Understanding the Design Process Pt. 2: An Interview with Our Creative Director - Astute Communications

We recently kicked off this three-part interview series with our Creative Director, Leanne Bridie, by introducing the design process. We discussed how design is more than just making something look pretty, what steps she takes before starting any project, where she draws inspiration, and what her creative process is. In part two of this interview, we’ll dive deeper into the design process, highlighting how it ties into branding and archetypal analysis for our clients.

To what degree are you involved in the conceptual and strategy phase?

Very involved. I work collaboratively with our clients and my team. This starts with a detailed discovery discussion with the client. We like to hear everything and anything they have to say about their business and brand. Once we’ve collected all we can through the discovery process, we talk internally between content and design to create an outline of our goals. We both work to outline and establish a direction for the project at all angles: user flow, information architecture, calls to action, storytelling, and future goals the project needs to keep room for to build on.

The process of concept through design is more internal. I research competitors and brands with similar goals and start to create a visual language that supports the brand’s character and values. This is a buildable process; I apply a few broad-spectrum style choices to the design draft and add/subtract until I have a living, breathing design with every inch or pixel considered. Good branding and design will speak for themselves. Even if you’re not a designer, a powerfully designed piece will adequately convey its message, allowing the user to detect high-quality work without even reading what the content says. A strong branding strategy defines the visual language, written language, and the relationship between the two to create a three-dimensional personality.

To what degree are you involved in the conceptual and strategy phase? - Astute Communications

How do you build your design thinking framework and the creative process around branding and archetypal analysis?

The archetypal analysis is an excellent tool for branding strategy through any project or touchpoint. It helps establish a rubric of traits and nuances to guide the brand as it takes form. Understanding each archetype is essential to using this branding strategy effectively. Many individual archetypes in a vacuum are portrayed in an oversimplified way that can damage messaging. We use the archetypes because they feel like people we’ve met and understand on a few levels. Successful brands have just as much dimension as people. 

Archetype GIF - Astute Communications

The Takeaway

The design process is heavily involved and helps their team uncover our clients’ brand personalities. From this process, they can create powerfully designed pieces that convey meaning and help tell their brand stories. 

Check back in two weeks for the final installment of this three-part interview series with Leanne. We’ll discuss what information is most valuable during the design process, what programs she uses, and how she works cross-functionally with our content team and developers to bring a project to life.