How is the foundation laid?
The first thing we do after being considered for a project is schedule a meeting between our creative team and your key staff to gather specific information about your needs and vision. We are interested not only in scheduling, budget and job specifications, but also in your preferences, target audience and objectives. And, of course, we will want to know all the user features and benefits of the product.
Although this process is somewhat time-consuming (we don’t like meetings any more than you do), it is also critically important. It will help you sharpen your focus and objectives, and it will help us ensure that what we produce is not only creatively excellent, but strategically targeted.
How do we best develop the right ideas?
Despite popular misconceptions, good creative work doesn’t often come in a flash of inspiration; usually it comes from lots of trial and error. This is why we also need to take the time to consider several approaches (concepts), work them through, and try them out. Then revise them. In addition, there are usually some practical and functional ends we need to tie up before submitting our ideas—subcontractor availability, printing estimates, scheduling requirements, etc.
All this, plus the need to schedule our workflow in a business-like fashion, means that we normally ask for up to two weeks, depending on the job’s complexity, before we submit our rough approaches (concepts) for your review. Of course, if you have a rush project or deadline pressure we adjust our workflow and timing accordingly.
It is our experience that it is best if we first present our rough concepts to your project manager and just one or two others. This ensures that we all stay focused on the project and are not distracted by too many personal opinions. Our rough concepts consist of 2-5 sketches (depending on the complexity of the project) along with an overview of the development process & marketing strategy. They are adequate to convey what we believe is the best approach to take, taking into consideration your budget, schedule, objectives, and preferences. On the other hand, they are not so well-developed as to waste time and effort if we need a course correction.
After presenting, we’ll ask for comments. The more objective and specific you can be, the better we will be able to respond. Comments are our input for revising the rough concepts into a finished one. Revision normally takes us about a week, and we schedule a second presentation shortly thereafter.
From the input at the second presentation meeting further minor refinements are made as necessary. We also finalize the production timetable, and the scheduling of additional services such as photography, illustration, printing, etc.
How to make sure you are satisfied with your art?
We recommend the finished layout be routed to the appropriate decision makers for fact and detail checking only, reserving stylistic and subjective decisions to your project manager. To avoid costly confusion, it is also important that all communication with us come from the project manager.
During the course of the project we keep your project manager informed of our progress. Activities that will affect the schedule or budget are identified in writing. Our goal is to keep your project moving ahead quickly, and cost-effectively; to make sure that we’ll produce even better results than you hired us for.