One of my favorite parts of being a designer is learning about new industries. Each new project brings something new to the table and keeps me on my toes for what’s to come. Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of clients and learn about their various industries. Some of the these include banking, industrial screen manufacturing, aircraft title insurance, colleges, athletes, drones, agricultural lime, digital security, land management, painting solutions, and hospitality.
Sometimes we hear the phrase, “make something pretty,” which, to us, is a cringeworthy request. A good designer’s ideology is centered around creating and solving visual solutions, whether that’s through branding, web, or social media. By telling us to just make something look “good” is a disservice to both of us. We want to know what the existing problem is, why you came to us in the first place, and what the expectations are. It is only after we get a full understanding of our task that we can begin and complete it successfully.
At the beginning of each project, our team meets with the client to review questions about the project and their company. As a designer, this research stage is imperative for creating a unique and well-executed solution. To help with this process, liquidfish has been refining its own process and has included multiple questionnaires (called “client briefs”) based on each specific project. It may seem like a lot of questions, but they help us acquire a better, more complete understanding of the client, including their business, personality, and market. Having this information before we begin our work provides us with a solid knowledge base and narrows our focus, which gives us the tools we need to provide the best solution(s).
An example of a successful "discovery" phase that resulted in a well-thought-out and well-executed design that met the client's needs is AIC Title Service. The partnership created between agency and client was developed through several meetings and office visits, which allowed us to fully understand their unique traits, needs, and preferences.
The more we know, the more effective we can be at our job. We value this discovery time with clients and believe, in the end, it will save both of us time and money. When a better understanding and relationship is built between us, a better end result is created and is something both parties can be proud of.