I spend a lot of time talking about Design Process, particularly in my Design Foundations class because it is so important to the end product. Without process, design solutions will very quickly become predictable and formula like and in my opinion become less effective. The designer will eventually become a decorator, just making the projects look good without solving any problems. The important aspect of design is just doing your process but as a student of design it is important to document and show your process.

Process is more than a few thumbnails! Everything you do as a designer in preparation and completion of a project is process. Sure, everyone knows that the process steps are idea/concept, thumbnails, roughs and comps, but what about research? Research is a big part of process or at least it should be. What about style choice or font selection? Yes, all parts of process. What about computer processes, style and manipulation – Process!


Save everything! Scan all thumbnails, roughs and sketches. Scan or transfer all written notes to digital files. Use screen captures (see Computer Tip post on screen captures) to save visual computer research. Print out excerpts from websites or other internet references. Print examples of font selections and special font treatment. Print examples of photographic and illustration styles. Again, save and transfer all information to digital files. Organize your process in a logical sequenced progression and assemble in a visual presentation. This can be printed and mounted on presentation boards or in a booklet format.

Here are a couple of examples.