There are as many different ways to approach a creative design project as there are designers who might work on it. But they will all tend to have one thing in common. They’ll see the project as a problem and the design they are crafting as a solution. This is the reason professional graphic design studios add value, and it is why graphic design services can elevate the end result of a project to something greater than the sum of its parts. So, how does a solution-oriented approach to creative design make such a difference? It’s simple really. It allows the designer to dispense with the usual constraints of standard practices and procedures and focus on an underlying goal. When one understands what they’re really trying to accomplish, achieving it becomes much easier. It’s a “being able to see the forest for the trees” sort of thing.
Now, it may seem that everyone already understands what they’re trying to accomplish. After all, isn’t the end goal of any enterprise pretty much self-evident? Not as much as you might think. For example, let’s say you run a successful company that wants to expand into a new market. You’ve been very good at serving your existing customers, and you want to get that message across to potential customers so they will do business with you.
Sounds straightforward enough—but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The real goal of this “expand into a new market” project is not to tell potential customers how good you are at what you do, but to actually convince them to do business with you. Those are two very different things that require different strategies and tactics. And, it’s the sort of thing that becomes clear when you focus on coming up with an actual solution to a clearly defined problem.
Let’s get back to this idea of graphic designer’s math and how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. What’s the extra bit that gets thrown in? Plainly stated, it the creative nature of the design process and the ideas that are generated as part of it. Keep in mind that designers are a different sort of lot. They enjoy engaging with a thorny problem, and become personally invested in coming up with an elegant solution. They aren’t so much interested in how something has usually been done in the past as they are in the best way to do it now. And, contrary to what you may think, they very much care about effectiveness and results. Isn’t that what solutions are all about?
This is not to deny the fact that creativity blossoms in a great many, if not all, professions. Good accountants and lawyers are creative in their work and achieve outstanding results. But it’s different with the work of designers. Accountants and lawyers typically don’t have to figure out what they are trying to accomplish. Designers, on the other hand, usually have to define exactly what the problem is that needs solving. They seek answers to questions that haven’t been asked yet.
Whether you realize it or not, when you give a project to a graphic designer, you are asking for a certain amount of exploration and innovation. Understanding that, and even expecting it, can add immeasurably to the effectiveness of the work. You may end up with a blockbuster idea, or you may get something that’s off the mark. After all, no one is on-target one hundred percent of the time. But the takeaway is that if you don’t work with and listen to someone who has the ability to analyze problems from a strategic point of view and apply creativity in crafting and executing a solution, you will never rise above the middle of the pack, or have even the possibility of achieving excellence.