How I Design

January 27, 2019

Hi there, I never really thought i'd do a post like this because everyone designs in many different ways but because i'm quite visual on paper pre digital I thought I'd do a post about it, I know this isn't really everyones niche but I hope it helps for the people who's niche it is!


I wanted to give you a little bit of background pre explaining how I design. I have always been a creative when I used to have an inset day at school I used to go to my dads cafe and spend the day in the 'back room' with egg boxes, food grocery boxes, tape, scissors, order pads basically anything I could get my hands on and make things and bring them home at the end of the day. I loved art in primary school, did art and textiles in GCSE which lead me to Photography and Graphic Design in A Levels and then Graphic Design at University. I always knew I was going to be creative and because i've done it for so long I have picked up so many different elements from the different courses and routes of education.


So here we go ; an overview of my process.


1. Read the brief more than once. 2. Highlight the key parts of the brief. 3. Do general research on the topic.

4. Find Insights. 5. Deeper research on those Insights. 6. Do Visual Research. 7. Original Sketches. 

8. Sketch Further. 9. Digitally Develop. 10. Progress further digitally. 11. Progress further digitally round two. 

12. Progress further digitally round three. 13. Probably progress it digitally further. 

14. You'll probably have a final outcome. 15. Hand in, pass it over, it's done, signed off, finished.


The Brief


The brief, go through, highlight the key parts. Go through and write a possible to do list of what needs to be included or created during the process depending on how long you have whether its two weeks, twelve weeks or two days. Doing this means you have a place to come back to if you ever get lost.

The Sketches


I researched product design, into product design styles of products that are already out there and compared back to sketches I drew that I developed pre digital development. I always test many different outcomes, so for this project I tested all different sizes and shapes to see which ones you can hold, where a grip would be etc.

Development of Final Outcome


Coming towards the end of a project I look back of what is left to do to create the final outcome. Within this project I have to create an eleven page PDF of the whole six week project so I went ahead and researched into presentation slides and took inspiration from them to create my own piece of work. Not copying which you need to remember as a designer - inspiration.

The Development


What you can see in the image below is my standard working technique - youtube video and sketchbook pages out. I absolutely hate working in silence so I physically can't work in silence I have to have some videos and at this time it was old Zoe vlogmas videos!

The Research


Research, pretty simple! It is really simple and pretty self explanatory for any other person, you look into all different types of research. Visual / Type / Etc...

The Research During Development


As you can see, I often go back and research towards the end of my research just to make sure that the line of development I am on is correct.

The Final Step


Now this is the final step, this is what I submitted of twelve weeks of work. Four Briefs. All of the sketch book and development work which includes all of the steps that I described at the start of this post.

The Software


I wanted to speak a little bit about the software that I use to create every piece of design work that I create. I use Illustrator for vectors, I use photoshop for quick layouts, photo editing and small bits and then InDesign for placing things together like PDF's / Presentations etc. As they are all adobe cloud they all work very well together and they are fluid with each other and they are also very easy to use and if you know how to use one you can transfer the skills across the apps.

I really hope you enjoyed this brief overview on how I design, if you have any more questions on my work just go ahead and dm me - if you would like to see any of the work that I have created over the years you can see them here. I really hope you've learnt something from this post!


See you soon,


Ellie Louise Hirst x

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