How to be your Own Creative Designer for your Business
It’s always the first thing on an entrepreneur’s mind – how much is it? And can we do it ourselves? The good news is if you are resourceful enough, then yes, you can start cutting costs and manage a lot in house, but this always comes down to time management and the risk of not leaving it to the professional.
Taking on the creative design for your business means expectations would be high, and the pressure is on. As a graphic designer, the company brand guidelines are the main focus and if you are inexperienced and don’t follow the right procedures, it could affect the company.
There are many types of graphic design processes which must take place with any project, these should also be taken in consideration when briefing a professional Graphic Designer in house.
Write a creative brief
- Personal brand guidelines
- Target audience
When managing any design work in house, you should start working as a Graphic Designer would. Understanding your company brand guidelines is a great start, for example, your colours and fonts. You need to figure out who your audience is, what you want them to know ‘call to action’, and how you want them to perceive your brand.
It’s very easy to go off track and forget the brand guidelines when you start playing around with different designs. Not only can a creative brief help inspire you with potential ideas, it also gives you a metric by which to gauge whether or not your design works for your brand’s needs.
If you are briefing another colleague internally, remember a good brief will cover more about the project than just the creative side. It will also help you keep track of deadlines and budgets.
A designer thinks of composition, hierarchy, and knows how to build a piece of work that actually leads the eye towards important information. They also follow icons who inspire them to be creative.
Our in house Graphic Designers have a variety of influences which have inspired them throughout their career from, PIXAR, Awwwards, Michel Gondry who is forever evolving and breaking the boundaries, Glen Keane who changed Disney animation for ever working on films such as, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen. The film ‘Be kind Rewind’ was a big topic of conversation – Our Graphic Designers were inspired by how creative they were in the film and how you can work outside the creative box on different projects.
Look at what other designers are doing
Investing in any design programmes can be really expensive. Using design management tools like Adobe can take a right chunk out of your budget. There are many different types of tools you can use to find inspirations, create your own artwork or even produce your website – here are a few secrets of the trade… Behance, Pinterest, Canva.com, Logoist, Wix or Squarespace.
Review your work with others
Working as a team is very important, especially in a small company. And, it’s not always easy to analyse your own work, so take a step back and ask someone what they think. Once you have a brief, take the keywords, sit with some people or colleagues, and brainstorm – write anything that comes into mind around these themes/keywords. One rule is – there is no bad idea at this point. Mix them together, extend the keywords list, you should then get good material to work with after this session. Or at least you had a random/funny time with your colleagues or even make it into an activity or game.
Once you have got a basic idea and you are happy with it, you can start polishing the concept, but don’t forget to remember the basics as it’s very easy to go off track!
Remember the basics
Design rules should never go out the window – remember to:
- Consider your target audience
- Keep it relatively simple to read and your call to action is clear
- Focus on one or two specific design ideas
- Set a new trend instead of following them
- Be mindful of shape, font, and colour psychology
- Use negative space to your advantage, but don’t over crowd
Designing artwork is no different to writing copy, you still need to evaluate the project at the end. Refer to your creative brief and check you are on track with the goals you set yourself for the project. Once again, review it with the team or trusted family and friends.