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How I work: My creative process

Recently I worked on a poster for USO, Lockheed Martin, and Charitable Recycling and when I went back through my notes for this project, I thought I could use this poster to explain my creative process, and how I start new projects.

I will have to admit that I am sure that my process changes a little for each project and as every one else looks at it I’m sure they could add things, change things or edit things, this is what works for me.

Here is a preview of the final product-


Typically when I start a project I get an overview from the client about the project. Typically this includes most of the information that I need to start working out some ideas. In this case the overview I received was a little lacking…well more non-existent. In cases like this when there is either not enough information in the overview or the is no overview the first and only option for me is to talk to the client and find out what they are looking for.

For This project my client(s) were looking for a poster to help them kick off their new recycling program. The general details were that Lockheed Martin wants to support the USO through the cell phone recycling program at Charitable Recycling and wanted to share the details with their employees. They decided that the best way to do this was through some simple posters, emails, and hand outs.

After getting the general details and some of the copy for the poster I was able to start making some preliminary sketches. When I start making preliminary sketches I make sure to add in as many details with out going overboard. (ie in this case I set up the general layout, and other design elements)

After the first sketch/sketches, I usually play around with some color. For this project I knew I needed to use Red, White, and Blue for sure. Thankfully its fairly easy to layout some colors when you have extra art supplies laying around, in this case I used a few colored pens and some markers, all simple enough.

After the final color sketches are done my next step is to convert it digitally. In most cases I will scan the sketches in to my computer and use it as a trace layer. For this project it was easy enough to convert it with out having to scan it to my computer so I decided to simply start the design. After converting it to a digital format and changing a few things around here and there I typically work up 3 digital samples (some times more some times less) to show my client. This is what the first draft looked like.

Usually after this point my client(s) will have some changes ranging from small changes (typography color etc) to larger changes (formatting logos etc). In this case my clients wanted to shift the layout around so essentially I went through the whole process again. Thankfully the revisions usually take a lot less time to finish because I have some general ideas to edit rather than coming up with some thing new. Here is the first revision compared next to the final project.

That as you have it is my creative process. For the most part this is what I go through in most if not all of my projects it might not be as formal but it is usually done fairly close to this.

What is your creative process? Is there any thing that you do differently than what I do or do you work similar to how I do?

About Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is the principal of Dynamic Media and started Dynamic Media in early 2003 but has been involved working with web and graphic design sense the first time he heard of the internet.
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