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THE WHOLE

PROCESS

IT’S A PROCESS / 01


THE WHOLE

PROCESS


DESIGN PROCESS Great design doesn’t just happen on a whim. At least, not usually. More often than not, you find great ideas because you come up with lots and lots of ideas. You come up with an amazing solution to a design problem because you’ve thought about the problem—you’ve made decisions about your layout and typography and color and mood. All of this takes practice. And that’s what this book is designed to do: give you lots of chances to practice. It walks through the design process and hopefully makes it fun and lighthearted along the way. Come along for the ride!

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DEFINE YOUR PROBLEM Before you get started planning and executing all your amazing creative ideas, take a step back and make sure you know what you’re getting into. Start by answering these questions.

WHO IS THIS PROJECT FOR? Who is the client? Is it an assignment? Or are you designing for yourself?

WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU TRYING TO SOLVE? Identify what you’re trying to do in this project. Are you trying to make a client relevant to a new audience? Are you trying to design a book cover that someone would pick up in a bookstore? It might not be the same as what the client thinks the problem is.

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WHAT ARE SOME OBSTACLES YOU WILL FACE? Say you’re trying to design a book cover that makes someone want to pick the book up off the shelf, but the book is THE MOST BORING BOOK YOU’LL EVER READ. That would be an obstacle to successfully solving the problem. Make a note of these things and be aware of them as you develop a design strategy. Do your best to solve the problem, obstacles and all!

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DUMP YOUR BRAIN Fill this page with off-the-cuff musings about your project. Be messy.

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STOP

Make a cup of coffee (or tea). Look up OK Go on YouTube and watch a video while it brews. No, you’re not wasting time. This is called taking a break.

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MAP YOUR MIND Start by writing down some words that have to do with your project. You may have already brainstormed some through your brain dump!

1. ____________________ 2. ____________________ 3. ____________________ 4. ____________________ 5. ____________________ 6. ____________________ Using one or more of the words you just came up with, fill in a mind map diagram. Start with a general word in the middle and work out to more specific ones. (See the example on the right.) You’ll come up with more concepts as you go! 10


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MAP YOUR MIND Just a few ideas.

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MAP YOUR MIND LOTS of ideas.

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STOP Pick a book unrelated to design and read one page. It will take 3 minutes max. You can spare that much time.

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PIN AWAY! Make a Pinterest board for your project. Keep it secret if you’re a sneaky kind of person. Here are some ideas of categories you can pin.

FIND SIMILAR PROJECTS Designing a logo? Pin some logos. A book? Find some cool layouts to pin.

GO FOR THE RIGHT MOOD Pin things besides just design. If you’re doing the branding for a French bakery, find photos of Paris. Even better, think way outside the box. What kind of person would frequent your French bakery? Find pictures of what he or she would wear.

DON’T FORGET THE CLASSICS Don’t only pin contemporary design. If you’re going for a very sleek and modern aesthetic, check out some modernists like Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel, or Paul Rand.

GO BACK IN TIME Completely stuck? Going back in time on Pinterest is always a good strategy to jog your brain. Some search ideas: British war posters, vintage baseball, vintage oil cans, Federal Art Project, vintage Volkswagen ads, or vintage postage stamps.

STALK YOURSELF Are you a Pinterest freak? Look through some of your current boards and repin things that apply to this project. That’s not cheating.

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RESEARCH REVIEW Write down some themes you notice in your Pinterest adventures that you want to use in your project. Think “huge drop caps,” “halftone patterns,” “black and white photos,” etc.

1. ____________________ 2. ____________________ 3. ____________________ 4. ____________________ 5. ____________________ 6. ____________________

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STOP Get up and do 15 jumping jacks. Then eat some chocolate. You deserve it.

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START SKETCHING

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It’s time to start getting some visual ideas down on paper! Fill up all of these thumbnail pages with ideas.

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STOP Set a timer for 5 minutes. Open Google Chrome and go to

seehearparty.com. Sit back and enjoy the wonderfulness. You won’t be sorry.

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NEED A JUMP START? Try some of these sketching prompts! Just spend 2 minutes on each one. See if you can fill up an entire page of thumbnails. Think outside the box and do things you normally wouldn’t do.

READY, SET, GO!

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SKETCH IDEAS BASED ON YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE.

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MAKE ONE THING ON THE PAGE REALLY, REALLY BIG.

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MAKE ONE THING ON THE PAGE REALLY, REALLY SMALL.

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IF YOUR PROJECT WAS A CAR, WHAT KIND WOULD IT BE?

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SKETCH SOME WAYS YOU CAN USE BOLD COLOR.

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WHAT CITY WOULD YOUR PROJECT BE?

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WHAT KIND OF RESTAURANT WOULD YOUR PROJECT BE?

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SKETCH SOME IDEAS BASED STRICTLY ON A GRID.

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THROW THE GRID OUT THE WINDOW AND GO CRAZY.

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THOUGHT THAT WAS CRAZY? DO SOMETHING CRAZIER.

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STOP Eat a healthy snack. Like fruit or veggies or nuts. Or Cheetos. That’s good too.

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KEEP SKETCHING

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Now that you’ve done some prompted sketching, go back to free sketching. Fill some more thumbnails, and feel free to use some ideas from the prompts.

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STOP Set a timer for 5 minutes and tidy up your workspace.

Make your bed. Put away dishes. Take out the laundry you accidentally left in the dryer yesterday. Step away from your project and do something else productive.

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REFINE SOME IDEAS

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Pick a few ideas from your sketches and make them more detailed. They don’t have to be perfect, just a guide for transitioning into the computer.

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THINK ABOUT TYPE Now that you’ve sketched some promising layout ideas, start thinking about what typefaces (or type styles) you want to use in your layout. Jot down some ideas here.

1. ____________________ 2. ____________________ 3. ____________________ 4. ____________________ 5. ____________________ 6. ____________________

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STOP Go outside and get some fresh air. If you’re in the middle of

a tornado, you have permission to simply look out a window. But unless the conditions are very extreme, actually step outside with both your feet. Breathe in deep!

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FIRE UP THE MAC Now you get to take all of these great ideas and turn them into an amazing finished project! Keep in mind:

YOU NEED BREAKS! Revisit some of the STOP suggestions in this book and make sure you don’t drive yourself crazy staring at a screen all day!

DON’T FORGET YOUR IDEAS You wrote them down for a reason! Come back to the notes you’ve written in this book and resist the urge to succumb to computer fog—a state in which you click and type aimlessly and forget your direction.

STAY INSPIRED Have a strategy for when you get stuck! Do some more Pinterest-ing, look up inspiring quotes from designers, or pull out some fun pens and do some crazy sketching.

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GO MAKE COOL THINGS!

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Š 2016 Carrie Donovan Many thanks to Leslie Friesen for her invaluable help with understanding design process. 50


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It's A Process 01: The Whole Process  

This series of journals is about defining and jump-starting design process. © Carrie Donovan, 2016

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