The Design Process: No Project Is The Same

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt from my 10 years in the design industry it’s that no project is the same.

I feel like some clients can sometimes interpret the design process as something that it isn’t. Some common misconceptions from clients are:

-      It only takes an hour or two to create a logo.

-      A website is something that is templated and therefore quick to create.

-      It’s a simple design so it must be quick to create.

-      You just draw pictures and colour in shapes… But I think that’s just how most people view designers.  

It’s odd how these misconceptions mainly boil down to how much time we as designers put into each project isn’t it?

The truth is that no design project is the same. And good design takes time.

That stripped back logo that looks like just simple shapes and a bit of text? (Which is totally my style of logo design). That took a good week or so to create. Rigorous research, typography treatments, colour scheme tests went into its creation. Not to mention the 10 years of training and real word design experience of course.

As experienced designers, it’s our job to put out the best work possible in order to tell the story of the client’s brand. And pulling a design ‘off the shelf’ should never be an option.  

Take this example from a recent client project of mine. They may not look it but these 4 logo concepts took more than a full business week to produce. And they’re not even finalised or polished up yet.


I can roughly break down this particular project timeline so far:

Day 1: Research

Day 2: Research & rough sketches (pencil and paper)

Day 3: More rough sketches & typography research

Day 4: Initial digital designs from sketches. Roughly 12 initial designs produced.

Day 5: Initial designs are whittled down to finalised designs

Day 6: Finalised designs are tweaked, and presented to client.

No project is the same, and therefore the outcome of each project shouldn’t be either.

Enjoyed this article? Here's more for you.

How I'm Coping With 'Lockdown' As A Freelancer
Who would have seen this coming? I'm writing this after 47 days of lockdown in the UK (not that I'm counting). I know that there are much bigger issues at this time but I thought I'd share my experiences as a self-employed person during these troubling times.
Read more
Pine Turns 4: The Highs and Lows of Being a Freelancer
It’s been 4 years since I stopped working for a design agency and started working for myself as a freelance designer. It was one of the biggest decisions that I’ve made in terms of my working life, but strangely at the time it didn’t seem too daunting.
Read more