Design Process: Pre-Production is King

December 5, 2008

Website Design Baton Rouge

Today I attended a meeting of the AAF Baton Rouge chapter, and I had a fairly eye-opening experience. I realized though I may work at a graphic design firm, I didn’t have any idea about any of the competition in the area. I really had no information from what I’ll call the “outside world”—meaning any company other than Gatorworks.

That being said when I went to this collaboration of designers and artists I was somewhat blown away. They spoke about their processes they went through in order to win the Addy Awards (awards given by the federation for excellence in creative design, marketing and advertising) and it made an impact as to how I view what I do.

Baton Rouge Graphic Design

One of the speakers (whose name is Greg Milneck) was the winner of an Addy for his work on some local commercials. Now when he spoke about his process it seemed at first that “Oh he’s talking about filmmaking, so this doesn’t really apply to me.” Yet, when I took time to listen and examine what he was saying it all made sense and really fit well into the process of my job.

The Importance Of Pre-Production

Pre-production, pre-production, pre-production. Those were the three most important steps in his process. And if you think about it, those should be the 3 most important steps in pretty much any design process. Regardless of whether it’s print design, commercials, or web design, having pre-production as the primary priority in your process is pretty logical. He went on to say that regardless of budget “more time spent on pre-production will allow you to spend less time on the actual production and post-production saving you money in the long run.” That’s why it’s so important. For him, it was to avoid going to a set and having 30 cast and crew not knowing exactly what to do. But for people like me and my coworkers, it’s more about having the site functionality and content laid out in front of you like a blue-print. If it isn’t, the client will make mid-design changes, or even post-approval design changes which cause more time to be spent going back and repeating work.

He had others that he put less emphasis on, but the one that stood out to me as a web designer was “Cooperation between pre- and post-production crew.” Now in terms of web design, this struck a very resonant chord with me. More often than not, I’ve run into an issue in the closing processes of deploying a site because I didn’t inform the designer of the limitations of HTML/CSS. With an increase in collaboration between developer and designer, these hiccups and tiny setbacks that frustrate us all and run minutes/hours off the clock could easily be avoided.

This is why i think even though the speaker was talking about commercial making, the logic and process applies to all walks of life.

Let’s Talk Design and Processes!

My purpose with this post is really just to share with you my experience at the luncheon and how it affected me. If you have any other steps in your design process or workflow that you find is imperative I would love to hear about it. Get in touch and let us know!

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