The brief is the design problem. It is very important at this initial stage to gather as much information from the client is possible.
After understanding the design problem, the next vital step is to think and research the design problem. Research is vital to a understanding every aspect of the design problem. Designers with a clear grasp of the problem have more insights and are able to produce work that completely solves the problem with the best solutions.
The research stage never truly stops but it leads to some great ideas that will be fleshed out on a sketch board.
Ideas flow much faster when I’m able to sketch and work them out as they come to me. I like the freedom a sketchbook gives me to quickly put ideas to paper. Once I feel comfortable that my idea is represented well in my sketches, I transfer them to the computer. I mostly use Adobe Illustrator, but depending on the project, I’ll also use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects to further experiment with a design problem.
Depending on the project, I’ll present three or more solid concepts. These are mostly completed ideas but they are still in a stage in which changes can be made. The most important thing is to listen to the client at this stage. After a final design and direction is decided upon, I’ll complete the final design.
Once the design problem is solved, I find it necessary to celebrate. My favorites include: jumping on the bed, going out for dinner, or taking a much needed vacation!