My Design Philosophy

Published by Nela Dunato on at 09:05 in Graphic design, Business, Thoughts

Designers are humans. As much as we strive to keep our process objective and logical, each of us is a unique snowflake and brings our own life experiences into the work that we do. Not every designer is a good fit for every project or client. I’ll outline some of my beliefs about design and business, so you can decide whether my approach is what you need.

My Design Philosophy

Business is personal

I believe that business is not only about commerce: services change people, both the provider and the recipient. Each project we do enables us to learn more about ourselves, and helps us to grow as experts as well as humans.

We bring our personal history and biases into the process. We act from our core values. From my experience, clients who share some of my personal core values of creativity, freedom, individuality, excellence and compassion, receive the most benefit from my work because we get each other.

I’m inspired by my clients, their stories, their vision, and their values, and I have the ability to distill and communicate it through the visual language. I honor authentic self-expression, and support people in presenting the full extent of their gifts and personality.

Beauty is meaningful

In the current world of metrics, A/B testing and templates, beauty is often dismissed as something subjective and shallow. But humans appreciate beauty, even those who don’t have the knowledge or the vocabulary to understand it. Beauty delights your customers and partners. Beauty makes an experience memorable.

I’m a champion for beauty and uniqueness in this world of cookie-cutters and blueprints. I aim to make every experience your clients have with your brand delightful and remarkable. This isn’t done at the expense of functionality or user experience – to the contrary, I use aesthetics to improve them.

Simply put, I make businesses beautiful.

Responsibility for the creative process

I’ve been a professional designer since 2005, and I’ve worked on literally hundreds of design projects over the years. Now I teach design as a course instructor and speaker.

As a professional with a wealth of experience on projects just like yours, I take on full responsibility for the creative process. And by “creative process”, I mean:

  • Identifying the problem (consulting)
  • Proposing the solution (creating the brief), as well as
  • Implementing the solution (creating the design concept).

I'll collect information about your business and your vision, identify the problems you’re facing, and propose the most appropriate solutions. I listen carefully to my clients’ needs, and then use all my skills, knowledge and tools to come up with the perfect visuals.

(To learn more about what kind of input I ask of my clients before the project start, read my post How To Write A Design Brief And Be A Glorious Client.)

While you may come to me with ideas on what you believe I should do, we can’t take them at face value. When we go through my creative process, we’ll know exactly what your business needs, and how you’ll receive the most value from our work together. You’ll be able to relax, do your thing, and rest assured that your brand is in good hands.

Delivering solutions, not options

Some designers like to offer their clients several concepts and ask them “Which one do you like best?”

I’ve realized that giving my best service to my clients requires showing one logo design concept at a time, alongside examples of real-world applications so you can truly envision what your new brand can look like and judge it on its own merit.

I don’t stop working on the concepts until my job is done – and it’s done when I’ve proposed a single, best solution.

Options open the discussion up to personal preferences and taste. This is not the most productive discussion in a design process, especially when your business is at stake. Opinions don’t matter – what matters is how well the design communicates your brand message and your essence to your clients, and fulfills your business goals.

I guarantee a high-quality result that will last for years – I won’t waste your time with half-baked options. Your business deserves a well developed, documented and polished design solution.

Driven by passion and purpose

As a creative person who’s had difficulty fitting into the world, and worked hard to find ways to earn a living by doing what I love, I want to help other creatives, visionaries and non-profits in doing the same.

Creating design solutions for my clients brings me joy, but what makes me even happier is witnessing my client’s success – that’s when I know that I’ve made a difference.

If you do your work with passion, help your clients to improve their lives, and have a strong vision for a positive change in the world, we’re going to get along great.

For people like us, there’s no “business as usual”.

People over numbers

The marketing industry is obsessed with numbers. Different variants of ads and web pages are tested to select the one that gives the best numeric results: higher sales, registrations, downloads, clicks... But what if higher numbers do not mean that this is a better decision for our business?

There are things can’t be measured with numbers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t affect our business and the clients we work with. Intangible aspects such as respect, company culture, individualized approach and common core values affect the long-term success of a company, but are unfortunately rarely found in spreadsheets and quarterly reports.

Empathy for clients, both for my own and yours, is an extremely important component of my business ethics and I will never let you forget about the needs of real people because of short-term business goals.


If this sounds good to you, check out my brand identity design services and let me know how I can help you bring your brand to life.

Nela

Nela Dunato

About Nela Dunato

Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps experienced service-based businesses impress their dream clients.

On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...


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