Having not been formally trained in graphic design, I am always curious about other designers’ process . Some years ago, I was sure I was actually not a good designer because I had a hard time coming up with ideas and implementing them. Then I read an article by Cameron Moll entitled “Good designers copy, great designers steal.” The main point is that being a good designer often means “stealing” the inspiration from another piece of work. What a relief! I didn’t have to come up with all original ideas after all.

So, what is my process?

The first thing I do is make sure I have as much information about what the client is expecting as possible. I want to know what kind of image they are trying to project; what is the main message they want to get across? Next, unless I do truly have an original idea, I will go looking around the internet and maybe the library for inspiration. I check my del.icio.us bookmarks for sites that I have run across in the past and made a note of. For example, I was recently inspired by a book from the library about engraved letterheads from the first part of the last century, and redesigned my personal blog.

That’s the inspiration part of it. Over the next couple of posts I’ll flesh out the rest of the design process.