student-run marketing firm at Stephens College, Columbia, MO


Our Creative Process



If I am designing for a client I almost always do research into the client or business before we ever meet to discuss the project or do the intake interview. I love doing this because it gives me a heads up of what to expect, what I’m looking for, questions to ask and a better understanding of the issues the client may be facing and how I can help solve the problem. My first step is researching what designs have already been done, what competitors are doing and how best to convey the message the client is trying to achieve. This is also where I get most of my inspiration, I make a mood board of what I like and take note of things that are overdone or don’t work. This is also where I get most of my inspiration, I make a mood board of what I like and take note of things that are overdone or don’t work. Through this, I begin to get ideas and extremely roughly sketch them out. Once I have a decent amount of sketches, this can be anywhere from 3-10 depending on the project, I begin weeding them out into my top one or a few. At this point, I move to the computer and begin laying the design out. Once settled into a design it is truly a matter of trial and error. I always keep in mind the intended message and make sure every aspect of the design has something to contribute to that intended message. Some questions I ask myself while designing are: Does kind of typeface matches the message? Am I designing or decorating? Why am I placing this in this particular spot? What are my three most important items? I always keep in mind my grid and basic design elements and principles. With these things in mind, I keep exploring until I have exhausted all logical options and developed a functional yet beautiful design.


My design process, I would say, is different then most. I first want to understand what is needed from me of the client. There is many ways one can go about getting information from the client. One being to host a intake sessions, this allows the client to sit down and talk to you about what is needed and expected. The second way is to do research and create briefs. Creative Briefs explain the SWOT analysis of a company and the product at hand.

Once I have a good feel for the product and the company, I began the ideation process. I do most of my idealization in my head while I am working on other tasks. I usually get my base idea quickly and then spend a ton of time perfecting and changing things that I could not see at first. When the concept is completed I flush it through on the computer. I start with grabbing all my pieces. I choose a color pallet and and insert into my Indesign document. Then if there is type involved, I will search and find fonts that I think match the design. From there I began with image tracing if there is any and gathering the rest of my essentials for the design. I enjoy listening to music during this process because it helps me maintain focus and a great attitude. It is easy to be stuck in designer’s block, that is why taking a break from the work is important.

When I feel that the work is good enough to show others, I ask for advice from co-workers and peers. This allows me to find small things in my design that need fixing to help improve it. Showing the client is always nerve racking for me, that is why I always prepare a set of points I would like to bring up and then drink water before talking. After the presentation to the client, one would make revisions if needed, and then send the design off for greatness.

The design process is not consistent and designers are always finding ways to improve or change how they go about things. You can not approach every design problem the same way, that is why we are creative thinkers.

Graphics and Copy by Rachel and Brynn

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