Our Graphic Design Process

In shops, streets, websites, television shows, even the front panel of a microwave, graphic designers affect how you look at and interact with the world. Graphic design is so ubiquitous it’s understandably hard to appreciate the time and effort which goes into creating even a simple leaflet. We at Tomate have produced many forms of appreciable graphic design through our joint history and the process detailed below has formed from that experience.

Discussion

What are we creating and the needs of the design

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This is essentially resolving a "Brief" of the job. What is the final item is to be? A banner, brochure, catalogue, presentation, advertising or combination of several items. The intended aesthetic, marketplace and purpose of the design are all addressed.

Initial Visuals

Deciding on the format, the look and production budget

Example of a graphic design process

Design consists not only of the visual aspect, but also the delivery medium. A brochure needs printed with costs varying tremendously depending on type of paper, size, page-count and inks used. We source suppliers and costs according to the needs of the production. After researching the market and customer-base we produce visual designs as sample layouts, a couple of page spreads or concepts for approach, typically formatted with Lorem Ipsum text and placeholder images.

Preparation

Maximizing value and optimizing delivery

Exampe of a graphic design process

A common mistake in design production is beginning work before all content is gathered and approved. A car can’t be built until all parts are ready for assembly, similarly a design will have a troubled production if the components are not ready to slot into place. Text, photography, illustrations and graphics should either be supplied by the client, or we source specialized photographers, writers and illustrators to create specific content. For larger brochures a keyframe document outlining the content of each page acts a pre-production guide to ensure that we're ready to begin artworking, this is key to keeping a design within budget and delivery schedule.

Design and Revisions

Down to the work of creating the design

Once everything is ready, artworking of the approved design begins. The tools used in design for print production are typically: Photoshop for editing photographic images, Illustrator, where complex graphics (and logos) are designed and Indesign is where everything is gathered to layout pages. We provide clients with an estimate of delivery time for the first draft, after which a few rounds of revisions and corrections are typical. A printed version of the document may be provided for checking revisions, though this process is now typically (and much more economically) handled electronically using PDFs and Acrobat.

Print Production and Delivery

Signing off on artwork and awaiting the final product

Once the document is felt to be complete and free of content errors, a final printed proof is provided. This is for the designer and printer to check and the client to sign-off as ready to print. Printers work to an agreed schedule; digital printing usually working on a day to day basis and is used for small numbers, litho-print is a much longer process, typically up to and over a week for a typical document.

Interested in having graphics designed?

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