Designers are the final runners of the creative relay, bearing the challenge of visualising all the efforts of each prior contributor. It’s because of this that designers can’t get too caught-up in the world of colour palettes and typography. Of course, that’s one facet of the work, but at Hotwire, our approach is to also think like the copywriter, the strategist, the art director and, most importantly, the client.
A copy document can often feel like a brick wall – rows of syntax ready to be chipped away and reconstructed. But it wasn’t written this way. It’s key to understand the tone and identify where emphasis can be placed. Our design dictates how the story unfolds, so we’re attentive with the copy to ensure we’re conveying the same message.
The art director:
The inability to adopt an art director’s vision accurately can be the downfall of a campaign. The imagery and general application of a campaign piece helps dictate the emotive response. Get it right with each asset, and the result is amplified.
When we design at Hotwire, we want the audience to self-identify and connect with the concept because that’s what converts viewership into participation.
In part, strategists are concerned with purpose, and the designers at Hotwire are too. From the graphics we include to the approach of the document itself, we always evaluate the relevance, purpose and value of every aspect of the creative output. Design isn’t just visual, it’s functional.
Not every client speaks the language of design, but a good designer can translate all the infamous briefs from ‘Make it pop’ to ‘It needs to be eye-catching’. We do this by listening to and guiding them towards constructive detail through questions: ‘What is the most important piece of information for you?’, ‘What kind of ‘x’ you would you like to see?’, ‘What specifically don’t you like about ‘x’?’.
This encourages our client to think visually about the problem. We also do this by sharing our design thinking. Naturally, we want our artwork to do the talking but, by providing a rationale behind our work, we paint a clearer picture as to why the design works.
As cerebral as design can be, it’s also exciting. So above all, we always hold this true when we design because we know that our clients, and their audience, recognises this too.