One big question I often get asked is, “how do you communicate your creative ideas before you get to the actual creation?” And I’ve had countless discussions with others on the matter of creative communication, because there certainly isn’t one single, tried-and-true, foolproof process. After all, creating a unique message or image isn’t exactly changing a light bulb. It takes time, thought and often collaboration. I’ve heard interesting techniques, like listening and sharing music to convey moods and energy. Others depend on the more predictable avenue of brainstorming sessions. It really doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you can get on the same page as your client and ultimately show them creatively what you want to achieve for them. The big worry is wasting time, energy and budget on something they don’t want or don’t like, so it’s essential as a creative agency to limit those fears and costs.
At Apple Box we rely heavily on benchmarking. We do it on any number of projects, from logo redesigns to full-blown websites or videos. We’ll gather and research projects, images, videos, and sites that impress us, but also projects that we wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, so we have a full spectrum of visual standards for our clients to mull over. It’s not always productive to just lay out 10 awesome designs. You need to mix the good in with the bad, so you can elicit all sorts of varied responses and emotions. You gauge what your client likes and dislikes and narrow down some of the best and worst options, so you have a pulse on their tastes. And more importantly they now have a creative barometer and visual expectations on what they can anticipate from you once you leave that benchmarking session. It’s also typically a fun experience for your clients to participate in the creative process with you and do a little bonding. Beyond taste, personality also can come out of these sessions. And it’s always beneficial to have that connection with your client.