The 10-step Graphics Design Process to Follow for Success

graphics design process

The use of graphic design in business has become very popular over the years. Graphics design plays a crucial role in shaping a brand’s identity and communication with its target audience. Research reports that our brains process visual information 60,0000 times faster than words and combining text with relevant images can increase audience memory by 650%.

From brand marketing to packaging design, and web design, graphics design can help you gain a competitive advantage over your competitors and increase your brand success. However, a significant challenge in creating graphic design for business is the quality and relevance of the designs.

In a recent report, 20.5% of digital marketers revealed that having a great design is difficult. Realistically, it takes a lot of effort, time, patience, and expertise to understand the process and get it right. This creative process involves so much more than just combining pretty images, vibrant colors, and stylish fonts.

If you are looking to start creating graphic designs for your business, here’s a detailed guide on the basic elements of graphic design and a step-by-step guide to creating an effective design for your business.

What is the Graphics Design process?

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According to the American Institute of Graphics Arts (AIGA), graphic design is defined as the “art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with the visual and textual content.” In simple terms, it is the use of visual elements and texts to create eye-catching, high-quality designs that convey key messages about a brand to its target audience.

The graphic design process on the other hand is a series of steps that a graphic designer goes through to bring design ideas to life and meet the requirements and end goals of the client. Beyond the creative abilities and skills of a graphics designer, they also need to have good communication, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to create successful designs.

Graphic designers in the process of carrying out their tasks must be able to adhere to the logical, step-by-step processes that will enable them to complete graphic design projects that drive results. The ability to brainstorm innovative ideas and create original designs goes a long way in creating effective designs.

What are the Basic Principles of Graphics Design?

To create eye-catching and successful brand designs, graphics designers must adhere to pre-defined principles – a set of guidelines that must be followed and combined to create balance and stability for your creative designs. These principles include;

1. Balance

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Balance refers to the distribution of objects, texts, images, visual weights, and space in a design. Balance guides the structure and stability of your design. For visually compelling brand designs, you must ensure that all the elements of your design such as text, images, or shapes are combined properly and distributed evenly to create balance in the design.

2. Movement

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In design practice, Movement refers to the path a viewer’s eye takes to go through a design. Graphic designers mostly use the movement principle to direct viewers’ attention using lines, edges, shapes, and colors in the design.

3. Proportion

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Proportion, also known as the scale is the process of creating unity among various elements in a design. It shows how various elements in a design relate to each other. Oftentimes, graphic designers add various elements in different sizes to a focal point or highlight the importance of certain elements in a design.

4. Rhythm

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Rhythm as the name connotes controls how the different objects or elements in the design are repeated to create a feeling of organized movement. Many graphic designers use rhythm to set the mood or tone of a design. In simple terms, it is what evokes your emotion in the design.

5. Emphasis

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As the name suggests, emphasis is the part of the design that attracts the attention of the audience. Graphic designers achieve this by making a part of the design stand out by contrasting it with other areas. The area could be differentiated by size, color, texture or shape, etc. A good example of this is using brighter colors and larger font sizes on shapes or in the text to create a focal point.

6. Contrast

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In simple terms, contrast is the noticeable difference between two opposing design elements. Designers create contrast in designs through dark or light colors, small or big sizes, or traditional or modern styles to focus the attention of viewers on key elements of the design.

7. Negative Space

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A negative space or white space is an area of design that is left empty or blank. It is the space created between elements in a design to create an organized, visually appealing, and scalable design. Designers leave white spaces in a design to allow elements in the design to define boundaries and create a balance.

8. Hierarchy

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The principle of hierarchy in a design highlights the importance of every element in a design with the use of different sizes and colors. It refers to the wu objects and elements in a design are structured and organized to help the audience understand the design easily.

9. Repetition

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As you may have guessed, repetition is the use of the same elements over and over again in a design to add texture and bring the design to life. Many designers use this to create a rhythm and define the overall design by combining various consistent elements such as logos, colors, and fonts.

10. Variety

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In simple terms, variety refers to the use of various elements of design to attract the attention of viewers and create unity between all parts of your design. It can be created through colors, images, shapes, typography, and other elements in your design.

10-Step Graphic Design Process To Follow

A design process is a guide to carrying to effectively carry out a design project. If you are about to commence a graphic design project and not sure about how to start or perhaps you’ve started but are stuck along the line, here’s a detailed 10-step graphic design process that you need to follow.

Step 1: Start with the Creative Brief

A creative brief is a document that outlines a set of instructions or directions about the project. It is specifically aimed to help the designer understand the scope of the project and what’s expected from them.

It’s the first step of meeting with the client where you both discuss the design project – the client tells you to want they want from you while you also brief them on the things you will be doing or tell them what to expect to keep both parties on the same page.

