The word ‘design’ is used in two senses: design as a noun means an artifact, entity or an image that has significance in terms of beauty (aesthetics), function or purpose (teleology) or meaning (semiotics) while design as a verb denotes activity of making such artifacts or bringing such entities or images into existence. In this chapter we are going to discuss various stages of the activity of creating or making design i.e. significant artifact and in the context of graphic design, making of significant visual image. Design process involves creative thinking, imagination and visualisation. However, the way design process is practiced in the industry, it also involves not-so-creative activities.
In this chapter, an attempt has been made to out-line a design process for the graphic designer that is useful for traditional media as well as for new media.
Design process is a multi-stage process. It involves creative phase as well as non-creative phases. Therefore, apart from creative capabilities, a designer needs to develop other capabilities such as observation, research, coordination and management, technical knowledge, and persuasive capabilities. Broadly, the design process as it is practiced can be split into following phases. Although these phases are mentioned here in a particular sequence, some of the phases can happen simultaneously or recursively depending on the situation. For example, in a large studio two phases can go simultaneously, since many people will be working on the design project. Similarly, if an idea is rejected at testing or approval level by the designer himself or by the client then the whole process of idea generation is repeated.
The design process as outlined above is very difficult to follow in its true spirit in the actual professional work conditions. The designer in general and a graphic designer in particular are engaged in design process in four different situations. A designer can have an idea in his or her mind and then wants to pursue it to its fulfillment. In this situation a designer can enjoy full freedom to practice the design process truthfully.
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