To expedite the process, it is vital to know what to expect, when working with a designer. The story below illustrates in clear detail, where some of the confusion might come from.

"Designers tell the story of a designer trying to explain this job to a Grandmother. The designer shows his Grandmother a recent project and says, "You were asking me about what I do, Grandmother. I'm a graphic designer, and I designed this."

"Pointing to the photograph in the design,
the grandmother asks:

Did you draw that picture?"

"No, Grandmother, it's a photograph. I didn't draw it, but I planned it, chose the photographer, helped select the models, assisted in setting it up, art directed the shooting session, chose which shot to use, and cropped the picture."

"Did you write what it says, then?"

"Well no, the designer replies. But I did brainstorm with the copywriter to develop the concept."

"Oh, I see, then you did letter these big words?" asks the grandmother, pointing to the headline."

"Uh, no, a typesetter set the copywriter's words in type, but I specified the typefaces and sizes to be used, responded the designer."

"Well, did you draw this little picture down in the corner?"

"No, but I selected the illustrator, told her what needed to be drawn, and decided where to put it and how big to make it."

"Oh, Well, did you draw this little, what do you call it, a trademark?"

"Uh, no. A design firm that specializes in visual identification programs designed it for the client."

"The grandmother is somewhat confused, and is not alone. Most people do not know what the job of a graphic designer is."

"To make it more confusing, graphic designers may also draw, illustrate, take photographs, design original fonts, create logos and trademarks and create visual identities for clients. They are creators and communicators."

"The graphic designer's job is to combine graphic materials; words, pictures, and other graphic elements to construct a visual communications gestalt."

Excerpt from Type and Image, The Language of Graphic Design by Philip B. Meggs

So, then what does a Graphic Designers actually do? Below are the steps to how the design process usually unfolds.

Planning and Preliminary Negotiations
Problem Definition
Define the problem
Research the market
Select the designer
Negotiate the contract
Establish the work schedule

Pre-Visual Research and Analysis
Information Gathering
Profile the client
Collect existing materials
Research subject
Consult with client
Edit research

Visual Conception
Idea Finding
Brainstorm for ideas
Analyze text for meaning
Create thumbnail studies
Edit thumbnails

Comprehensive Layouts and Presentation
Solution Finding
Refine thumbnails to roughs
Refine roughs to comps
Present comps to client
Critique comps and make changes

Graphic Production
Commission images
Assemble text and images
Proof artwork and assembly
Present proofs for client approval
Supervise fabrication and delivery

Excerpt from The Principles of Graphic Design by Louis Ocepek

As a Visual Artist I draw, paint and illustrate with both traditional and digital media

The digital tools used for
image-editing and page layout, are the Adobe Creative Suite consisting of Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign

If you need, I can set up and take photographs

I can write copy, but working with a professional writer, is a more efficient use of my time.


As a designer, I strive to use effective typography and visual language to communicate a message that is yours.

The history of Graphic Design, an awareness of cultures and styles with being creative, allows me to put together a design to fit your needs

A professionally designed logo and visual identity is a valuable part of your business marketing plan. It is a specialized area of design

Here is the heart of matter, the creative part is when we pull it all together, in true collaboration.


The ideas, skills, language, message are the gestalt of effective design.