The processes designers go through to create their work can vary wildly. One thing is for sure, you need a process.
I am not saying my process is the way to do things, but if you’re a beginning designer you may like somewhere to start. The first place you may want to begin is by planning. A designer can throw away hours without necessary planning.
When you are first hired by your client, it is a good idea to interview them, bring a list of questions relevant to the assignment. These questions will vary from project to project and client to client. When you come prepared to the client meeting, you won’t waste valuable time when pen contacts paper.
Before you can even think about sketching anything, you need to do copious amounts of research. Gathering information that is relevant to your client is one of the most important jobs a designer can do. The more places you can conduct the research portion of the process, the more capable you will be to find inspiration.
Don’t be too reliant on the internet.
Before the internet people found the information they needed in libraries. This is still true today, especially when researching the history of your client’s company. Most times you can find that information online, but a good resource is to find a well-researched article that’s written about your client’s company, from a reliable source.
Image searches are especially good to do, but can often yield irrelevant results. A good place to start is design blogs or design magazines. You’ll still find irrelevant information but the aesthetics alone will help you to start thinking in design-mode.
Finally, develop your concept, without a concept your design is empty and merely “pretty”. You want your design to be like a good movie people can view over and over and it is still fresh. This is called an iconic design. Striving to create an iconic design will help you aim high.
If you’re branding a client, keep in mind that they likely aren’t going to want to go through the process again for another decade or more. This is how you should approach every project. Practice safe design and think of a concept.