Understanding the creative service provider's approach to an assignment is a valuable way to begin any project. So should the provider fully understand the job originator's information. Because such knowledge will greatly streamline the working relationship between them. This section describes how Andy Attiliis approaches creativity and gathers focused data that will result in a successful message. It shows how up front attention to detail can ensure a highly efficient flow of work.
creative direction, art direction, design, writing, production and image making
To varying degrees, the development of nearly every visual communication requires the performance of at least 6 creative tasks. Everything from a flyer to a Web site design needs creative direction, art direction, design, writing and production. Image making, usually in the form of illustration and/or photography, is the optional, but irresistable ingredient. It is seldom left out because of picture's potential ability to vastly increase readership and listening.
Like some other independent design professionals Andy Attiliis' experience has come full circle. His work history includes a professional background in all 6 creative disciplines. This has enabled him to perform most, if not all creative requirements on a great many projects. Even when Andy is assigned just one facet of a project, such as illustration, the balance of his expertise is ever present. It is not unusual for him to suggest a headline alternative, style adjustment, color change or other refinement that might better support the message.
gathering the right information
The completion of a job information form(jif) is a convenient way to consolidate all of the pertinent data from both the provider and originator into one manuscript so that everyone's focus is the same. It works particularly well as a guide through the the initial creative phase and as a reinforcer of the initial goals at the presentation and finish stages.
Andy uses 3 types of jif forms to learn about a client's past efforts and future requirements. The jif for design covers what's needed for the development of most projects from start to finish. It provides for his contribution to concept, design, writing, illustration and production in a variety of combinations. The jif for illustration more specifically addresses illustration and photo montage. The jif for writing is geared toward the development of headlines and short copy assignments such as ads and brochures. Each of the jif forms is divided into two parts: approach lists the steps to be taken by the provider during the creative process. It describes the order and manner in which materials will be presented to the client within a timeline and furnishes links to samples of like projects. client information facilitates gathering the client's input by prompting type of work, target audience, goals, suggested tone and providing a list of possible relevant materials. Such materials might include existing design samples, images, logos, symbols, graphic standards manual, copy points and a main competitor's sample which parallels the job to be done.
good information protects both brand and investment
Once the information has been gathered, consistency of language, look, tone, style and emphasisis can begin. Serious attention paid to these details will make it easier for a viewer understand the client's particular style of messaging. Because the more an audience sees an entity displaying the same traits, the sooner credibility and empathy are established. And as characterisitics are tailored to a specific audience or mindset, over time, an ever growing number of people will take notice and positively react. The right information also enables an experienced creative provider to initiate new conceptual excitement while preventing a change that is too radical. One that could lose prospects that are close to taking the desired action. Even when performance has not met expectations, the initial investment and campaign should not be written off too quickly. A better solution would be to salvage recognizeable ingredients from prior efforts such as the type family and dominant color combination. So that a gradual transformation into a new look can be made without sacrificing existing momentum.
Job originators who realize the success that can be achieved through branding, make sure it is furthered in all aspects of every message. In cases where consistency has not yet been implemented, they know that awareness of its value can be developed and built upon the platform of a single well-executed communication. Those who change creative direction with each new exposure lose, rather than build upon the value gained from their prior effort. Only household names with budgets that deliver a continuous stream of global communication can afford a variety of directions. In general, small and mid sized companies who jump from theme to theme will realize little brand awareness and diminished value from their promotional efforts.