Quite often when someone new gets in touch it’s because they want to find out about my process when working on an illustration brief. So, I thought it might be useful to put it all down in a blog post, giving new clients a better idea what to expect when they work with me.
Step 1: discovery meeting
Before I begin working on a brief, I always recommend having a discovery meeting. This is where I can find out more about your brand and the project you would like me to be involved in. So far these have all been done online, which works well time wise, but I’m very much looking forward to having some face-to-face meetings very soon.
The main aim of this meeting is for me to get the best understanding I can of your business. So, I’ll ask questions about your brand values, personality, tone of voice, message and the target audience. I then ask about the aims of the particular project, this could be to educate prospective customers about a particular service in an easy-to-understand way, to give the brand more personality and presence on social media, or to make a printed document more visually appealing.
It’s also important at this stage for you to let me know about any other things which I need to consider. You might have brand guidelines you would like me to follow, a colour palette to incorporate or if you have any examples of designs you do or don’t like you could show me them at this stage as well.
Once I’ve got a good understanding then we can discuss timelines and the format most suitable for you to work with and I’ll always let you know what the next steps are and when you can expect to receive my initial ideas, which takes us nicely onto step 2.
Step 2: moodboard and initial idea sketches
I love a moodboard, I think it goes back to my college days. I find it’s a really good way to get across ideas, thoughts and style references. I always like to start a new project by pulling together images that inspire me as it really helps when I’m working on my initial ideas, and I find it’s a really good way to show clients my thought process.
I also use them to make colour palette suggestions, whether it’s using your existing palette with the suggestion of a few extra colours that might be used sparingly to make the design pop or coming up with something completely new. I especially love the effect using just 3 or 4 colours has on my illustrations making them really impactful and giving lots of stand out.
When I’ve finished pulling these together the next step is to get my pencils and sketch book out. I find this is the best way to get my initial ideas down and over to you for feedback. It’s also much quicker if any changes are needed or any other details need to be included, I can quickly get these done and back to you for approval.
Step 3: illustration
Once you’re happy with my sketches, style suggestions and colour palette it’s time for me to work my magic in Adobe Illustrator and get started creating your illustration. If your project involves creating a series of illustrations, I’ll usually send you the first one over to check you’re happy with the style before I do the rest. I like to keep clients updated on my progress and give them an idea of when they can expect to see the final design.
Then it’s the exciting (and a bit nerve wracking) time in-between me sending you the illustration and waiting for your feedback.
Step 4: feedback and supplying final artwork
Hopefully because of the process we’ve worked through, there shouldn’t need to be any major changes, but I always factor in time for tweaks. Then once you’re happy with illustration I’ll get it over to you in the format you need for your project.
I hope this has helped, I am very flexible in my approach and more than willing to work in a way that suits the particular project. But quite often if it’s the first time someone has briefed an illustrator, they will ask me to suggest a way of working. It’s been a bit of trial and error over the first 13 months of running my business, but this is the process I’ve found seems to work best so far.
If you’d like to find out more or have a particular project in mind I’d love to hear from you. Here’s a link to my portfolio if you’d like to see some of the illustration projects I’ve completed so far.