Lets the strategy guide your creative process
If you’re familiar with the world of design agencies, you’ve probably noticed that consulting firms often work with large clients in the same sector. And no, Redbility is not an exception.
Our client portfolio is very broad and many of them belong to the same sectors: banking, telecommunications or industry, to give a few examples. When dealing with several projects in the same sector, one question arises: how can we offer a fresh product adapted to this client?
The point is that, when you face an assignment in an unexplored sector, your backpack comes free of stones, open to new solutions and unbound by a previous project. However, the real challenge lies in finding a differentiable and unique solution when dealing with a new project in the same sector.
In order to find the key to innovation, we must focus our maximum effort on the essential: the value proposition that differentiates us. If we focus on this, we will be able to detach ourselves from any other previous project and use the experience we have acquired to enhance the solution we propose for the new challenge.
Sounds good, where do we start?
First of all, we should clarify that, when we talk about creative processes, we have to take into account that there are possibly as many as there are designers. With this approach, we are going to focus on how Redbility’s Visual department approaches its process when starting a project.
Our methodology to carry out the development of a project, from the first approach of the client to the final result, contains a series of stages through which we go, always with the focus in mind of achieving specific objectives.
In the same way, we have to be aware that we are not machines configured to make products in series. Each creation process has an important personal part of each designer, since it is fed by our knowledge, vision, intuition and experiences. All of these values are put to the service of the project in order to meet the objectives defined and to achieve the excellence in the designed product.
Approach it as something unique
Probably the most important piece of advice is this: treat each project as something unique. It is clear that this is the challenge we face from the start, and perhaps it sounds cliché, but this is the fundamental premise to begin on the right foot.
Even if you have already done several projects like the one you have in hand, try to keep an open mind so you don’t stick with the first solution that, a priori, seems obvious. Realize that it is not the extension of a project that you have already done, or that what may have worked in another case, does not necessarily have to work now. Being open will allow you to react to new stimuli and investigate ways that seemed unquestionable.
“Treat each project as something unique.“
And how is it different from the rest?
Every customer is different, and every project has its own challenges. To avoid making the mistake of applying generic solutions, we must have an excellent knowledge of the client and its objectives. We must consider what they want, need and who will be their users. Therefore, refine your skills in meetings with them, listen and take note of everything, because here is when they tend to loosen up and give a good clue as to what they expect to find in our work. This will help to guide us throughout the whole development process.
Be inspired – you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel!
Now, once we know where we are going, we have to start walking the path. Let’s imagine ourselves in front of the computer looking at a blank canvas. Every second looking at it becomes eternal. How do we start?
It’s a question we all ask ourselves. So, when we start a new project at Redbility, one of the most important phases is the search for inspiration. We must not ignore what’s going on around us! It is essential to take time to get inspired, look at different creative proposals, select or discard options knowing what would fit best with the project, etc. This research exercise can go on for days, so it is important to know what you are looking for and be disciplined with the results to keep.
The goal is to collect and sort this information into a single place that you can return to whenever you need it. From there, the next step is to analyze all the valuable information to understand it and extract what can be useful. Take note of the visual elements that you find interesting such as the typographies used, the tone of the images, the color palette, and even the points that coincide with other references.
A very good tool for this process is Pinterest. At this point it needs no introduction. We use it to create boards and sub boards in which to centralize in an orderly manner every inspiration we want to keep. As an advanced tip: accompany each reference with a brief description explaining why you keep that image. It will be useful when you review it in the future!
Additionally, if another team member (from UX profiles to front end) sees something that might fit with the project, they can also add it to the board. It’s a great collaborative tool!
Another way to store and organize this information is to use a page in Figma, Sketch or whatever tool you use. The important thing is that you find it convenient to access this research so that you can easily return to it and remember what inspired you from each reference, without forgetting any aspect of it.
So far we have made a first approach to our way of working the visual section of a project, from the knowledge of the strategy to the search for references and the importance of having them well accessible and organized.
In a future article we will address how we activate this inspiration, draw graphic proposals and resolve our creative blocks. See you on the next one! 😉