Bringing together all the different aspects of a graphic design production requires organisation, process, communication, co-ordination, supervision and negotiation – and a pro-active approach to keeping it all focussed, on track and delivered on time.
GND has had over 20 years experience in project managing over 4000 design projects to a successful conclusion.
GND doesn't claim to be an 'advertising agency' or expert on marketing, but can offer general advice and guidance on the 'basics' – which often boils down to some simple questions including:
> what are you 'selling' (the product or service)
> who are your target customers / audience? (existing and prospective)
> what is your 'selling proposition' (eg price, quality, service, behavioural change)?
> where do you sit in the market (in relation to your competitors / other services)?
> what is your point of difference (ie what separates you from your competitors – in reality or as a perception we can create)?
> who are your competitors or what are the obstacles to your message?
> where are you going with this product pr service (eg future range expansion, additional variations – ie do you have a strategy)?
All the above contributes to your particular 'brief' - which we both develop, agree on, and work to.
After considering the above, it may be advisable to develop some additional campaign elements and ideas to give an added focus to your product or service.
This may involve an attention-getting visual and / or photographic theme (in the case of a communications project) or a snappy, clever slogan (in the case of a product), or some other 'message' that adds meaning or impact to your project – maybe even a new business or product name.
GND has provided creative campaign ideas for much of the work shown on this website, and sees it as part of the task of creating an effective design or communications outcome.
Choosing good quality, appropriate photographic images that add value to your product, promotion or communication can make a major difference to the impact and creative result. Similarly, using poor quality, badly composed or inappropriate images can send all the wrong messages. In many cases, budget constraints mean there is no room to get specific photos taken, but as an alternative, GND can often source royalty-free images (at a once-off low cost) for many projects. Many of the samples shown elsewhere in this website feature such images.
Alternatively, GND is happy to provide clients with website addresses so they can search and choose their own, subject to them fitting the technical requirements for image size, resolution etc. There are literally millions of them out there – finding the right ones is the trick!
Where a photographic budget exists, GND can recommend and/or arrange professional photographers, brief them on what is required, and be available for photo shoots to help direct the photographer in getting the required result.
How you approach the written content for any marketing or communication is vital. It needs to reflect the 'brief', be in a language the target audience understands, feature correct spelling and grammar, engage the reader, and have a clear and logical structure supported by a consistent application of a hierarchy of headings, subheadings, bullet points, captions, etc etc etc. And it has to 'work' in the chosen format eg a DL 3 fold brochure.
Many clients struggle with putting all that together, and it can be very difficult trying to write something from a customer or audience point of view when you are so close to it. Much of the written content for what you see on this website has had input from GND – everything from 'massaging' and refining client-supplied text, to writing the whole lot. In all instances I focus my efforts on keeping my client, the brief and their audience / market / communication perspective firmly in mind.
As for royalty-free images, it is now possible to access millions of 'clip art' illustrations, and often, these are a cost-effective way to get the illustration needed for your project. However, when something specific is required, eg a technical or instructional diagram, or a particular style of illustration, or if it just doesn't seem to exist as 'clip art', it may be necessary to create one from scratch.
While not claiming to be able to produce all styles of illustration, GND has experience and skills to create a range of illustration styles depending on the requirements.
GND print-manages much of the print work that results from graphic design projects it undertakes (a large part of the work you see displayed throughout this site).
Part of establishing the original design brief often involves providing advice on the end print solution – including paper type and weight, format, finishing, binding, and deciding between digital and offset printing methods.
Print management basically means sourcing and providing the printed component on behalf of the client. This can encompass quoting (including options and variations), sourcing samples, arranging and approving proofs, lodging, monitoring progress, checking quality, delivering – and importantly – dealing with any issues that might arise.
Clients are welcome to provide their own print component, and while GND is happy to supply the printers concerned with final files to their specifications, under these circumstances the client is responsible for print-managing the rest of the process unless they wish to engage GND to do so on their behalf.
GND engages third party trade suppliers to provide components including print, photography, high-level editing, website construction, other production methods etc. Suppliers are utilised according to their suitability, reliability, cost and availability. Trade suppliers generally provide the advantage of a 'wholesale' price, and because of this deal only with GND and not directly with clients, so quoted costs and final invoicing come via GND and includes a small print-management component. GND then pays the supplier on the client's behalf.