In our efforts to ‘communicate with bite’, we need to be creative and try to find new and fresh approaches to talk about our clients’ products and services. During the creative process, bad ideas and suggestions do not exist – all thoughts can in the end lead to a usable concept. However, in order to translate these ideas into an integrated communication mix, we work according to a clear and pre-defined workflow.
We believe that it is important for any company to have a workflow because it allows projects to run more smoothly and it provides transparency to all involved parties. It keeps the client in the loop by making him aware of the stage at which the project is and it helps each one of us to present a project in the same way and thus to have a unified voice. That is why, when starting any project, we go through a pre-established workflow.
Our workflow goes through 3 stages: creation, pre-production and production which are illustrated in the figure at the end of this post.
Before we can start the creative process, we first need to go through the “Brief”. This initial meeting where the client describes what they want, is obviously a key stage in every project. During the brief, we try to retrieve as much information as possible by asking key questions such as:
- What are the functional and technical requirements?
- Has a CMS been defined?
- Which content needs to be included?
- Will the website or brochure be used in 1 language or multiple languages?
- Are there any corporate guidelines which should be taken into account?
- Who will take care of hosting?
- What type of imaging do you want?
The questions will, of course, differ depending on the project. With that information in mind, we get back to the office and start the creative process.
The creation phase always starts with our ‘Creative Platform’. We define a project team and organize a meeting during which we start from the brief and try to come up with a suitable approach for the project.
Based on a thorough desk research and an analysis of the client’s requests, we define a strategy and come up with a concept proposal. Depending on the project, a rough structure will be created. The rough structure is then fine-tuned, a concept visual is created and a first layout proposal (in case of printed matter), wireframes (in case of a website) or storyboard (in case of an animation/video) are created for the most strategic screens, while taking the corporate identity guidelines into account.
Before we present the project to the client, a budget and timing estimate is created based on this first proposal. The project is then presented to the client.
Based on the client’s feedback, some of the steps in the creation phase can be adapted before going into the next phase. Once the project has been approved, we reach, what we call, the moment P; that is the moment when pre-production and production are put into action.
Upon the client’s approval on the general structure and general look and feel of the presented project, we start the pre-production phase. It is during this phase that your project really takes shape, from a concept into something more concrete before it can actually be produced.
This means that in this phase, the actual texts, images and designs are being produced. In the case of a website or an app, this is the phase during which we will develop the website or app, create and enter the visual and textual content and test it.
In the case of an animation or video, this is the time during which we will shoot the videos or create the 3D animations. For printed matter, this is the time during which the text is typesetted and proofread.
At the end of this stage, our work will be sent to the client for a final approval, before we can start the production phase.
Once the project has been approved, we move on to production which can mean different things depending on the type of project. In the case of printed matter, production means the actual printing, finishing, handling and shipping. In the case of website and apps, production is the live deployment and the maintenance, support and analytics. In the case of animations/videos, illustrations and photography, production is the creation of high-res files. When the production phase ends, the tool that was created can be used by the client and by the public at large.
Having a workflow has proved useful to us but also to our clients. It is an easy and efficient way to make a project run as smoothly as possible and reduce the number of hiccups along the way. The workflow will of course differ slightly depending on the type of project but the three phases, “Concept”, “pre-production” and “production” still form the basic structure of all of our projects.
Want to know more? CONTACT STIJN