Brighton graphic designer - Digital illustration - Terry Watson design
Personalised branding and graphics

Blog articles about brand identity and digital illustration

The Discovery Process - How to work with illustrators properly?


Very true tez. Designers, even myself, have taken work that went nowhere or led to frustration. It is the most horrible feeling. Imagine how it feels for the client? It wastes their time and money. However, this discovery process fixes many of the communication issues. Trust me, this technique has worked to help clients thrive.

It's a research task. It's about getting your thoughts onto any happy medium including screen and print. It is about learning about the client, the project, outcomes and finally what you can offer. Note this is my technique, which has proven effective.

Asking question discovery

Noting down my general observations about the client provides a clear picture of the pros and cons of the project. I look at their website, brief, content and social media to see whether I am suitable for their business. At the end of the day, the project should be exciting for both parties.

You can either write this on an iPad or a notebook. Or even draw thumbnails. Whether it suits you, write down aboutwhat you discovered about the client.

I will also give you a set of questions that could determine whether to take the job. I use them a lot

Would I make these type of designs for myself?

Is the price of the project right?

Do I propose a change of scale?

Benefits to illustrators

Ahhh, I discovered (no pun intended) that researching this allows me to manage the projects effectively. This process is integral for me to identify the specific details below.

The context of the finished project

  • Does this brief and specifications state the problem?

  • What are good and bad parts of the brief?

  • How can I make this project better?

  • What should be the measurement of success?

  • What is and not needed?

With everything in my notebook, I start discussing the project. I then present mood boards to propose a visual style that will be tailored to the brand. This is then followed up with me questioning them about the industry, competition and target demographic. This discussion aims to educate the client and me.

For all potential clients reading this, what do you feel about having an illustrator who loves learning about your industry? Comment below.