Everybody has a different creative process when dealing with creative challenges, and over the years I have honed a process that I find works well for my clients.
Rarely does a creative problem begin in a vacuum. Instead, it’s extremely helpful to take a look at what has been done in the past. Even with new businesses or new campaigns, some creative decisions have been made. Who made those decisions and why were they made? How do you feel about those decisions? In business terms, have they been successful or have they failed. With interactive projects, user data is usually scrutinized.
During this phase, we look at the intended audience, the company’s market and any unique creative challenges that will need to be overcome as part of the problem solving effort. Sometimes the research is quite straight-forward an analytical, and others it could be very a qualitative exploration of a concept. Ideally, some of the results of the audit would suggest areas where more knowledge might be required.
Every idea is sacred, no matter how impulsive it may seem at this phase. The brainstorming often takes a variety of formats, depending on what is the most appropriate for the project. Often times this is a mood board or a collection of visual artifacts, other times it is a group discussion where ideas are tossed around. Anything goes here, though, and ideas shouldn’t be constrained by the facts quite yet.
Here is where things really start to things really start to move. This is the stage where the quantitative data set out by the audit and the research lay the framework for the best results of the brainstorming. Sometimes concepts are presented in a rough format to capture the idea quite, and other they are more polished. The key aspect is that it should be quickly apparent what ideas could work, and what clearly isn’t the best way to proceed.
Creative problem-solving is a dialogue, not a dictation. Rarely is the solution arrived at from the first pass, and the result of the concept phase will sometimes bring about a shift in direction or a refinement of the process. Here the ideas are honed and the execution is brought closer to it’s final state.
After the final revisions, we should have a clear launch plan in place. Here we begin the process of executing on the ideas that have been the core of the solution. Whether it’s unveiling new Branding or launching a website, we make sure all the “t’s” are crossed and the “i’s” are dotted.
It may seem rather involved, but each step is critical to the creative process. Should any part of the process be neglected, the results will doubtless suffer, so I engage clients in every step of the process as much as possible. If you have questions about the process, feel free to get in touch.