This is the most important process because it sets the mood for the projects and enables both parties to start on a good note and identify all the important elements. Without a brief, there’s no project. A design brief usually covers

  • Company information
  • Brand guidelines
  • Target audiences
  • Project Timeline
  • Delivery format
  • Budget

Step 2: Client Research

After getting the creative brief from your first meeting, the next step is for you to carry out your in-depth research on your client and their market to learn more about them. In this stage, you also embark on market research to gather all the relevant information you need about their market competitors, target audiences, and what’s working for them and what’s not for your design decisions.

Step 3: Brainstorming

If you are constantly in the business of developing new ideas or creating a product, you would understand how important brainstorming is to the development process. Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a problem.

This is the point in the design process where you decide on what to design for your client after gathering all the relevant information you need.

Step 4: Thumbnailing

After brainstorming for ideas, the next step is to start sketching out what you imagine the design to be like using a pen and notepad.

You will need to sketch out all the important elements of your design such as the images that you will be using, the margins, colors, fonts, and body copy. For more effectiveness, you might need to repeat this process multiple times before making a final decision on the elements.

Step 5: Concept Development

After brainstorming and thumbnailing, the next step is to narrow down your options and elements to one that best fits the requirement and needs of your clients.

You must also ensure that your final concept successfully communicates your client’s needs. Your final concept must be unique, memorable, personal, and appropriate for your target audience.

Step 6: Start Designing

This is the process where you start designing to bring the sketch idea to life using Adobe Creative Cloud programs, InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator. Whichever tool you choose to work with, remember that this is your chance to experiment and find the best way to turn your ideas into an actual design.

Step 7: Refine the Design Concept

After creating your design, the next step in your visual design process is to refine the design to look presentable to your client. This is the stage where you take a step back and become your critic to determine whether or not the vision you imagined for the client is accurately reflected in the design.

Aside from this, you must also consider how the design applies to the client’s market and how it stands out from the Client’s competitors. Once you have done this, make all necessary corrections or adjustments in the design.

Step 8: Client Feedback

This is the point in your design review stages where you present your design to the client either in person or via video call. This is the stage where you explain the idea behind your design and explaining the decisions you made at each stage so they can understand your choices and why the design looks the way it looks.

Step 9: Revision & Client Approval

Once you have gotten your client’s feedback, the next step is to add all necessary input from your client in the design. Brainstorm and determine the best way to fit all the suggestions into the design. After doing this, the next stage is to present the final design to the client and hopefully get their approval. Once it’s been approved, then you know it’s the perfect time to get your hand off the design and leave it in its perfection.

Step 10: Final Delivery

This is the final stage of the graphic design process where you get everything ready and let your design take its path in the world. Depending on the client, you can either send this in printed form or digital format or share your working materials with their team for further use.

Why Do You Need to Follow a Graphic Design Process?

We have already explained the definition of a graphic design process and the step-by-step guide to it, however, this blog will not be complete without identifying the key reasons why you need a follow a graphic design process. These includes:

1. To effectively understand the client’s needs

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Before going ahead to put the different design elements together to create a graphic design, you must understand why your client needs that design and what that plan is to achieve with it. When you have a clear understanding of this, it makes it a lot easier for you to create designs that speak to brand needs.

2. To eliminate miscommunication or confusion

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So much goes into a content creation process coupled with the personal pressure to do it right. With the use of a graphic design process, you can ask the right questions and tackle any misunderstanding that either you or the client has. By effectively communicating with each other, all expectations and requirements will be conveyed and understood clearly from start to finish.

3. Keep the project on track

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Following a detailed graphic design process will help you deliver creative, original, and relevant designs that accurately reflect and convey the brand identity and key messages to engage the target audience. A graphic design process helps you stay in line with the requirements and goals of the designs.

4. Boost your professional image

Everyone wants to work with a professional, but with the massive number of freelance graphic designers available in various parts of the world, it becomes harder to identify the experts from the crooks. For designers, using a design process helps you appear professional and reliable.

5. Builds Trust

Just like a design process boosts a designer’s professional image, it helps to build trust in the minds of the clients. When you go through the process with them, they see you as a professional that they can trust with their design project.

Graphic Design Process: The Conclusion

The graphic design process is a series of steps that a graphic designer takes to bring design ideas to life. The above design review stages are crucial for every designer looking to create successful designs. Irrespective of your design skills and experience level, you should never underestimate the power of an established graphic design process in your career success.

If you are looking to create a stunning and effective graphic design for your business, get in touch with our creative design experts at All Time Design today. All Time Design is one of the leading creative design service providers well known for its excellent service delivery and proficient graphic designers.

All Time Design enables you to access incredibly fast and professionally vetted creative designs to empower your marketing efforts. Check our works.

January 21, 2023
10 min read
7 reads

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