working from the ground up
Working in a creative environment could easily be a full day of play. Artists’ are stereotypically notorious for being the antithesis of “business minded”. There is a fine line between the left and right brain – but oftentimes the two can be like oil and water. They don’t mix. Unless you shake them together vigorously for awhile. Then they bubble and look like a chemistry experiment – only to separate again after a few moments anyway. But you get the idea.
helium creative has found that laying solid groundwork from the infant stages of a task will result in the long-term success of a project. This process will also help to build a healthy relationship between you and your client. Setting a solid foundation from the very beginning will ensure that your projects run smoothly, as well as cut down on unnecessary time spent on both sides.
What are we Doing?
The first thing you want to do is describe the overall project. Keep it short and focused, while making sure everyone involved is on the same page.
Clearly define 2-3 desired outcomes of the project, if these can be measured somehow that is ideal. Setting goals will give the creative team the ability to focus any message on obtaining these results.
Schedule and budget
Without an idea of certain parameters you cannot be expected to meet the clients expectations. You can accomplish this by establishing a rough budget and determining realistic due dates.
Who Are We Doing This for?
Probably the most important question you need to ask is, “Who are we targeting?” This question will allow you to take a better look at who is going to be seeing the piece you are creating and make it work for that demographic. You need to know
a. What motivates this person to follow through with the call to action of the piece
b. What are some issues faced by this particular group of people that we could possibly solve in our messaging
c. What are their demographics, age gender, etc.
What are we trying to SAY with this piece.
This question is very different than determining an objective. Instead you are trying to make an emotional connection through the creative that will help obtain those goals. You want to provide useful information that will support a decision to act on the call to action and accomplish the goals of the piece.
Call to action
It is important to always have a call to action on every piece created for it to be successful. From the very beginning of a project, once you have determined the goals, you must determine the action that will be taken. Will someone need to call a phone number, visit a location, check your website or submit something to an email address? Will you be offering an incentive to entice people to actually follow through with this action? Determining these actions from the start will help ensure the success of the project.
When getting information on a new project, knowing how it will be used and/or viewed is important. Is this for the web? Will it be printed? What format is needed? Some things to ask when considering the creative are:
a. Where will this be used?
b. Are there any specific layout guidelines to be considered [for example USPS guidelines for postcards]
c. Is there a certain tone to keep in mind that resonates with brand guidelines?
d. Are there specific visuals that need to be included [color palette, iPhone screens, etc]
What supporting information do we need for the job?
c. Brand Guidelines where applicable
d. Legal considerations
Once you have these items clearly defined and available to everyone involved you can ensure that your project will run smoothly. Collecting this information may seem tedious at the beginning but you will appreciate the time spent down the line!