Strategy Before Design

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Strategy Before Design by Richard Baird

The most effective visual identities have the simplest solutions, draw together multiple themes and expressions across a variety of touch points and are derived from a solid strategy undertaken prior to putting pencil to paper.

I have frequently seen instinct rather than strategy lead the design process of a number of other freelance designers and wanted to use this article to highlight my own approach, identify why such a process is used by the big design firms and how it can be applied to smaller freelance projects.

By engaging a client in the process of strategy early on, a linguistic blueprint can be established to guide the design process, avoid superfluous detail and the personal preferences of both the designer or client, identify and avoid ineffective visual market clichés, save time, help to accurately price a project, justify your fee (through a tangible document) and, most importantly, deliver a relevant design solution.

I believe any freelancer who can develop and employ their own proprietary design strategy can match the services and quality of any design agency.

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