Our recipe for the creative process

Today I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on our creative process, also known as our recipe for good design. Hello there, I’m Hannah, the newest member of the openbox9 team. Here are our basic steps of the creative process and some important lessons I learned along the way.

1. Start with your shoes on the right foot to avoid back stepping later

Just like chef’s masterpiece, our designs require time, exploration, and creativity. Research is essential — then brainstorming begins. Pencil on paper is best. Writing down or drawing every idea we get is key. No idea is too silly to be considered.

2. Two heads are better than one

We like to get others’ feedback at this stage. Co-workers and family members are a good resource since they approach the project with an unique eye. Bouncing ideas off of each other usually sparks new and better ideas.

3. Don’t recreate the digital wheel

Now that we’ve got the basic ingredients, it is time for some experimentation. Considering different pairings produces the best possible product. This is also the stage where preparation on the computer begins — real creativity doesn’t come from the computer; it is just a tool. We repeat steps two and three as often as necessary.

4. Design is like fashion: show enough to cover the essentials but little enough to keep it interesting

It is important to show our clients a variety of options so that they feel involved in the design process, but not so many that they’re overwhelmed.

5. Dot your I’s, cross your T’s… and watch your counters, descenders

Once a client has chosen a direction it is important to explore all the nuances of the chosen concept and fine-tune the design.

6. It’s easier to divert the river when it is a small trickle than after it has becoming a raging torrent

We show the completed design to the client and make any necessary final tweaks before sending it off to the press or launching it online.

7. The proof is in the pudding

The ultimate test of whether our design was successful depends on how well it achieved the goals for which it was created.

To think about this more, we all invite you review our portfolio to see the results of our collective creative process.

  • To see how we didn’t recreate the digital wheel in our designs for Parkside Church click here.
  • View how we showed enough to hint at trails, hikes, and wildlife encounters while keeping it interesting in our designs for National Wildlife Federation’s Hike & Seek event by clicking here.
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With a passion for communicating through design and an OCD level of pixel-perfection, Hannah continually seeks to refine the poetry of her code.
October 14th, 2010 // // ,
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