Talk to different creative designers and they’ll all tell you the same sort of thing. Most likely they will tell you of the values of design like function, intuitiveness, aesthetic value, innovation, and they should also talk about brand, and of course, they should start with concept and customer journey. All these are pretty obvious, and everyone with a mac and Google can knock these off and sound like an expert.
They may even go on to talk about the specific values to do with target audience, proposition flex and mindset, reassurance and satisfaction needs. Now you’re getting somewhere, but it’s all still ‘ticket to the game.’
Too often over looked all together is vision. And there are three parts to this. The brand’s vision, its positioning and ambition. The client’s vision, their ambition for the project. And the creative’s own personal vision, their creative philosophy which drives their vision for your brand. It’s the creative’s philosophy that will deliver genuinely original, genuinely great work. Why is this important?
Because remember, creative isn’t a commodity – you’re buying someone’s unique view point and their ability to apply that to the information you give them. You’re channeling your brand and ambitions through them, you’re trusting them to be special. It is the creative’s own vision that will keep them up at night thinking about the work, pushing it, improving it – because it is a bar they have set themselves, so not reaching it is a bigger failure to them than your project not getting delivered. Without it, design can still tick all the boxes in your check-list, but it will not be great. If a designer just satisfies your formula of things it has to do, then it will end up formulaic. What distinguishes great creative from ordinary commoditized creative is the vision. How they approach a project. What drives them. It’s as much an intellectual as it is an artistic exercise. And it’s personal.