The creative process in five steps – Step 1: Know and understand the client. Do I want to do this kind of work?
The step-by-step creative process (source: Noroff)

The step-by-step creative process (source: Noroff)

  1. Know and understand the client.
  2. Gather critical information and discover more.
  3. Follow a creative strategy.
  4. Work creatively.
  5. Present and deliver.

After receiving a brief from a client, you must critically examine it and ask yourself: ‘What exactly do they want me to do for them?’ By asking this question, you are establishing:

  • the scope of work – what you need to do to deliver the project (which activities – custom illustration work, photography, or both?; what kind of design items need to be delivered; what is the timeline, when is the deadline)
  • which in turn will give you an idea of the time needed to deliver the work; and what you need to charge for the time you will use to finish the job.

After establishing the nature and scope of work, you ultimately must ask yourself the crucial question: ‘Do I want to do this kind of work?’ Align the type of work you take on with the kind of designer you want to be.


Ikigai* – what type of graphic designer do I want to be?

There are two paths in my life as a graphic designer. I work in-house at a consultancy firm, and my work there will have to adhere to a profile and design I didn’t create. It’s not a completely strict and rigid brand profile, and there’s a multitude of deliveries (ads, merchandise, presentations, infographics, etc.) – but my work will still require that I stay true to the heart of that single brand. I am happy with that way of working; I enjoy making visually compelling and organised graphics for my colleagues. The second path I follow in my spare time: I volunteer for several music-related organisations and events, overseeing all things design. I am free to play around to my heart’s content for these. The combination of the two is perfect for me; the daytime job teaches me the importance of being quick, concise, and consistent, while the volunteer work lets me roam free, really challenging my creative muscles.

Style-wise, I want to reach for a stream-of-consciousness, playful, and ornamental expression. My volunteer work is for a rock music venue, a music festival, and a jazz music festival – all of which will thrive well with playful designs. My current strength as a designer lies in the opposite direction; the Swiss/ International typography style runs in my blood, so to speak. I do, however, have a whimsical and rough illustration style – I just don’t practice it as much as I’d want, or rather: should. My main personal task for the final year of my studies will be to sketch something every day and to spend more time gathering inspiration from renowned design work rather than scrolling aimlessly through Facebook. I aim to make this a permanent habit beyond this final school year.

So: what type of graphic designer do I want to be, and which jobs will I prefer to take on? I can easily do structured design, following and adding to brand style guides. This means I can work in any corporate setting with ease, and I don’t mind it at all. My personal passion, however, lies with improvised rhythmical music (prog-metal/-rock/-jazz), and my goal is to be a designer who can mimic this in graphics.

*The Japanese invented a philosophy called Ikigai, which means ‘reason for being’. In summary, Ikigai means something we’re good at, that we love to do, that the world needs, and that we can get paid to do. Ikigai can help us determine what we want to wake up to in the morning.


My creative type

Read the full description here (pdf). Click the image to take the test yourself!

The Thinker creative type
Learning outcomes

In this module, we’ll guide you on approaching the creative process step by step. It is not a strict set of rules you must follow, and you should customise the process to fit your own needs and do what you feel comfortable with to deliver your best work.

Learning outcomes

In this course, we are covering the following knowledge-learning outcomes:

  • The candidate has knowledge of different work methods and processes for research and creative techniques in graphic design.
  • The candidate has knowledge of processes and tools used in the production of multilateral layouts.
  • The candidate has knowledge of concept development and different design principles.
  • The candidate has knowledge of typographic principles.
  • The candidate has insight into their own development opportunities in graphic design.

In this course, we are covering the following skill-learning outcomes:

  • The candidate can explain the academic choices they make when working on a graphic design project.
  • The candidate can reflect on their own professional practice in design and adjust it under supervision or according to user feedback.
  • The candidate can reflect on and map the work processes, identify potential problems, and decide if there’s a need for implementing measures.

In this course, we are covering the following general competence-learning outcomes:

  • The candidate can plan and implement the development of graphic material individually or as part of a group, in line with ethical requirements and guidelines for universal implementation.
  • The candidate can plan and implement design work in line with the requirements and guidelines of intellectual property laws.
  • The candidate can carry out design work according to the needs of selected target groups or a given customer brief.

This module goes through the creative process step-by-step and gives a structure to implement in a workflow.