Poster Design Project Process

Happy New Year 2020!

My plan this year is to post projects, design thoughts, commentary, observations and any related ideas I think might be relevant to the Graphic Design field, design students, or anyone wondering how Graphic Designers work or what they do.
Feel free to comment and add feedback to any of my posts. I welcome any and all dialog.


Italian Film Festival USA Poster Design 2020  - Design Process

So I have commited to doing the 2020 version of the poster, having completed one for the 2019 Festival. I decided to do this Pro Bono/In kind project after attending a number of the films in Detroit and noticed on the intro trailers they had a call for a volunteer to design the poster. I was also inspired by my trip to Sicily in 2017, which still was fresh in my mind since I was doing watercolors, collage and illustrations from photographs I had taken while there, so I had Italy on my mind.

As I began my thought process for this years design, reviewing poster design books, web ideas, and going back to what I had researched and collected last year, I had a thought:

I should show my process on this project since I had done extensive preliminary design research towards my final solution and that this would be great to show students in my Graphic Design classes the process of a project in another way.

The 7 Steps of a Professional Design Process

Step 1 – Study the Client Brief
Step 2 – Research, Research, Research
Step 3 – Brainstorm
Step 4 – Sketch
Step 5 – Concept Development
Step 6 – Revisions
Step 7 – Completion

Design Process is always a challenge to teach and get students to understand well, whether I have had students who have a history of creativity and skills, or those just starting out. Showing examples and lecturing about the importance of doing idea sketches beforehand has always been tough to get across. Requiring them as part of their graded projects and by supplying sheets with thumbnail boxes and a minimum 8-10 quantity is always a challenge, but has helped them to understand the importance of the early process. Most only do the minimum or barely complete them all. I also get many of the "I can't draw" complaints.
I know they are excited to jump into Illustrator or Photoshop. The use of the computer and all of the drawing apps are super, but "are only tools" as us design educators like to quote.
I also thought showing this process here would be good for clients, potential clients, or anyone else considering hiring a graphic designer and wondering how some of us work. 

My website doesn't always show process or design thinking unfortunately, and not all projects are represented - like my use of the Fibonacci Sequence on an annual report for example, or layout grid concepts by Emil Ruder  I referenced on a brochure or two, as another example.

Perhaps this image will help.