself and be anything from copy editing to designing more deliverables or exploring more of what the concept can offer.
9 — EXECUTION
Any steps necessary to delivering the final work to market.