The Practice: navigating client relationships with Seesaw

AUTHOR:  
Published:  August 21, 2015
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As designers, our work is often judged purely on aesthetic outcomes, but there’s also beauty to be found in the creative process itself. At Seesaw, we believe it’s the combination of tailored methodology and original thinking that makes the difference to our clients’ businesses and brands. Together with consistent and proactive account management, our process follows four steps. It’s simple, logical and comprehensive, and ensures the entire project runs as seamlessly as possible.

All words by Seesaw.

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COLLABORATION

Always invest in client collaboration from the outset, in order to form a cohesive understanding of our client’s brand, business and brief. We acknowledge that we will never understand a client’s business as innately as they do. But we listen carefully, and we take the time to ensure all stakeholders are heard and considered. We view this as vital to the success of every project.

It is at this point that we engage in our own independent research and analysis, to gather insights into the project and category. The aim is to gain a clear understanding of the business objectives and specific challenges before contemplating any potential creative direction.

Prior to commencing this initial phase, we complete the necessary admin. We establish the conditions of the project in regards to contracts, terms, pricing, scheduling and deliverables. These processes are streamlined after years of trial and error; they can be easily overlooked, but they’re integral to our initial client interaction. Honest and transparent communication – as well as managing client expectations from the get-go – is key.

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DIRECTION

Once the brand strategy and positioning is clear, the next step is to plan the creative execution. To ensure we all agree about the direction, we prepare a return creative brief that outlines the future brand requirements for all branded elements. Once the creative brief is signed off, we proceed to the design phase.

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CREATION

The next step is to explore the client’s products, services, brand and business from a variety of intuitive, emotional and logical creative directions. We develop look and feel, language and tone, ideas and concepts. We always aim to brainstorm every creative challenge as a studio, so that every project benefits from the input of multiple creative thinkers. We explore, we experiment, we contemplate, we deliberate. Out of this intense process comes something that is unique, appealing and, most importantly, true to the client’s brand or creative challenge.

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IMPLEMENTATION

Our creative process is rounded out with the implementation phase – executing the targeted expression of the brand across multiple channels and touch points. We address timelines, production restrictions and any budget concerns, and call on the skill of our creative collective to extend the execution across photography, illustration, web development, print design, signage and copywriting as required.

From concept to completion, the entire creative process is managed utilising a range of programs and procedures. In terms of reporting, some clients prefer charts, diagrams and pipelines. Others just like a friendly chat. Either way, the entire scope of the project is scheduled and tracked by our design manager and project managers, so in the end the only surprise should be in the work itself.

All images courtesy of Seesaw.

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