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Design process from a professional point of view

We’ve had a lot of questions from the community asking how to go about starting their creative process with a brief so we’ve asked our newest member of the team Tabitha to put together her professional process for you all to see. Here it is in Tab’s own words!

When I started to work on this brief, I began by looking at some inspiration to get an idea of what styles and themes I felt could work well with the brand story. As the brief is based on positivity and summer I knew it was important to include colours that portrayed that. Looking through Dribbble, Behance and Pinterest allowed me to collect a small mood board of designs that related to these core values. I discovered that bright and colourful colour schemes worked really well together and collated theses ideas. 

Check out the full submission

Check out the full brief

Moodpboard research

On Behance, I found the work by a set of designers; Emile Lord Ayotte, Laura Pistachio, Mirciam Bousquet and Veronique Laffortune, who worked collaboratively on a brand for a Cancer charity. What I loved about their work was the simplistic shapes and vectors with vibrant colours as they compliment each other and create an eye catching contrast. This to me really portrayed positivity as the summer season is often associated with parties and festivals, both of which heavily use fun patterns and colours. 

Multiple owners of image inspiration

After gathering more inspirational work, I rounded up my findings and chose to narrow these down to 3 themes; patterns, icons/shapes and bright colours.

The next stage was to play around with some logo ideas and decide on an appropriate typeface to fit within the brand values. I wanted a rounded sans serif type as I felt with current trends, this is something you would expect to see in a fresh, summery and new brand. As the name for the brand is ‘peep’, I thought the look of the word would work nicely in a lowercase format as it keeps the look of the brand informal and playful, which are essential values expected from the client. 

Initial Experimentation Moodpboard

I played around with a range of different typefaces until I found the right one. I decided to go with ‘Co Headline Regular’ as the general look and feel of the typeface looked really minimalistic and clean, as well as working quite nicely as a lowercase font. 

Final chosen font

Moving on, I eye-dropped a range of different colours from my inspirational mood board to incorporate into my logo typeface. I had a range of colours such as hot pink, turquoise, bright yellow, pastel yellow, navy blue, light blue, dark green and red. All of these colours together really created a feeling of positivity and brightness so I knew I had a good palette going. After applying the colours to the typeface, I recognised the colours that worked better than others, so experimented more with the pinks, yellows and blues. At this stage, I got the ORCA team to take a look at what I was currently working on and they were all fond of the typeface and colours I had chosen.

Now I had a good idea of colours and a typeface, I wanted to create an icon or shape to use within the brand. For example, as the brand is for sunglasses, I liked the idea of having a little icon on the business to card to make it as clear as possible what the brand is about. Taking inspiration from Meier Delphine, I created a few shapes and applied my colours to them. I drew a simple triangle and started to repeat the pattern and really liked what I was seeing.

It reminded me of a party/festival which I felt worked well with the concept as the idea is to convey the ‘summer vibes’. As well as this, taking the ‘p’ from the logo typeface, I created a simple sunglasses icon and started to apply this to business card designs. Experimenting with my initial designs, I was starting to see an effective business card come together.

Initial sunglasses pattern

However, when receiving more feedback from the team, we noticed how the icon looked similar to a voicemail symbol. So in order to avoid this, I re-designed a much more conventional, but still simplistic, sunglasses icon. I liked this icon much better once designing it as it enabled me to add sightly more detailing, for example, the shine of the glasses and the frame.

Final sunglasses pattern

Now with the new changes to the development, I played around with more business card designs, changing the layout and colours, and what content went on each side. I created a variety of patterns from both my sunglasses icon and triangle shape, differentiating between what colours complimented each other. I whittled down my designs to the final 3 I wanted to take forwards and asked the team for their advice on which ones they thought worked best. I find it’s always important to ask for feedback at this stage, even if you’re set on your favourite design it’s worth getting a second opinion.

I was starting to see how the red and light blue contrasted with one another, and with more feedback, the team felt these colours worked the best together too.

Final three designs

My final stage was choosing the most efficient layouts for the front and back of the business card. I wanted the front to be relatively minimal, showing the brand colours and logo. So using the red as a vibrant background, I added the triangle pattern in the light blue and the ‘Peep’ logo in white to allow it to sit nicely on the top. For the back, I used the light blue this time for the background colour, as on this side the main information was going to sit and needed to be easy to read against the colours chosen. Using the triangle shape alone in the bright yellow, I roughly placed the sunglasses icon on top in navy blue to act as a pop of colour and to draw you to the icon, making it obvious what the brand is. To the right, I added the information in simple form, and at the top I placed the slogan ‘sunglasses your way’ so that when you turn the card over, you instantly know what the brand is about.

Final flat designs

Now I had my business card, I gained further feedback from the team and they were all on board with the designs. The last stage was for me to mock up the business card and break down the design into a separate logo and pattern.

There you have it! Do you use a similar process when designing?

    Great post, a great process to follow for any future design brief.

    I am actually working through this brief myself at the moment and this tutorial has been incredibly helpful. Can i ask though, where are some good places to gain feedback on designs you're working on, I don't want to put half finished designs on social media so where would you suggest I look for creative feedback on designs I create

    Vicki Lee (Community Support)Mentor

    You can upload them straight to Briefbox or how about our Slack channel? Lots of the community are on there and can be very helpful. 

    This post is fascinating - this makes the final deliverables of a professional designer feel a lot less magical! I've only recently started following a process after experiencing a lot of pain getting lost in designs and not really having an awareness of what I was doing at any given time (which is inefficient at best, and, at worst, extremely frustrating).

    I've summarized and generalized the steps here to give me something to reference in the future when I start working on a brief. Obviously, the process will change depending upon different factors, but I thought it would be worthwhile sharing in case it's helpful for anyone else to have a summary of this post. Edits to the steps are very welcome too if I've misinterpreted something!

    Nice one Liam, I was going to do this, you saved me the trouble, thanks.

    excellent. simple yet appealing.

    i wish to work like you.

    your brief was quite helpful for me for my future designs.:blush:

    Glad it helped you Taimoor! Good luck for any future briefs you work on :D 

    Vicki Lee (Community Support)Mentor

    So glad this helped you Taimoor. Hope we get to see some of your designs soon!