Once we have a singular, focused, brief and—hopefully—inspiring creative brief signed by you, we’re ready to get to work. There will be plenty of collaboration and give-and-take throughout the creative process, but after the brief has been approved, we like to begin with some individual and solitary pondering and noodling time. The designers ponder. The writer ponders. Jack and the project manager ponder. Designers and writers may meet to share their notes and ponderings. Project managers might discover some cool relevant piece and share it with a designer. Jack might write something brilliant on his whiteboard. A date will be set for initial thoughts to be shared internally. Adrenalin increases slightly
Now, let’s say you’re looking to redo your packaging and you also want some POS to support the brand at retail. Much of our thinking during this phase revolves around, “How can we get everyone talking about this brand?” So, we’re looking for the “story” inherent in the brand. Some early directions might be explored and sketched, with the project manager subtly hovering nearby to make sure it can all be done within the given budget. We may put together a couple of different color stories, and representative images to help communicate an idea (as well as assist you with sell-in at your end).
We’re often told that our firm is unique in respect to two things: strategy, and writing. It would take a lot for another firm to “copy” our approach, because it is deeply etched in our DNA. Even in our embryonic state, we had strong relationships with some of the smartest strategists and a few of the best writers in the country. The studio feels almost a bit like a creative commune, a collective of artists, thinkers, writers, many of whom get involved in our projects not for money, but for the chance to do something great. This, of course, bodes well for you.
The more time we have to ponder and noodle, the more likely we are to create something truly unique. But, barring any annoying distractions (i.e.: other clients’ work), three to four weeks should be enough for initial ideas to be developed and fleshed out for presentation. If your bud get allows, there may be more than one or two designers working on your new packaging, with one creative director overseeing their work. The creative director is likely working on something, as well, usually in tandem with the writer who developed your manifantra. Once we have presented internally, and we’ve run each direction past the whole team, we address any issues, and fine tune in preparation for sharing it with you. The creative presentation is worth doing in person, but a little less than fifty percent of ours are done online, or via phone and FedEx.