Is design your hobby?
No. Design is my passion. I graduated from McKenzie College with a certificate from the Visual Arts Foundation program and a Graphic Design diploma. I learned website development and construction through McKenzie’s graphic design curriculum.
What software do you use?
I use the industry standard – Adobe Creative Cloud – including Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
I also have access to Microsoft Office products for documents, slide shows and and the like.
What computer do you have?
I use an older model of MacBook Pro 12,1 with macOS 10.14.1 installed.
Taking some time to plan out your idea can make everything go smoother and faster. Some helpful things to know are:
- A profile of your target audience including: gender, age, marital status, income, general health, location, and any other piece of information that could be linked to your product or service.
- What problem you are trying to solve for your consumer or how you can make something easier for them.
- Any results from tests that you may have performed such as product reviews.
- Names of your competitors ( if any ) and any information about what they offer.
- A comparison of your product or service to a competitor ( what does your thing do better and why would someone choose yours over theirs and vice versa ).
- A list of some similar designs that you seen and liked.
- Will your project be for print, on the web, for an application or for everything?
- Do you have any sketches or a list of ideas that you would like to see fit into your idea?
To better understand what you are looking for, some questions I may ask are:
- What are your designs going to be used for? ( wedding, birthday, etc. )
- Are there any similar designs you have looked at and liked or disliked?
- What colours do you like and why?
- Are you going to be printing anything or are they going to be used on the web?
- Do you have any sketches of the idea you have?
While every design is different there are similar tasks and goals that I do. This becomes my process, the inner workings of design.
This is the most important step because without it, we would just be creating art that does’t really fit with your vision. It’s important for me to get a good understanding of what your project and business is.
Looking at similar designs
I almost always ask if there are any similar designs that you may have seen. If you haven’t found any I will look at some and go over them with you. The reason for this is not to copy the designs but to understand what direction you want to go.
As designers we are trained to understand why you might like something, even if you don’t know why yourself. We look at the similarities and differences between each shown design and take note of them.
Having a solid foundation of planning and thought is the base for any strong design. This part can be about many things including:
- looking at similar businesses doing similar things
- understanding a customers buying habits
- finding information about how others might experience your product.
- Turning words into icons
- jotting down notes
- picking apart information
But the main goal here is to farther understand the best way to make your needs met.
With all of our questions answered and data, it would then be time to start sketching out basic ideas for your project. Evaluating every possible solution and taking note of what works well and what doesn’t. I break down each section of your project into it’s own part and come up with a concept. With at least a few sketchbook pages drawn and scribbled on, I pull the best out of each idea into the most perfect concept.
I then take those plans and pull it into a digital environment like Adobe Illustrator to fine-tune and perfect. It is also within the digital environment that I start working on values, shades, and colours to fit with your project.
Before going any farther, I schedule a follow up presentation to come back with some results and solutions. I walk you through any examples of things that you showed me and we take a look at what things you may like. Then I switch over to the concept and show it to you in both mockup form and the raw working files. The mockups are to show you what your design could look like if it were made to be real. The working files are shown in order to give you the whole picture.
During the presentation I would invite you to give feedback and to request edits or changes. It is important to note that you should feel comfortable letting me know that something isn’t quite right. It’s my job to take the idea from your head and make it real, so If I’ve got something wrong, let me know so I can make the proper adjustments.
I will also tell you why I chose to make a certain design based decision and if you still wish to make the change, I will certainly do that for you. Sometimes presenting and multiple rounds of edits are required to make a solid project, thats ok!
Making it real
After you are satisfied with the work, you can have the design in whatever format you choose. If I’m required to be in the process of printing, developing or otherwise creating your project, then we can move onto that part.
Every case is different and payments can be arranged depending on your project and circumstances. If you wish to work with me I usually require a deposit and a signed contract, especially if we have never worked together before.
The word contract can be a scary word to some but we are most likely going to be strangers from the internet. A contract covers what the project is, who either party is, what the payment arrangement will be, estimated time, and other things about the project. Both people are protected.
*The scheduler will check your timezone which you can change. zjFineDesign is located in New Brunswick, Canada.