Research before you create

By heather at 6:17 pm on Friday, November 17, 2006

“…One of the biggest challenges that professional designers face: clients who visibly don’t understand all the steps that are involved in coming up with great work. They think that you can just throw things together after a couple of hours (sometimes even a few minutes) of thought, and it will somehow magically be brilliant, because they think that’s what it means to be good at what you do.” – Dani Nordin, Zen Kitchen

The Misconception : just because you are creative you can come up with a great idea.

The Truth : if you research & understand your client’s business and target audience, because you are creative you can come up with a great idea that will meet your clients needs.

What should you research before beginning a creative project? Here are some tips :

  • • who is your client and what do they do?
  • • what does your client want?
  • • why is your client commissioning your design services?
  • • what is your client hoping to accomplish with this design?
  • • who is the target audience?
  • • what are other products the target audience responds to?
  • • who are their competitors?
  • • how are your client’s competitors handling similar products?
  • • research online forums, visit shops, watch tv shows that relate to your target audience to understand what appeals to them
  • • research & sourcing imagery
  • • brainstorm concepts
  • • …then, get creative!

The Result : you are more likely to give your client what they hoped for…a creative product that meets their needs.

“This is the thing: any significant creative venture…requires appropriate time spent doing research - learning about the company or product you’re promoting, figuring out who their best customers are and brainstorming the best tactics for reaching them. Skip out on that, and you end up guessing your way through the entire project - sometimes you get lucky and you hit on something really great, but more often your designs end up falling flat, and do nothing for your client. And when that happens, the chance of that client coming back to you is significantly less than if you take the time to research the company and its customers, and use that information to come up with a design that speaks to them.” – Dani Nordin, Zen Kitchen

Filed under: business of illustration

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Comment by Dani Nordin

December 16, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

Wow, thanks for linking to meβ€”I had no idea! Great entry; it’s a topic I hold near and dear to my heart.

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