Should style, message or content drive your solution?
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Graphic Design: What drives the creative solution
Some design companies have a distinct house style, and for those who want that, and of course, if you like that style, great. Some design companies don’t have a style at all. They rely on the client for that – its our clients identity that matters they say, its not for us to consider such issues. And then there are those agencies, why agencies? I have always wondered that. Why not just companies? Anyway, there are those agencies that you could say sit in the middle. That treat style not as a master but as a slave. A slave to the message – to what you want to say. We think we are one of those agencies.
That treat design as the messenger, not the message.
So what does that mean, practically? Well, as communicators, we believe our solutions should be ‘message’ driven … or as we call it ‘content’-led. That doesn’t mean we shoe horn obscure concepts onto, or whitewash ‘clever dick’ ideas over solutions at every conceivable opportunity. Sometimes projects don’t need an ‘idea’ at all. We get that, but ultimately we believe that the intelligent approach, that brings better tailored, distinctive and richer solutions is one that puts an idea, a message at the heart of the solution and not simply a style. Style of course has its place but on its own is an experience that can become hollow very quickly.
How do we do it? Well I’m glad you ask. Boiled down this is how we work:
- Isolate what needs to be said and we think you’re halfway to finding how to say it.
- Develop a creative premise as a way of amplifying the message
- And select the appropriate style or interpretation of house style that matches the voice to the character to the message
It’s about exploring, and finding the individual character for each problem. Once you’ve done this, we find the voice or style follows quite naturally.
As a summary, sign off and wave good bye, we have a saying, about us, about what we do, and it goes like this:
Good design companies design well,
really good design companies think well.
Because it is the intelligence of a solution,
that marks it out, makes it memorable …
… makes it work.