Graphic design is visual communication. In order to communicate well about something, I have to understand it. I begin by finding out as much as I can about the client’s business, product, target audience and competitors. I give clients a questionnaire as a starting point. Usually there is something unique about the organization or product, so I research whatever that is and I try to make connections that I will express in the design.
I freely sketch ideas in my notebook, and see where that leads. I develop the most viable ones in the computer.
The first round I present is rather rough, and in black and white. It’s best not to distract with color at first. People have emotional responses to color, so I leave color out and concentrate on form in the first round.
I present 3 to 5 concepts to start, and the client chooses a direction to pursue from these. In the second round, I refine the design and incorporate any feedback I have received from the client. I continue to refine in subsequent rounds, adding color, trying different type, and moving elements around until the design falls into place.