EMPATHY + CONCEPT + PROCESS = SOUND DELIVERY
One should always start the process of design by taking notice of their target demographic. You want to know who you are speaking to - therefore the key to a successful design product starts with empathy - understanding your audience. Empathy in the deliverable means you have a product that consumers will relate to. I tell all my design clients that “I am designing for the end-consumer though I am hired by the client”. If their consumers do not positively respond, my job is not fulfilled.
As a designer, it’s not enough just to be able to design it. You must be able to conceptualize it as well. Concept is the intersection between execution and eye-opening results. I come across designers who are amazing at execution. They become solid production designers able to help translate words into visuals. Then there are conceptual designers - those who can speak to a point better than they can design it. Through time production designers evolve into conceptual designers and own both traits to strengthen their design arm. This works both ways, conceptual designers pick up technical traits to become strong production designers as well.
The last part of this equation is Process. I am a very processed driven designer. School has taught me technical side of this process while real world work has taught me the application side of this processes. Sometimes, clients hire you just for your process so they can go through the journey with you to learn how you operate and adopt that into their methodology. I feel this is the most important part because it’s a combination of foundational research and fundamental question asking. Telling your client things they don’t know about themselves is very much aesthetics phycology. Lastly, I don’t sell my service. I sell what the client can do with their brand IF they use my service.