Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
digitalkiwi

So - how do YOU start the creative process?

Recommended Posts

Just wondering if anyone has any interesting links/comments for describing the "best practice" for the process/workflow in regards to motion graphics?

 

ie. (taken from http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/02/01/logo-design-process-of-top-graphic-designers/ -- in relation to designing a logo)

 

1. Design Brief: Conduct Questionnaire or Interview with client to get the design brief.

2. Research: Conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.

3. Reference: Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.

4. Sketching & Conceptualising: Develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and research.

 

Just wondering what kind of questions you would ask your clients to extract the information you need to go forward with conceptualizing?

When you start forming an idea, what are your fundamentals when starting to develop a piece - do you use the brand, develop a story or is it a problem and answer approach?

Do you use the graphic design model and develop static graphics first then move into storyboarding?

 

I guess its the part agencies play before farming out to motion professionals, developing and selling the idea. There are now a lot of independent motion artists out there bypassing the agency and speaking directly to clients, thought I would start a discussion on what happens before you put the latest tutorial to use and how you could see the bigger picture and create some original content that works/sells...

 

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've got the right idea but there's not really a definitive list of questions to ask clients. It all depends on the project, the client, their needs and your experience. What's likely to happen is you get your first project, you ask not enough questions or the wrong questions and when you get into the project you are kicking yourself and/or making a hundred rounds of revisions. Next time you learn from those mistakes and ask more of the right questions but overlook others. After a few dozen times going through the process you get better at asking the questions you need to get the job done with minimal pain.

 

R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with RVA8 in that a lot of this stuff just comes with experience. Other than the basics like budget and delivery format, etc. there's not really a standard set of questions that will always catch everything you need. Every project is unique and so the creative process needs to be unique for every project. If you could apply the same process to every project then it wouldn't really be all that creative and it could easily be automated, or at least fulfilled by less creative and cheaper staff, right?

Sometimes a client's needs will demand heavy research into a specific brand identity or logo, sometimes a project will call for a dense narrative and story development. Look at every project as a unique opportunity to listen to the client's needs and do something different than what you did last time. It's what they pay you the big bucks for, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally prefer to be naked when working, its amazing what happens when inspiration strikes...

 

Thanks for your comments,

 

Assuming the client comes via a 3rd party making it hard to ask the right questions, and the client has little to no budget to play with. I'm currently trying to educate the 3rd party but keep finding myself hitting my head against the wall. I thought I would share this experience with the community.

 

Most of the work is broadcast TVC - 15/30 sec and as mentioned low budget - 2/3 days work at most. Usually the clients don't supply too much - maybe a few photos, a logo if we are lucky we are able to go and shoot some footage - I like to think of it as glorified PowerPoint sometimes! aghh

 

When you have nothing to work with you revert to the basics - the building blocks trying to find inspiration and insight, I find myself following a very similar formula that I mentioned above.

 

"2. Research: Conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors."

"3. Reference: Conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief."

 

I also try to get inspiration from the brand (most have no guidelines) but if you have no starting point then this is a logical place to start.

 

I think the next thing to do is ask the question "What category/s is this TVC/motion piece?" (Branding, Selling, Communication, Story, Emotional, Informative) (feel free to add yours here)

Once that is defined the next question would be "What is your message/emotion you want to convey/evoke?"

 

This is the point where the magic starts - the idea... the creative design process - you have done your research, got your message (including the little resources the client supplied and access to stock photography/etc)- now you have to lay that egg...

 

This is the point I wonder how everyone fleshes out ideas - do you start scribbling, do you jump right in and start blocking stuff out, do you mind map, throw key words at a whiteboard, right a script - follow one of the 7 story templates, go off looking at mograph and design, pull apart the logo, drop in a few photos with music underneath...

 

Sorry for the wayward thinking here - just throwing it out there... the creative thought process is different for everyone and can be elusive at times - I find that the idea is usually formed when swimming amongst the details but not hanging onto anything in-particular.

 

Again would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the most important thing when dealing with direct to client is to make sure they understand very clearly, early on, what they will be getting and in what increments (how many comps, how many revision/signoff stages) and the process therein (ie. naive client panicking when they see a wireframe anim or storyreel), and when all the increments will occur and what their feedback deadlines are that missing them will compromise anything after that.

 

all this should be sent to them explicitly in an email after you meet and agree with everything, along with proclamations that particular signoffs or milestones have been achieved. when it comes down to the nitty gritty 11th hour this can make the difference between you eating the extra (and absurd) revisions versus you getting paid overages for it.

 

all that other creative process stuff varies wildly depending on the client, the schedule, the budget and how you yourself work best. if they're expecting a dog & pony show beyond a clear path to delivery, then i hope they're paying you for all those pets and livestock. hope this somehow helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to look up "Dog and Pony" thought it might have been a cockney thing - interesting analogy and thanks for the comments (on a personal note maybe its the constraints of the budget and time that's driving me to streamline the creative process and grow bald...)

 

Found this article on the brainstorming process.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Need-to-Know---Brainstorming-For-Film,-Motion-Graphics-and-Animation---Tips-and-Advice&id=4492068

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the most important thing when dealing with direct to client is to make sure they understand very clearly, early on, what they will be getting and in what increments (how many comps, how many revision/signoff stages) and the process therein (ie. naive client panicking when they see a wireframe anim or storyreel), and when all the increments will occur and what their feedback deadlines are that missing them will compromise anything after that.

 

all this should be sent to them explicitly in an email after you meet and agree with everything, along with proclamations that particular signoffs or milestones have been achieved. when it comes down to the nitty gritty 11th hour this can make the difference between you eating the extra (and absurd) revisions versus you getting paid overages for it.

 

all that other creative process stuff varies wildly depending on the client, the schedule, the budget and how you yourself work best. if they're expecting a dog & pony show beyond a clear path to delivery, then i hope they're paying you for all those pets and livestock. hope this somehow helps.

 

^^^^^THIS THIS THIS

 

I am learning the hard way that vagueness in the initial brief can bite you in the ass hard later on. Milestones are a must. I am just finishing up a remote gig with a client that's only after a month moving beyond concepting phase. And I'm taking a financial hit in continuing to work on it. Fault was a mixture of them not making up their minds/taking forever to come back with feedback on drafts. If I had put solid milestones in place, the overages would have helped keep them in line. Next time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^^^THIS THIS THIS

 

I am learning the hard way that vagueness in the initial brief can bite you in the ass hard later on. Milestones are a must. I am just finishing up a remote gig with a client that's only after a month moving beyond concepting phase. And I'm taking a financial hit in continuing to work on it. Fault was a mixture of them not making up their minds/taking forever to come back with feedback on drafts. If I had put solid milestones in place, the overages would have helped keep them in line. Next time...

 

Not Spam:

 

Something that I use that can help create/enforce tangible milestones and other process related stuff is Basecamp HQ. The base package ($24 a month) is adequate for most everyone on these boards and really helps me keep the back-and-forths tidy and on track. Plus, it's stupid simple to use and navigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly - i don't even read briefings from tv networks any more: most of the time they take five full pages to tell you how cool and premium they are (even if they are a crappy home shopping station) but you won't find any real infos about the project itself. Maybe except deadline (a.s.a.p.) name (t.b.a.) and format (16:9 centercut safe, SD but resizable to HD, progressive fields).

 

I remember maybe two decent briefings in more than 10 years of broadcast design. So i usually just start doing something, that i think might fit the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...