1. Find out who the boss is?
Find out who makes the big decisions as they will be best placed to carry the corporate vision and to understand the brand personality, which is essential to successful design. Pin-pointing brand character traits early on will help give you direction and strategy.
2. An eye for detail
Don’t cut corners. Take your time and cast a keen eye over the tiny details. Watch out for typography basics like font pairing, leading, kerning and tracking. Make sure your resources are all licensed so that you don’t run into legal issues. Zoom right in on vector work to correct minor errors. Use grids and calculate margins and distances between design elements correctly. Check spelling & grammar and make it a habit to proof-read emails before sending them.
3. Capture the vision
Once you capture a project’s vision and resonate with the task at hand, you are more likely to produce a great piece of work. Visit the client’s premises, watch related videos and make yourself familiar with the brand, its vision and goals. Learn about their competition and look at the company history. Immerse yourself in their world and discover the passion that drives them.
4. Be younique, beyoutiful
Be careful not to plagiarise other people’s work. Be inspired, but don’t copy. Don’t be afraid to think laterally but on the other hand, don’t stray too far from the brief. If you don’t have a brief, then write one together with the client, detailing essentials such as target audience, timeframes and key expectations. A concise brief, that is consistent with a clear brand strategy, will help you to focus and save you valuable time.
5. Let it simmer before serving
Once your design is ready, take a step back and wait before clicking the “send” button. Ask others for feedback and leave it for a few days. Then, you are more likely to notice flaws. An interesting exercise is to take a look back at designs you have done in the past. Would you include them in your portfolio today? What would you change?