This is a guest post by Julian Hartley…

Gather All The Information You Need

For this to happen, you have to first discuss the basics with the client. You should ask questions like who is the target audience, what message needs to be transmitted, how many pages and what dimensions the layout should have.

It’s always useful to ask for an example of previous designs similar to the one he needs now. Still, note that this can limit your creativity. In the end, it’s up to you if you ask for a sample or not.

Don’t forget to talk about budget and deadlines. If you want a good work relationship, pay attention to these aspects because they are important too.

Create An Attractive Website Presentation

Let’s assume you have to design a website. If you have to create business cards or posters, we are talking about a one-page layout and it’s a lot simpler. However, the same steps are to be followed, since only the complexity of the project changes.

Graphic Design Strategies 101

Graphic Design Strategies – Example Designs

Now that you know how many pages it should have, think about how they can be linked together. You can opt for a linear, a hierarchic or a random navigation structure.

Next, visualize. How could you make the site look the way your client wants and still use your sense of creativity? Imagine each section of the site starting with the position of elements on the main page.

Think about where the menu bar would look best. It may be horizontal at the top or vertical on the right or left side. Decide where you will put banners and advertisements. Think about colors and formats. Should you use bold headings colored in red or it would be better to use more calm tones like green and blue?

It always helps to translate your thoughts on paper. So, draw a sketch and add details along the way. You will be erasing, so use a pencil. After you got your first draft, wait for a day or two before reviewing it. You will certainly get new ideas of how things can be put together. A fresh perspective is what you need to improve your work.

Bring It All Together

Graphic design projects aren’t simply a creative endeavor. While you may have been chosen because of your eye for creativity and detail, it ultimately is still a business transaction. Graphic design projects require structure as well. The most basic outline should include the purpose of the site, the targeted audience, a general layout, a color scheme and navigation structure.

About the Author: Julian Hartley consults on corporate branding and graphic design projects.

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