Your Best Option for Graphic Design is with lgx
What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is the art of communicating ideas and messages in a visual way. Any piece of collateral that contains a strong visual element could be considered “graphic design.”
Here are some examples:
- Web Graphics
- Print Design
- Logo Design & Branding
- Brand Style Guides
- Posters, Magazines & Events
- Business Cards & Stationery
Graphic design allows a brand to express itself in a visual, and in certain cases physical, way. Great graphic design can evoke feelings and provoke actions. By adhering to brand guidelines and the basic principles of graphic design, you can make an impression without physically being there to introduce yourself and your brand.
Our Graphic Design Process
We love graphic design! We’ve been strategically creating brand collateral for years. As such, we have experience in every conceivable industry, every conceivable brand or product. Our recommendations and designs are based on all the prior experiences and knowledge we’ve gained along the way. And, we can help you, too.
Our first step is understanding your needs and the end goal of the piece we are designing. We put together a creative outline or creative brief that we will reference throughout the process to ensure we are on track. We will ask questions about your business, your goals, your competition, preferred colors, styles, fonts and more.
The discovery and research phase will vary for each project. In some cases we can do a deep dive into your audience to hone messages, identify customer personas, and develop a robust strategy for developing collateral. In other instances, your needs will be more straightforward.
Once we know what we are going to create and how it will be used, we match you with a graphic designer who will work with you to create the collateral you need. You’ll work directly with the designer, providing input and feedback until you are happy with the result.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the graphic design process.
From the brief we start discovering everything we can about your business and what is the best route to proceed with the design process.
We’ll see what the existing branding is – unless this is a new business – and see how much we can use and what needs updated. We will look at your business with an outside observer’s eye and try to pinpoint any issues or other information that was not initially discussed or that may be too hard to see as a business owner, immersed in your own business day-to-day.
This process has often led us to find problems and solutions that were typically not discussed or even aware of previous to the consultation. We’ll then look at the competition to see where the client sits in the industry, what things they are doing right, and potentially what can be done better. If they are doing things badly, we can quickly know what to avoid to help our clients succeed.
Graphic Design Discovery
Next we will go through deeper qualitative and quantitative research methods. This package takes a good amount of time, and is reserved for the higher tier design packages.
Lower-priced packages we will tend to skip over this part. Qualitative Research is used to uncover reasons, opinions, and motivations — it provides insights into the overall problem. It is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinion.
Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of analytics and data. It is used to quantify attitude, opinion, behavior, and other defined variables — and utilize results from a larger sample population. We will look deeper into the client’s existing brand collateral such as reports, letterhead, business cards, marketing materials, and website.
Exploring Uses for the Design
At this stage, we look at the needs of the client to provide designs for marketing materials such as letterhead, business cards, envelopes, brochures, banners, vehicle graphics, office signage, and more.
We can also look at the social media profile images, banners and headers, current dimensions are used to ensure everything looks perfect for the reveal of the new branding “out in the wild.”
Creating Brand Standards Guides
Brand standards are the rules of how the brand is presented across all mediums. We will create a document (that can be a single page or as many as needed) that states very directly acceptable uses and unacceptable uses of the brand marks, colors, fonts, spacing, photography and tone and voice.
We will work with you to create a guide that is indicative of the brand you are building. And, can be proud of. The guide will also include an overview of the brand’s history, vision, personality, key values, logo usage and non-usage, font types, and tone.
They can be passed along to a web developer who can see the exact color values quickly to be used on the website, and what fonts are to be used in the content.
Also, these guidelines can be sent to a printer to ensure maximum accuracy when the documents are printed, through Pantone color values.
Logo Sketches & Brainstorming
Once the discovery and research phases are complete, we will start the design process. Some of our designers use a sketch pad to deliver the first thumbnails to the client, and others prefer to go directly into digital thumbnails. The process remains the same.
In the first steps we will try and identify iconography or shapes that are appealing, and worthy of development. We will further the concept during this phase to give meaning to the solution we will provide. Often this means creating a shape that matches letters in the company’s name to also reference what the company’s goals are about. Before colors are applied to any design, consideration of the logo must be taken in black and white to ensure the logo mark will be effective across a multitude of mediums.
Once the overall concept is close, we will start adding in color, font, and experimenting with different layout options.
Graphic Design Finalization
Once we have a few typefaces that are appropriate to the Brand, we will explore how they look in unison with the logomark and begin the final round of approvals and finalization.
We’ll take a look at different color options and layouts, all in digital form at this stage. The top 2-5 concepts at this point will be delivered to the client for ideas, feedback and direction.
We advise clients to at least spend some time with the initial concepts, although first impressions are always worth noting. We encourage them to share the concepts with those close to their business and would have a good handle on the direction the company is trying to move.
After that, a meeting can be arranged, or feedback can be provided via email to move ahead with the top 1 or 2 concepts.
We will spend some time discussing the concepts with the customer to get additional feedback. The discussion may take no time at all, if the client has found one of the concepts to be perfect, to several hours if they have any uncertainties or questions that need clarifying.
When we present concepts to clients, we will have an opinion on the strongest idea from the start, and showing the client these inherent qualities is often part of the discussion.
We will get a final choice at this time and we will finalize any tweaks that may be wanted here to reach the last stage of the process. This may be minor changes to color, different layouts, or presenting some alternative typefaces for consideration.
Finally, we will present the graphic design piece for final approval and provide a large package of files – including files for black & white versions, alternate layouts, files for web use, files for print use, basically any use you can imagine will be covered in this package.
The standard finalized design files consist of:
- AI (for future editing if desired),
- EPS / PDF (for printing),
- JPEG (for viewing), and
- PNG (with a transparent background for web use).