The role of me, the graphic designer is to interpret your brand and produce a clear aesthetic to put out there to your potential clients, consider me the visual mouth piece to your brand. Rather than trip myself up with many words here’s what some clever folk wrote about in Wikipedia.
“Graphic design is the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term “graphic design” is used interchangeably with these due to overlapping skills involved. Graphic designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce a final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.”
Sounds canny aye? Essentially I consider myself a problem solver, as that is all my job is really. You have something you want to produce, I take whatever ingredients, and use the methods available (collectively the brief) and make a+b=c (now that’s mixing metaphors if ever I’ve seen it but hey, you get the idea right?). Now it doesn’t matter what the job is for, logo design, stationery design, poster design, what ever the graphic requirement is the process is always going to be roughly the same and consist of these five elements. I’m going to go with the metaphor of the chef to illustrate my points.
- The Dish: The end result that needs the services of our graphic designing chef.
- The Ingredients: The content that is essential to the dish.
- The Equipment: The brand guidelines that are the essential tools to make the dish.
- The Method: The how and why of the dish.
- The Chef: The graphic designing culinary master.
Let’s go through these:
The Chef: Well that’s me here isn’t it? I want to use my skills, creative flair to cook up some graphic design work that will be a taste sensation not only for you but it’ll make your potential clients hungry even though they’ve just had dinner.
The Ingredients: Just like you can’t make an omelette with out breaking some eggs, you can’t make a flyer/poster/website without some content. This part seems to be forgotten by a lot of people I’ve found. On more that one occasion I’ve been asked to do work and when I’ve been asked to produce something I’ve asked for the actual copy text to be met with a blank look. Now as great as I am with words for me to be able to do this for every client would mean I would need an in depth knowledge of a vast array of lines of business. I can help focus your words, I can’t supply the facts, if I could, who knows, I may be in your line of work instead.
The Equipment: Your brand tools, just as I (the chef me, shit this is getting silly but I must plough on) wouldn’t whisk an egg with a knife or grate some cheese with a sieve, the fonts, colours and images that you employ to create your dish are just as (if not possibly more) important that the ingredients/content. We keeping up? Yes I could whisk and egg with a knife, it would work, just not as well. Same as I could use comic sans for your body text (I totally wouldn’t mind, never, never ever) but I won’t. Having the right look/taste/consistency for your dish is vitally important. The first bite is with the eye.
The Method: Now, just take the ingredients and the equipment and using them in such the right way that they form a perfect blend. The outline of any brief will have the who what and the why. Who your target audience is, what is the message you are trying to portray and why they need you. Get all of these correct and you are left with a dish of such beauty that Mary Berry and Greg Wallace would be falling over themselves to get a taste.
Alright, I may have gone a bit too far with that metaphor (or not far enough if you like that kind of rambling) but I think I have used some good words to illustrate my point there. So, the next time you are thinking of making a new cake/flyer, remember, it’s not just about Greggs, or something like that.