Now that we have covered the history and basics of Graphic Design, we are ready to explore the creative process! These lessons are intended for Grades 4-8, but could be adapted for other ages. I’ll be doing a separate post on each step, but for now, here's the overview.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Before you start any graphic design project, you need to understand what you are trying to communicate. This may come in the form of a "Creative Brief" from a client, in the form of an assignment from a teacher, or may originate with you! Whatever it is, we to answer the Who, What, Why, When, How of the project.
Brainstorm & Brainstorm Some Mo'
This is the most foundational part of the creative process. You may be a great artist, but if your design lacks planning and thought, it will never be anything extraordinary. Brainstorming is thinking of as many different ways to communicate your message as you possibly can. There are so many ways to do this, which I will cover later. For now, emphasize and re-emphasize how important this step is. Even when you THINK you have thought of everything, brainstorm some more and the really great ideas will start flowing. Now, you might meet resistance from your young designers. Even as adults, when we feel we have a great idea, we want to rush to see it to completion. Brainstorming requires patience and commitment. Once a student told me that it was “too hard”. I told him, “Yes, thinking IS hard. But it is good for you!”.
After you have thoroughly racked your brain for all of your great ideas, you can start putting them on paper and seeing what works and what doesn't. It can also be an extension of the brainstorming process, because once you start sketching ideas, you will probably think of a few new ones!
Ask for Feedback
If Graphic Design is all about communication, it is really important to make sure that people understand the message you convey. For small projects, the students individually ask for feedback of their thumbnails from their peers. For bigger projects, we sit in a circle and offer feedback as a group. I always explain to the kids that it is not enough to say “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. We need to explain what we like, or what we don’t. I also encourage them to get feedback outside the class, from other teachers, friends and family members.
Revise and Repeat
Once your students have received feedback from plenty of sources, they need to make changes based on that feedback. I say “Repeat”, because this may require additional brainstorming and additional feedback. For a big project, we should go through this process at least two or three times!
This is the time to get out your rulers! During the brainstorming process, don't be concerned with straight lines and perfect letters. But the final project should be our best. For an older class, this part might be done on the computer. Finally, its not just about the design looking nice, its also about presentation. Even an amateur design can look professional if it is presented well. So we will go over best printing practices and the basics of mounting our final project.
I've just given you a sneak peak of what is to come. Subscribe below to get future posts delivered right to your inbox.
Luke and I are married and have five little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, homeschooling and graphic design.
@thetypetree Instagram Feed