creative / direction / design

the creative process

creative direction

I kick off each project with a meeting where I assemble a team of skilled creative professionals to discuss the project background, audience, and goals. Next I conduct research. This is extremely important because it helps me understand your organization, your audience, your competition, and ultimately, your message.

keyword, competition, and style research

keyword, competition, and style research

graphic design

I work together to transform your project specs and their research into mood boards, sketches, draft layouts, and finally a comprehensive direction (a comp) of developed concepts for the design. Comps are draft versions so they sometimes use placeholder “dummy” text to fill space and low resolution, watermarked, or pixelated images.

I typically send several comps, per your budget, to give you a choice of direction — once you choose one we stick with it and revise until it’s completely polished. Usually three rounds are sufficient; each round is a back-and-forth between us with your design and content revisions.

Do you still want to revise after the number of rounds in the Project Budget? That’s fine, but note that extra rounds will be billed at an additional hourly rate.


Once you’re satisfied, I prepare the files and send them to production. For print, this could mean formatting and packaging files to send to your selected printer or ordering prints to be shipped to you. For digital, this could mean exporting a finished PDF presentation for distribution or taking a website live.

final presentation and formatting

final presentation and formatting

Types of Specs
It’s a good idea to get the specs finished before starting because if they change it may result in added work to reformat designs.

For Print
  • Size, Measurements: I can make recommendations based on your budget.
  • Printing Process, Number of Colors, Special Printing Processes: How and where will it be printed? Do you need something like metallic foil, embossing, or die cutting?
  • Print Run: How many people will need it?
  • Number of Pages: I can help you decide if you’re not sure how to spread out information for the best results.
  • Extra Services Needed, Special Requests: Do you need custom photography or copywriting? Do you need a mailing service?
For Digital
  • Backend: Do you have a CMS, web host, and template picked out, or do you want our recommendations?
  • Site Map: Please provide a full list of all pages and sub-pages that will be contained in the site.
  • Advanced Web Options: Do you need fillable forms, e-commerce, advanced coding, HTML5 animation, RSS, etc.?
  • Presentations: instead of PowerPoint, do you have the option to use PDF or web-based animations?
Project Roadblocks
Here are some ways you can help us to minimize project roadblocks and keep the project quality high, on budget, and on time: